Ovni 395

by George Day

Blue Water Sailing
September 2006


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Another unique introduction from a French builder this fall is the Ovni 395 built by Alubat Yachts on France's Atlantic Coast. Designed by Philippe Briand, the 395 is a hard-chined aluminum hull cruiser that has a lifting keel and kick-up rudder. With only a one-foot, 11-inch draft when the centerboard is raised, the boat can be beached and will sit happily on its own bottom.

Utilitarian on the outside - the aluminum hull is left unpainted - the boat is elegant on the inside. The chine aluminum hull is welded of 5083 H 111 plate in an argon-helium environment. Alubat has been building metal boats for 25 years, their craftsmen have perfected production line welding.

A pure cruising boat, the 395 is designed to be sailed by a couple. All lines lead aft to the cockpit, which is comfortable but not overly large. The stern arch comes standard and doubles as davits for a 10-foot dinghy.

Down below, the interior is finished in varnished oak, which lends the space a warm honey- colored ambience. Alubat offers semi-custom interiors so an owner may fiddle with the design to meet special needs. The basic layout offers a V-berth forward and two quarter cabins. The saloon has a dinette to port, a good seagoing galley and a large chart table.

BWS sailed the Ovni 395 on the Chesapeake Bay and came away impressed with the boat's ocean-going capabilities. If you are looking for a passagemaker that can withstand a collision, take the ground easily and will make good miles on passage, the 395 provides a unique cruising solution.

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