Neo 495-Small French "Sit-In" Keelboat

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    This boat is most interesting-a small keel boat where you sit down inside like the Mini 12's but in this case it's for two people who sit side by side! Very neat concept....
    Found on SA-heres the French site:
  2. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Pretty cool boat. Just don't know where I would sail it. Would have to find an area with no sand bars or lobster pots.

    In the Lake St. Clair region, here in Michigan, such a boat would be religated to the middle of the lake which has a lot less sailing room (and lots and lots of keel boats competing for it). I think this design is instructive of how poorly super, high performance ocean racing set ups translate to everyday use.

    My concern would be that after a few thrilling sails, the boat would end up tied to a dock with a 'for sale' on it. It is examples like this that lead me to the regret that canting (though this one appears not to cant), deep ballasted, keels superceded side to side shifting water ballast for high performance sailing.

    Admittedly, the deep ballasted, canting keel is the superior concept out there on the ocean (where draft doesn't really matter). It has a far better chance of bringing the boat upright in the event of a capsize. But everywhere else, draft does matter. And it matters a lot.

    That being said, I admire the audacious, single mindedness of this design. I can imagine rich people in deep water ports loving something like this. Something that can be sailed fast without strenuous activity such as hiking. I can imagine people (not neccessarily men) well up in years being able to sail this design compettively.

  3. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Neo 495

    Bob, I thought the most significant thing about this boat was the side by side seating -and that could be pretty neat for couples and/or handicapped people. I can't read French enough to tell whether or not the keel is a lifting keel or not- but the seating arrangement for such a boat is pretty innovative. I see a lot of potential in the concept....
  4. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member


    Why does the potential for sitting side by side transversely in a big time heeling craft sound exciting to you?

    To me it sounds like a crushing relapse of being in the back seat with three large dudes, pre seat belt days, while the driver relishes in taking corners real fast. Not fun, really tiring and ulitmately not conducive to getting you out there again.

    Did you look at the heads of those guys when the boat (along with their bodies) was radically heeled. Serious neck issues going on there that would have to spell trouble for wheelchair people who were not young and/or very fit.

    I'd rather see a gymballed wheelchair platform that allows the pilot to swing through an arc, always upright and comfortable.

  5. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT 249 Senior Member

    There have been hundreds of Access dinghies with side-by-side seating in about 16 countries for about 17 years. But the Access is sailed pretty upright, so sliding is not such a problem.

    I like the swivelling idea seat idea; even when fit young guys sailed sitting down in the canoes of the 1800s, they had a problem with the heel.
  6. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Neo /Access

    The Neo has almost no side deck and that might be a problem but side by side seating seems pretty neat in a small keel boat.
    Here are the Access dinghies:
    Access Dinghies - 303 Wide
    Address: Changed:7:06 PM on Tuesday, December 26, 2006
  7. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Didn't mean to be such a grouch. It' just that the whole concept was so intriguing until I saw the depth of the keel. In all fairness, that was probably the only way they could get the sailing stiffness needed to make the side by side seating possible in a high performance boat.

    On a more personal note, the only sailboat design I have ever completed was my cc312 design. It had space under a seating platform for internal ballast if needed. The boat was a straight sided scow and its single crew was to sit facing forward while sailing it. Shifting his butt about 6in to windward was all the movement that was reguired. I did a stability calculation on this design and found fhat it would be quite stiff. Even so, it had a relatively small rig and short sweeps for when the wind wasn't strong. I imagine a cc416 would be wide enough for side by side seating. In case you're interested, I'm attaching a drawing of the cc312.


    Attached Files:

  8. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest


    Very interesting ,Bob-thanks. Has it sailed?
  9. RHough
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    Location: BC Summers / Nayarit Winters

    RHough Retro Dude

    I bought a set of plans. I got lured out of my semi-retirement before I had a chance to build it.

    Perhaps next summer. :)

  10. Ledjeg
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    Location: France

    Ledjeg New Member


    I'am the vice president of the association neo 495 class... and so I used to sail a lot on neo !
    What you said and your question about why to be side by side is quite interesting as I asked myself the same question the first time I saw the boat as I was looking for sailing support after a kite surf crash two years ago made me paraplgic.
    As I used to sail on Formula 18 the side by side was not really "logic" for me at the beggining and the only way to answer this was ... to test.
    As you said sharpii2, the depht of the keel mak this possible... and what a fun !! the side of the boat is made so that water never go into the boat (on 2.4mR paralympic support the pump is needed if you don't want to... sink !!) and when you got the shoulder just rising the water it's great sensations !!

    So I agree with you, it's not natural position for sailing, but for handi it's quite better ! Valid also like this.

    As you said in the first post, you effeectively need deep water as the boat get 1.30 meter detph keel but as I said befor it's THE condition making it safe for even strong handi sailors.

    Sailor for long time and in the international circuit of F18 I confirm you this boat is really interresting to sail !! ;) And is a really new support for handis (modern, accuracy, powerfull).

    New seats for better comfort are actually beeing tested for new version as well ! the boat is quite new (proto from 2004) and many things have to be done to make it better and that a very interesting part of this project.

    I'm sorry (i'm also the webmaster) that the site is only in French, I will try to make the english version in the following months.

    Nice to have heard and discuss about neo 495 on this forum and hope (I will let him a mail about this discuss), the designer of the boat will answer you about other design questions you could have.

    Do not hesitate to post if you want to know more about the boat it will be a pleasure to discuss


  11. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest


    Emeric, welcome to the "Sailboats" forum! Thanks for the information on this great little boat.
    Does the keel retract for trailering or does it have to be removed?
    There seems to be very little side deck next to the crew; does the high freeboard prevent the rail from going in the water at most angles of heel? Does the boat have positive flotation?
    Is there a US distributor or manufacturer yet?
  12. Ledjeg
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    Location: France

    Ledjeg New Member

    Hy Doug,

    In fact the keel can be vertically retracted only for trailering, I mean,in the water but not for beaching, because it needs an ingenious sytem wich allow to carry the 180 kg bulb... !
    On the first version of the boat the keel could not be removed at all. Essentially for safety and maintenance reasons the new 2007 model has a totaly removable keel. Let me show you the boat ready for the road :

    About the freeboard, as I said, it never goes into the water, and made the sailing as dry as possible even in a 30 knots wind (with reduced main sail ! ;) )

    The manufacturer is actually studying for international dealers. It should be effective as soon as we hope ! (maybe next year).


  13. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Sadly, no.

    I am, at this time, shall we say 'fiscally challenged'. However, I have been working on some badly needed changes in the design. I'm trying to make it a little less complicated structually and trying to save some weight. The hull, in my original drawings, wieghs over 140lbs just in lumber. I'm trying to get it down some. I'm shortening the stern by about 9 inches so I can get a deep enough transom to mount the rudder on and dispense with the rudder bracket shown.

    I'm also cutting down on some of the framing. The ballast box in the center is going bye bye and slats are going in its place. Future ballas will go along the chines in the form of two liter bottles filled with wet sand. Each bottle will weigh around nine pounds. Somehow, they will be lashed to the platform, so they can't go flying all over the boat in the event of a capsize.

    Once freed of its human cargo, the boat, with its floatation and ballast, is supposed to all but right itself, or at least be much easier to right than something more conventional.

    Thanks for your interest.

  14. Bootneck
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    Location: England

    Bootneck Junior Member

    Hi All.

    Just joined the forum and like the like the boat, we also created a similar design but a little larger at 6m called the Artemis 20 designed to be raced by disabled and able bodied alike with an option to remove seats and add a tiller so it can be sailed as a conventional.

    What is good to see is that there are new designs emerging that cater for the disabled sailors from basic to advanced levels. Well done and keep it up...



  15. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Disabled sailing

    Dave, it would be great to see pix/drawings of your boat and to hear more about it. Please post here, the X18T thread or even in a new thread. Your boat sounds very interesting and I'm very curious about other solutions for disabled sailing-the X18T is my version of a nearly max performance boat that could be suitable as well.
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