When Anton van den Bos, owner of Elling Yachts, tested the righting ability of the company’s E4 model (48′/14.6m), he did it in one of the most dramatic ways imaginable. He had a crane flip the boat over into the water while he was strapped inside. Shown in the video above, the 360° capsize proved that the Elling design exceeded Category A ocean classification, the European Union’s highest safety rating.
The capsize was one of several publicity stunts by the Dutch builder. Sometimes, however, the drama is unplanned, as when three E4s, designed by Frank Mulder, traveled across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands to Sint Maarten in the West Indies. According to a profile of Elling Yachts in Professional BoatBuilder magazine, the trip required lashing barrels of diesel fuel to the afterdeck cockpit. The boats’ 425-hp (319-kW) Volvo Penta D6 diesel engines ran 375 hours nonstop, burning 1 liter (0.3 gal) per nautical mile. But close to the end of the trip, a propeller on one boat was fouled on a fishing line, so all three switched to their wing engines. They still made the crossing in 16 days.
Read more about Elling Yachts and the design of its two models, the E3 (45′/13.7m) and E4, in Professional BoatBuilder No. 158. The story, by editors Dan Spurr and Steve D’Antonio, begins on page 54.