Multichine 41SK

The Multichine 41SK is the most versatile of the cruising sailboats in its category among our list of stock plans. Being neither too large, nor too small for a family to live aboard, the MC 41SK may be classified in the category of unrestricted offshore yachts. However what makes the MC 41SK outstanding is its capacity of entering in shallow waters, a possibility denied to fixed keel monohulls of about the same size.

The MC 41SK is extremely comfortable below decks, while being a piece of cake to be sailed by a short-handed crew. Photo: Paulo Ayrosa

The MC 41SK uses the same lines-plan of another of our designs, the MC 41, with the main difference that while the MC41 has a fixed fin-keel, the MC 41SK is specified to have a retractable swing-keel. We believe that this is one of the most promising ideas in yacht design, and we are betting on this technology. At any rate it's like a dream come true being able to touch the yacht's bow on a beautiful beach, just like those enviable catamarans, while having positive stability typical of monohulls.
A pivoting retractable keel requires building a case in the central area of the cabin, conditioning the interior layout to this contingency. The MC 41SK is wide enough to allow the installation of a dinette on one side of the keel trunk, leaving room for a corridor to starboard, the passageway to the fore cabin.
The galley is placed at starboard of this corridor and is quite large, with plenty of space for a freezer, four burners stove with oven and double sinks installed in a long counter next to the topside. The dinette on the opposite side is L shaped and the table is conveniently hinged to the swing-keel trunk. The navigation table, the owner's cabin, and the forward compartment, have the same layout as the MC 41, except for the aft heads where a shower box of residential dimensions was added.

The MC41SK has a fixed rudder placed behind a skeg, which protects the propeller blades when the boat is laying on a beach slope. We opted for a non-retractable shallow rudder of correct size, keeping the keel as the only retractable appendage. As the rudder is a bit deeper than the central part of the hull, when the boat touches ground, supposing there is a slope in the sea bottom, the skeg helps keeping the DWL in a horizontal position, making life more comfortable aboard, while helping the boat to float again when tide raises, since the skeg acts as an inclined plane.
With the same sail area as the one specified for the fin-keel version, the Multichine 41SK has a slightly heavier displacement than the other design, but on the other hand she is more stable than the MC41 when its swing keel is dropped.

Interior layout: The MC 41SK is intended to receive a crew of up to six persons with plenty of comfort. Possessing two private cabins, two heads, one of them en suite, the boat offers sleeping accommodations for two couples plus two more persons, one in the pilot berth placed opposite to the fore heads, and the other in the dinette's sofa, which is an extra berth when needed.

The MC41SK has already proved to be very functional when in use. The galley placed to starboard allows the cook to stand with the backs supported by the keel trunk, that way leaving hands free to operate with no need for using a safety belt, no matter to which side the boat being healed. To pass dishes to the other side is also an easy task, since the table is at an arm's length to the dining table. The huge shower-box in each heads is also a feature seldom found in other forty-one foot sailboats. The aft compartment with entrance hall and sofa, a matrimonial sized double berth and access to the heads en suite, offers the privacy desired when the owners receive guests aboard. A detail in the layout worth mentioning is the large aft compartment abaft the aft-cabin heads, with access from the heads back-wall and from the cockpit. That place is ideal for storing bulky items, like sail bags, inflatable dinghies, and so on. If a power gen is installed, it should be fitted inside this compartment.

The galley furniture being a long counter with its appliances on the fore, there is no restriction if the order of the equipments is altered, as it is the case of the boat in the photo below, where the stove was placed between the sink and the refrigerator/freezer. The galley is provided with ample storage space, either in lockers fitted on top of the counter, or under the sink compartment. The navigation table is separated from the cabin traffic, occupying a corner in the starboard side of the aft cabin access corridor.

The fore cabin is fitted with a double berth, requiring a removable trapezoidal bunk-board and a cushion with the same shape, so that the berth's head becomes continuous. Removing this panel during the day improves the access to the bunks and enhances the feeling of spaciousness.

Abaft the fore cabin aft bulkhead, at portside, is placed the social heads, with its own huge shower-box, a trademark of the design. We call the single berth placed at the other side the heads the pilot berth, since it is the most practical to be occupied during watch shifts. The saloon with its generous headroom (two metres) is well provided with ventilation and natural illumination, and the sensation of spaciousness it provides is outstanding. The MC41SK internal space is fully utilized, from the collision bulkhead in the forepeak, to the transom.

Spars, rigging and sails: The Multichine 41SK is cutter rigged with spreaders swept aft, a feature that allows dispensing running backstays, a nuisance in cruising sailboats. This rig is simple and efficient, in our opinion the best choice for an offshore sailing. The two foresails fitted with roller-furling gears allow for infinity of adjustments, keeping the boat balanced in practically any condition, enhanced by the possibility of altering trim by changing the keel longitudinal position. The mainsail has its foot with moderate dimensions, representing less load on the steering system, especially on the auto-pilot, besides improving sail handling, mainly when jibing in heavy weather. With average sized sail area, the MC41SK is capable of performing good daily runs with minimum stress for the crew.

Deck layout: The most noticeable feature of the deck layout is the large bridge placed abaft the companionway hatch in front of the cockpit well. The reason for placing this deck-bridge is providing standing headroom inside the aft cabin entrance hall. The positive aspect of this bridge is providing a perfect double bunk to be used in a summer starry night, especially if it is protected from dew by a canvas dodger. Another trademark of the design is its flush fore-deck. An all windowed cabin trunk designed with aerodynamic lines gives the design a modern and beautiful appearance. However, the jewel of the crown in the deck layout is its jumbo-sized boarding platform at the transom scoop. It is so ample that it can be used for preparing for an aqualung dive, or to clean a fish, without blocking the passage for other persons to come aboard

Performance and manoeuvre: The swing keel, besides allowing the versatility of entering in shallow waters, it still provides a high stability to the boat, thanks to the internal ballast that increases significantly the boat ballast ratio.

The swing keel solution employed in the MC 41SK is no doubt one of the hot features of the project. The working mechanism we adopted in the design is being successfully employed in many other boats of our design, functioning flawlessly even in the worst conditions. We specified a system to lift the keel in which two spectra ropes are pulled by a hydraulic piston. The great advantage of this system is to avoid damage in case of accidental collision, once the keel is free to swing up, and when it falls back, the impact is dissipated by a shock absorber.

MC 41SK Swing keel box built in aluminium and filled internally with cast lead

The Multichine 41SK is an authentic cruising machine. If you love the cruising lifestyle, and want to spend long stretches aboard, you may discover to be difficult to find a forty-one foot sailboat to compare with the MC 41SK.