Surprising performer

The new NMD 43, Albator, built by OceanTec, is an all-round performer with the definite potential to surprise its much more expensive rivals on the race course.

18 December 2017


Following the success of the previous iteration of the 43, Teasing Machine, which won division three in IRC in the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart, its French designers, Bernard Nivelt and Alexis Muratet, were commissioned to design a MkII version of the NMD 43 design.

The design philosophy was mainly based on attracting a category of owners who wanted to sail fast and win IRC races both inshore and offshore, but without outlaying a TP52 budget and competing with a crew of less than 10.

NMD produced a design that performs well upwind and exhibits good VMG downwind while sailing faster at a higher angle (with an asymmetrical kite) to guarantee inshore racing results, and offers superior speed potential at various reaching angles that are encountered in offshore races.

NMD optimised the yacht for IRC racing by analysing certain design features impact on the boats TCC results, with aims to strike a perfect balance between performance and rating. The approach to displacement/length ratio goes a long way to getting this balance right. If the boat is too light for its length, this generally leads to a highly demanding boat. If the boat is too heavy for its length, this leads to an old-fashioned boat, sailing slowly straight to the downwind gate.


The hull shape was therefore optimised for performance and drag reduction, featuring a more aggressive chine at the transom, reduction of the double chine along the gunwhale and a larger cabin top to provide more headroom downstairs and space for windows.

A twin rudder configuration was determined to be the best control/drag compromise to hold the powerful hull, but a single rudder could be used for inshore racing. Either option can be configured with twin wheels or a tiller.

The deck layout was developed with input from the owner and his Albator Sailing team, installing a pedestal in the cockpit for easy manoeuvring.

Once the design was completed, the owner carefully selected a skilled boat yard, OceanTec in Slovenia, as they had plenty of experience in building a high-quality boat of that size at a very cost-effective price.

Axxon in France was the chosen carbon rig supplier as they are without a doubt the most cost effective option in Europe, whilst the sails were built by North which initially include an A2, A4, A5 and 2 x A0 (mast head and fractional).

The boat was launched in September at St Tropez in France, where Australian agent 38 South Boat Sales principal Rohan Veal, joined the owner, crew, builder and designers, for its maiden voyage.

There is plenty of interest, as OceanTec have the capability to produce a limited number of boats from the mould. The boat’s IRC rating is expected to be around 1.170. Teasing Machine was 1.168.

With the price for the racing version from 480,000 euros, the NMD 43 Mk II could leave TP owners scratching their heads.

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