Here is a side view I lifted from the website..........
The specs on the "Albatros" are as follows.....
- Hull length 4.3 m
- Hull width 1.95 m
- Hull weight 72 kg
- Ballast in swinging CB 30 kg
- Total hull and CB weight 118 kg
- Max load 240 kg
- Mainsail area 10.2 m2
- Jib area 4.4 m2
- Assymetric Area 17 m2
- Hull is formed thermoplastic out of a recyclable plastic called Evolite by Technyl. The hull uses 3 pieces glued together.
- Carbon mast is standard and from the video, looks like the mainsail zips onto the mast like a windsurfer.
- The weighted centerboard doesn't swing up into the hull but remains outside the hull when raised.
- The blades, including the weighted centerboard, are made of the thermoplastic, which must be an engineering feat in itself to make them stiff enough.
- There is a bow insert at the stem which will take most of the abuse of running into the docks.
- And the price is an eye-popping low, low 6000 Euros (7620 USD at todays exchange rate). That doesn't include the assymetric kit.
For the American market, I see several problems, the main one being, the "Albatros" may be trying to cover too many market segments. To be a lightweight boat, it has low freeboard, which means this is a sit on boat. American families who daysail like higher freeboard and sit in bench seats. The transom sheeting for the mainsail is a non-starter; there is no American dinghy that uses transom sheeting. Americans like to tie their dinghies to the dock. I'm not sure how docile the Albatros is going to be tied to the dock with a full battened mainsail that isn't easily lowered unless you take the mast down.
Update: Romain adds a comment to say Group Finot have already addressed the issues I've listed above:
"According to one of the articles, the "transom sheeting" is supposed to evolve to a block centered in the boat. Also the mainsail will slide up the mast in a groove, the rudder will be reduced in size and the jib will have a furler...I do look forward to test sailing the "Albatros" when it arrives on American shores.
This will modify a bit the boat from the prototype shown."
We did have one US class that explored the wide transom, scow hull with normal bow and that is the Johnson 18. Roger Martin, who had done some Transat designs, designed the Johnson 18 in 1994. Over a hundred were built until 1998 when the Johnson boatbuilding company folded. There is a small fleet at SSA and I intend to get a sail on one someday.