About Seal


A tough aluminum sailboat to explore high latitudes
and support scientific and adventure expeditions ...

designed to our specifications by Chuck Paine and his team, particularly Ed Joy

Seal's first sail


About the boat:

  • 56 foot aluminum cutter

  • swing-up keel and rudder for intentional & accidental groundings

  • carries 6 passengers & 2+ crew for extended voyages to remote regions

  • sailplan & deck handling designed for single handing if necessary

  • "raised saloon" for dining, lounging, cooking, and navigating with a view of the surrounding world

Seal dried out at low tide (the yellow webbing is lashing her to the scoot which we used to pull her out of the water for the winter; the blue lines off the bow are floating shore lines which we used to position her and will use for mooring in narrow coves.) Click here for pictures of the haul out.

Seal has a pivoting, ballasted centerboard for safety and ease of maneuvering in shallow areas and marginally charted regions. Both the rudder and keel lock down at sea, but when unlocked in coastal areas they can be lifted mechanically or will "kick up" in an unforseen grounding. Because they both pivot, rather than being permanently fixed or (even more vulnerable) lifting straight up into the hull, the chances of damaging the keel or rudder in an accidental grounding are greatly reduced. Seal is the first high latitude cruising boat to ever be successfully fitted with a kick-up rudder. We hit an uncharted ledge at 8 knots, and the rudder kicked up without even losing any paint. Most boats would have lost their rudders in a similar hit.

"The strongest boat we've
ever built" -- Kanter Yachts

The ballasted lifting keel is a well-proven feature on several high latitude boats, but for the first time (as far as we know) it's being combined with a raised saloon, a popular configuration on fixed keel yachts. While these two features both sacrifice some interior space, they add enormously to the safety and comfort of the boat, particularly when cruising in cold climates.

The raised saloon is particularly exciting because it allows us to navigate, cook, eat, and lounge with a view of the surrounding world. In the high latitudes it is almost always too cold to eat on deck, and the most spectacular part of the day is usually missed while the crew huddle around the heater deep in the hull.

The ten raised saloon windows are made up of two glass layers -- a 1/2" heat strengthened triple laminate, a 1/4" air gap for insulation, and 1/4" tempered insulated glass on the inside. In bad weather, 1/2" Lexan storm covers can be fitted over each one.

Down below, two watertight bulkheads divide boat into three compartments for added security.

interior layout

The interior is divided into five cabins, with enough double and single bunks to suit any combination of couples, singles or families. The forward cabins have work desks and all cabins have 120 VAC/60 Hz power for your laptops and charging equipment. (Nearly all 240 VAC laptops and video chargers, etc. will also run off 120 VAC. 240 VAC/50 Hz power is planned for the near future.)

Heat is provided throughout the boat by a radiator system driven off a reliable Refleks heater - these heaters can be completely filled with water and be running again in 15 minutes ... unlike most yacht heaters which stop working if any moisture creeps into the exhaust.

There are several large bays down below to store your bulky expedition equipment - skis, pulks, climbing gear, or research equipment. Each cabin has numerous lockers for smaller items.

Seal Vital Statistics



17 m


47' 3.5"

14.9 m



4.9 m

Draft keel down


2.7 m

Draft keel up


0.97 m


27.5 tons

24.9 m tons

Sail Area

1550 sq ft

144 sq m


21460 pounds

9734 kg


9760 pounds

4427 kg


11700 pounds

5307 kg

Mast from deck IM


21.4 m


547 US gallons

2070 l


38 US gallons

145 l


402 gallons

1525 l


80 pounds

36.3 kg


Cummins 6B5.9M

115 HP

DC Genset

Yanmar 2GM20

280 Amps/24 VDC


8 people for

60+ days

Range under power

2500 naut miles

4630 km

Virtual Tour Coming Soon


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