The 100ft canting keel supermaxi gets a precautionary inspection


This is Mike Slade’s 100ft supermaxi ICAP Leopard being lifted out of the water last week at Hamble Yacht Services to undergo a thorough check of her canting keel mechanism and keel box area.

Leopard draws a whopping 6.8m and her keel is moved by two hydraulic cylinders which typically see loads of 61 tonnes when canting the keel.

Failures of the structure of the keel head and keel box, and in some cases the keel itself, have plagued Open 60s and Volvo 70s. But the problems aren’t confined to canting keelers. Only a few weeks ago Bounder, a 55ft Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed one-off with a fixed keel, capsized when her keel tore away from the hull. So these checks were a sensible precaution.

Leopard was given a clean bill of health.