Svelte Kelt 7.6 - Under sail

By John Turnbull and Judith Wright Chopra

The Kelt 7.6 is a very French boat (reborn as a North American performance cruiser. Its Canadian builders surveyed the market, identified a need, and then developed the boat to fill it. Introducing the Svelte Kelt. 

On the French boating scene, the Kelt 7.6 has the reputation of an inexpensive but rugged boat-cheap and serviceable. In its North American incarnation as built by Kelt Marine in Aurora, however, it is still a very French boat, still rugged, but designed to please the North American taste for comfort. The Canadian-built Kelt is a boat upgraded, feature by feature, to compete in the market created and shaped by the likes of C&C, Hinter­hoeller and CS Yachts.

Canadian Yachting's sail test of the Kelt 7.6 was done one cold, damp day last October. The wind was just picking up as we completed a preliminary inspection of the boat and prepared to set sail. Our inspection confirmed what we had seen in the nearby Kelt Marine plant. The boat's shallow bilge, narrow fin keel, wide beam carried fur aft, its high freeboard, the absence of teak on deck and delicate use in the interior all shouted "European design!" But just as loudly, the changes from the French original proclaimed "North American market!" The interior, with its soft, short nap carpet headliner and light­ colored Aframosia trim, is very cozy. The secure interior had a lot of appeal that day, as the end of the sailing season proclaimed its arrival with bone-chilling cold.

From the V berth to the main saloon, the galley and enclosed head aft, the Kelt has the finish and polish demanded by boat builders on this side of the Atlantic. The foam cushions on the V berth and settees are four-inch, instead of three. The Aframosia is oiled, rather than varnished, for a warmer look, and fittings such as the stainless steel weldments on the saloon table bracket are impressively solid.

Under sail, the Kelt had an extremely sensitive helm. Because the keel is small with little lateral area, we found that with the right direction and sail trim was very fast. The Kelt’s speed, however, depends very much on the skipper’s know-how. It has the potential to be very fast, but it’s so sensitive to adjustments such as weight placement that it also has the potential to be slow. 

Kelt 7.6 - In gusty windsThe Kelt has a PHRF rating of 225, putting it in a class with the C&C 25, the Tanzer 26, and other 200-plus boats. Last summer, 7.6 owners made their marks in the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club in Quebec, where a Kelt won 1st overall for the season in 200-plus, and at Bronte Harbour Yacht Club in Ontario, Kelts took 1st and 2nd in a 19-boat fleet early in August. In experienced hands, these are the sort of results we would expect from the Kelt – but Kelt Marine President Ron Brooks explained that the company has not emphasized racing in its marketing approach. “Well over half our buyers are first-time buyers who want a boat that’d easy to handle. We emphasize that it’s a performance cruiser – but we don’t want experienced racers to be disillusioned. But properly sailed, the Kelt is very competitive – after all, it’s a Jean Berret design and has a good racing record in France.”

Kelt Marine in Aurora has been building the 7.6 for only two years now, and has survived an extremely tough time for boat builders. Brooks has won the confidence of his suppliers, however, by his determination to limit production to a maximum of two boats per week. "We don't want to sacrifice quality - or have more boats on hand than we can sell," Brooks explained.

A further indication of faith in the business came recently when S2 yachts of the US selected Kelt Marine to build their designs in Canada.

With eight Canadian dealers, Kelt can be seen from the Maritimes to Vancouver, and, as Brooks says, is attracting many first-time buyers. The Kelt is also attracting US buyers. Eleven dealers in the US along the eastern seaboard and the Great Lakes have found that the combination of a low Canadian dollar and the high quality of the Kelt are hard to beat in the American market.

The quality of the Kelt's construction is a key factor in that market, where the trend to smaller boats is strong. Features such as the 7.6's hull-deck joint are very convincing. The hull and deck are molded with interlocking flanges, or lips, which are bonded together with a lightweight polyester, making the hull and deck one piece - sealed against any leaks. The flange is then trimmed and bolted within. bolts every six inches, and mounted with its anodized aluminum toe rail. Brooks comments that the boat can even be suspended by the hull-deck joint.

Kelt 7.6 - Mast stepThe deck itself is a Divinycell sandwich with stress points reinforced by wire mesh.

Another construction feature worth noting is the Kelt's ballast attachment. The cast iron keel, coated twice with coal-tar epoxy, is bolted into a recess in the hull using 111/2 inch studs and 2 inch by 2 inch stainless steel washers to create a larger bearing surface.

High quality fittings are the mark of the Kelt - from Isomat spars with internal halyards to Easy-Lock halyard stoppers and a stainless steel handrail on deck. The French-built Kelt has a wooden rudder, which has been redesigned for the Canadian boat. A molded fiberglass air foil rudder that adds lift and eliminates vibration replaced the European rudder.

In the French designer tradition, the Kelt also bears its name and trademark blue stripes molded into the fiberglass. Brooks adds that at the owner's request, the "Kelt 7.6" logo can be left blank or replaced by the boat's registered name. The Kelt's price puts it on the high side for a boat of its size, but when other factors are considered there's a good case for making the investment. If you plan to keep a boat for several years, as most Kelt owners do, then it makes sense to choose one that will hold its value; the design and construction of the Kelt indicate that it will.

The Kelt 7.6 is also a boat that will get the family out sailing - cruising comfort and low maintenance combine to keep you on the water instead of at the dock. Best of all, if you are new to sailing, it's a boat that will continue to be challenging as you develop skills. And the Kelt's potential will still be there when you 're ready to race.

 

Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s May 1983 issue.

 

Kelt 7.6 - cleatsSpecifications

LOA 27ft 3in.

Hull length 24 ft 11in.

LWL 21 ft

Beam 9 ft 5 in.

Displacement 4,500 lbs

Ballast (keel model) 1,765 lbs 

Ballast (centerboard) 1,950 lbs 

Draft (keel model) 4 ft 3 in. 

Draft (centerboard) 2 ft 5in./5 ft 3in. 

Headroom max. 6 ft 1h in.

No.of berths four to five

Water tank 15 imp. gal.

Kelt 7.6 - DetailCritical Sail Measurements

I. 30.45 ft

J. 10.16 ft

P. 25.73 ft

E. 9.18 ft

Main & 100% 282 ft2

Base price (1983) $26,500

 

Photo Captions

Photo 1 - A very French boat, eh?

Photo 2 - In gusty winds, the mainsheet must be played to keep the boat moving at top speed. 

Photo 3 - The mast step has integral sheaves for halyards and lifts. Three halyards, the pole lift and downhaul are run aft to stoppers.

Photo 4 & 5 – Cleats are recessed into the coaming for comfort.

 

 

Related Articles

CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

Read more about the CY Virtual Boat Tours....................

 

 

 

Neptunus 750 Enclosed FlybridgeBy Andy Adams

In the February 2020 issue of Canadian Yachting magazine, we featured our review of the Neptunus 750 Flybridge, the company’s flagship yacht. The boat had been bought by a gentleman from Newfoundland and we reviewed it just before it was to be delivered.

We learned later that the boat did not leave immediately after delivery. The story is that the new owner reconsidered the beautiful big open flying bridge layout. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
On Friday, April 2 at 7 pm ET on TVO and streaming anytime after that on tvo.org and the TVO ...
Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to ...
Located in Lake Huron, the internationally significant Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater ...
In Part I, Sheryl Shard ended the story at June and the start of Hurricane Season when they were ...
You likely aren’t quite ready to travel yet, but we have our fingers crossed that we can all fly ...
Ontario’s best-kept secret, the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic site holds the key to ...
Located on the sunny south shore of the harbour, the Marina is on pilings over the water, offering ...
The approach to the Chemainus Municipal Dock from Stuart Channel is straightforward and is ...
I leaned my head back into the water and floated easily. Having spent my childhood playing in ...
History: right after gym and just before chemistry class. Fifty minutes of naming the prime ...

View of Ganges HarbourText and Photos by Marianne Scott

Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to do with locally produced food. It started thousands of years ago when the Coast Salish First Nations used the Island as a summer camp, collecting wild foods while also processing the abundant sea food for winter sustenance.

In the 19th century, five main groups settled here and began farming: Northern Europeans—some of whom had abandoned gold rush dreams; Hawaiians brought here by Vancouver Island’s second governor, James Douglas...

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
As a life-long marine journalist, it has often occurred to me, that it’s a big ...
Here’s a dramatic photo of the Week from Jansin Ozkur. “Walking along the lake Ontario, noticed the ...
At the end of summer 2020, amid all the restrictions, we were able to shoot our film, Generations ...
Last issue, Mike Wheatstone, our Boat Nerd started a conversation about solar power. While many of ...
Oak Bay Marina achieves eco-certification in Clean Marine BC, which helps boating facilities to ...
OK, stop the presses. This photo just came in from Beacon Bay. Clearly those folks know how to get ...
Back in the day, the publisher of a magazine would receive a bound copy of the year’s monthly ...
Boaters on BC’s West Coast have heard the story of the garbage pickers of the Marine debris removal ...
Skipper John “Drew” Plominski is hoping that lightning doesn’t strike twice. Plominski, whose boat ...
The Association provides a forum for exchanging information, tips and access an advocate on behalf ...

A Freedom Boat Club StafferAs a life-long marine journalist, it has often occurred to me, that it’s a big leap to lay out the cash, (especially for those with no previous boating experience), to try it out. How does someone even know that they will like boating it if they haven’t tried it? 

Well, joining a boat club, or a yacht club that has boats available for members to use, can get you started without the big financial commitment and with the support of the club’s education and resources. Try before you buy.


Read More

National Invasive Species Awareness WeekThis week, Feb. 22-26, is National Invasive Species Awareness Week and the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) released an animated video to raise awareness about the threat Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) pose to the boating industry and what manufacturers can do to limit the spread.

AIS can damage ecosystems and negatively impact fishing and the future of the boating lifestyle. Boat access to many aquatic resources has been limited due to AIS concerns and AIS infestation can result in serious damage to boats and their components. Invasive plant life can foul propellers,

Read More

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Insurance may not be exciting but it is important. Check at launch. We all know we need to spend ...
Before you launch: Inspect all around the hose clamps for rust and replace as necessary. Double ...
Slovenian manufacturer, Elan, has introduced the concept of regenerative electrical auxiliary power ...
There is nothing worse than your boat trailer breaking down while on the way to a great weekend. ...
When the boat is in the water, It’s easy to take for granted the parts of the boat that are under ...
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unexpected changes in our lives, impacting everything from ...
Boating boomed in 2020, with scads of first-time boat buyers chasing respite from the pandemic. Now ...
For anyone cruising on a boat that will be away from the dock for any appreciable time keeping the ...
Styles, shapes, pitch and diameter of props are widely discussed on online boating forums, YouTube ...
There’s nothing worse than wondering how much fuel you have on board. You’re left wondering how ...

So You Want to be a Better BoaterBy Amy Hogue

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unexpected changes in our lives, impacting everything from boating to vacations and these trends look to continue into the future.

In summer 2020, those trends were seen in the unprecedented numbers of boaters flocking to marinas and boat launches seeking a COVID-friendly vacation on the water. While the waterways were more crowded than ever before, the boaters you were likely to encounter weren’t necessarily in the know for boating etiquette, or marine know-how.

 

Read More

 

  

ask andrew bilge pumps 1 400By Andrew McDonald

One of the items that gets taken for granted during the spring prep work is the bilge pumping system; it’s one of those on-board features that many of us assume is in working order….until something goes wrong.

Water can get into your boat in a variety of ways: a leaking shaft-seal (stuffing box), ripped or torn bellows, a leaking through-hull, a leaking tank aboard, windows, hatches and deck fittings that aren’t sealed - the list goes on. The catch-22 when considering maintenance in the pre-season, is that you may not know where a leak may start or develop until the boat is in the water and only then do you find that water is getting inside.

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
The YETI Tundra 65 is their most versatile cooler, just as adept at keeping your catch cold as it ...
A good night’s sleep on the boat is a great pleasure indeed and custom bedding from SeaSwag ...
When bright white light is needed on board, a compact Sea Hawk-350 LED Light Bar from Hella marine ...
First time in many years I was lucky enough to test both the GMC Canyon and the Chevrolet Colorado ...
Unlike cars and homes, boats can be difficult spaces in which to create a quality listening ...
Yamaha Motor Canada has launched an upgraded 4.2-litre V MAX SHO® outboard, offering a full 40 ...
Holidays are perfect times for daydreaming and anyone who loves boating, will love ...
Bringing back a boat's showroom shine is fast and easy with the award-winning World's Best Dual ...
The JBL Click Bluetooth® wireless controller from Prospec Electronics adds fingertip control of ...

News

  • Prev
According to the Nova Scotia Tourism website, Theodore Tugboat began his travels in 1989, created ...
On Monday, March 29th, fire broke out in a group of power boats stored on the hard and still under ...
On April 1st, 2021, Wright’s Marina joined two other small, independent facilities: Hindson Marina ...
Our new feature is CYOB’s look at boats and food – two words that are almost synonyms! That’s a lot ...
This Maritime Radio ONLINE SELF-STUDY program is a completely integrated version of Canadian Power ...
Finding the right PFD can seem like a daunting task and extends beyond finding one that fits and ...
I start off my column by saying Wow!!  What a market! I have never seen such panic buying in ...
Yanmar Holdings has entered into a collaboration with design house “fragment design”, headed by ...
From January 25 - March 31, Parks Canada is asking the public to read its Draft Management ...
As the most innovative family-run boatyard in Europe, time and again Frauscher's premium ...

invasive species video 400AIS can damage ecosystems and negatively impact fishing and the future of the boating lifestyle. Boat access to many aquatic resources has been limited due to AIS concerns and AIS infestation can result in serious damage to boats and their components. Invasive plant life can foul propellers, jam impellors and cause bilge pump failure. Mussels can attach to boats and negatively affect performance, attach to engines causing component failure, and obstruct water lines causing system failure.

Read more....

 

 

fibreglass recycling part2 400 By Jay Weaver

Interest in finding alternative uses for used fiberglass can spark creativity and innovation. For example, a partnership involving the US, Ireland, and Northern Ireland Universities called Re-wind developed some interesting civil engineering project ideas for reusing and repurposing fiberglass blades. These include using decommissioned blades in civil engineering projects as part of powerline structures or towers, or roofs for emergency or affordable housing. In Northern Ireland, Re-wind is also considering piloting them for use in pedestrian bridges along greenways.

Read More about Fiberglass recycling....

 

 

Theodore TugboatAccording to the Nova Scotia Tourism website, Theodore Tugboat began his travels in 1989, created by Cochran Entertainment, with master model maker Fred Allen, as a children's television series inspired by the Halifax Waterfront and the stories Andrew Cochran would tell his son at bedtime. The CBC television program Theodore Tugboat ran from 1993 to 2001.

A working replica of Theodore, named "Theodore Too" was built in Dayspring, Nova Scotia. Designed by Fred Allen and Marius Lengkeek, the tug was launched on April 19, 2000 at the Snyder Shipyard. After a successful tour of several North America ports, it made its home in Halifax. 

Read More