[NOTE – this site was originally put up in 2013 when the boat was for sale – which it no longer is – we couldn’t bear to part with him (in France boats are male) but as it seems to have proved useful for people researching the OVNI brand it has been left available. After 22 years of owning 2 Ovnis we have a great deal of acquired knowledge of these boats so feel free to ask questions via the Contact form]
One of the last of the 385s (a Phillipe Briand design, as have been most OVNIs) which became the significantly different 395 in 2004 (loa, lwl, beam, draft, displacement & hull form – a Marc Lombard design this time) – so this one is just about the youngest 385 around
Owner’s version (2 cabins) of this ocean-going centreboarder (not swing-keel) aluminium yacht. In case you weren’t aware, OVNI means UFO in english…
The Alubat shipyard is based in Les Sables d’Olonnes in the Vendée department (Les Sables and Vendée as in Vendée Globe) and the boat is based in southern Brittany. The atlantic coast of Brittany between Brest and Bordeaux must be one of the world’s best cruising grounds for its mix of destinations (islands in every direction, sophistication or rustic charm as required), conditions (very temperate climate, but this is the Bay of Biscay..) and major tides (it’s no accident that the reference in the DI concept (Deriveur Integral or fully retracting centreboarder) evolved here)
Oh, and if you’re looking at this because you’re considering buying an Ovni, don’t be put off by all the guff about electrolysis or galvanic corrosion – of course there can be truth in it (usually on home-built aluminium boats or post-upgrade work due to incorrect wiring/installations) but that’s like saying “don’t consider a fibreglass boat because of osmosis” Huh?? Nevertheless these are different boats made of unusual material in most people’s experience so certain rules apply and vigilance is required to catch any problems early.
PS There is normally a current leakage gauge which lets you know when there’s a problem needing attention – never had an electrical leak problem in 20 years but they can of course occur – often due incorrect antifoul, anode installation/bonding, bad prepping of painted surfaces, older boats with steel tanks which come into contact with the hull, use of incorrect water treatments in aluminium tanks, etc..).
It must be said that Paint (deck/topsides) + Aluminium is a difficult mix and demands patience and timely intervention if you are to avoid major work. Other than that you can be first in and first out of a drying harbour and if you’re careless enough to crash into a reef on the way you’ll probably get away with no more than cosmetic damage or at worst a dented hull!