Watch a short clip of this innovative new keel/rig system from France
If you’ve been to Cherbourg recently and noticed a boat that appears to be sailing with the hull upright but its rig canted over, don’t attribute it to stretchy rigging or too much alcohol: there really is such a boat.
The Cogito is the brainchild of French engineer Guy Broquaire, who came up with the idea of attaching the rig to the twin keels via a metal ring inside the boat, roughly where the main bulkhead would normally be. The ring rotates independently of the hull, so as the rig heels to the wind and is balanced by the keels, the hull stays upright – or almost upright. The idea is that the crew can control the angle of heel to a maximum of around 10°.
Because the hull stays more-or-less upright, it can be a different shape to one designed to sail at the normal 20 or 30°, having a fuller stern for more accommodation.
Cogito stands for COntrôle de la GITe Optimisé (optimized heel control) and the 7.6m (25ft) prototype has been tested in Cherbourg for the past couple of seasons as well as appearing at some French boat shows. An 8.7m (28ft 6in) production boat has now been designed which is claimed to have the accommodation of a typical 32-footer – hence the name, the Cogito 28/32.
We hope to be having a closer look at the boat before long. In the meantime, you can find out more on www.voiliers-cogito.fr