by Quentin Warren
Blue Water Sailing
A cruising machine for performance voyagers
The Aerodyne 47 appealed to us before it was even built. The intriguing Rodger Martin design surfaced in its conceptual stages as a development of the earlier Aerodyne A/M 38, and BWS was eager and quick to jump on the project and follow it through. In June 1999 we studied drawings, specs and any literature that we could get our hands on related to this borderline-radical craft, and commented that it was “aimed at sophisticated cruising couples who boast enough experience aboard moderate-size yachts to appreciate what a big boat, highly-tuned and technically advanced, can do in a modern voyaging context.”
Not far off the mark, as it turned out. Eventually we had the opportunity to see the finished product and go for a sail, and true to form the vessel lived up to its advance billing. In the July/August 2001 issue we remarked, “The Aerodyne 47 is a voyager’s boat. She is, in fact, the type of boat that cir-cumnavigators often design for themselves after spending years motoring and motorsailing heavy boats around the world.”
At the core, she is a collaboration between a veteran offshore cruiser who just happens to be the Aerodyne 47 representative in this country, a storied designer of short-handed offshore racing boats, and a high-tech builder in South Africa with roots in the aerospace industry. Vic and Peg DeMattia are the inspired cruisers who conceived of the boat and made it happen—at least for them. They are the proud owners of hull number one Eagle’s Wing and previous owners of a well-traveled Sundeer 56. They went to Rodger Martin with their wish list in view of his experience with BOC- and Around Alone-type oceangoing race boats, and to the South African composites wizards at Aerodyne Marine to hatch the project using top-end heat-cured epoxy fabrication.
The design prerequisites are at the core of the boat. Vic and Peg “started with the idea that the combined working sail area must not exceed 1,000 square feet, and that modern composite building techniques could achieve a Ballast/Displacement ratio of nearly 50 percent. Minimum sail area, a light hull and a high degree of ultimate stability would translate into a fast boat that could point well, go like mad off the wind and be small enough to enable a lone 64-year-old (fit and able) to operate all sailing systems from the safety of the cockpit.”
Martin’s design genius combined with Aerodyne’s technological magic resulted in a 47-footer with a nimble displacement of 25,370 pounds on a 42-foot waterline, which confers a D/L of 152—decidedly at the high-acceleration end of the displacement spectrum. Ballast of 10,330 pounds results in a B/D ratio of 46 percent, and further to an IMS stabilty index (limit of positive stability) well up at 128 degrees. Despite a rig restrained to a little over 63 feet, the sailplan’s long boom and roachy mainsail contribute to an SA/D mark of 18.2, which is decidedly racy though not overpowering, especially given the boat’s positive stability numbers.
The end result is a boat nearly 50 feet long with noteworthy performance parameters yet established respect for the constraints of a shorthanded crew. That respect extends below, by the way, to a living space clean, comfortable and practical by anyone’s standards, attended to by a sophisticated systems scenario in keeping with DeMattia’s omniscient vision and well-versed understanding of what makes a 47-footer truly a home away from home.
LOA 46’7” (14.2 m.)
LWL 42’1” (12.8 m.)
Beam 14’4” (4.37 m.)
Draft 6’0” (1.83 m.)
Ballast 10,330 lbs. (4,686 kgs.)
Displ. 25,370 lbs. (11,508 kgs.)
SA (100%) 990 sq. ft. (92 sq. m.)
Fuel 100 gals. (378 ltr.)
Water 200 gals. (757 ltr.)
Auxiliary 56-hp Yanmar
Designer Rodger Martin
541 Hall Hill Rd.
Somers, CT 06071
Rodger Martin Yacht Designs
PO Box 242
Newport, RI 02840
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