Thinking Outside the Boat
CBTF Co., formerly known as DynaYacht, came to fruition when Chuck Robinson, Alberto Calderon, Bill Burns, Matt Brown and Peter Isler joined forces to create a radical new appendage design that uses a canting ballast for righting moment and twin foils - one aft of the keel - for side force and steering functions of the yacht.
This design, called Canting Ballast Twin Foil (CBTF™ ) technology, sprang from the “geek” design of Tom Blackaller’s 1988 America’s Cup Campaign, which featured a forward foil and fixed keel. CBTF Co., based in San Diego, CA, developed technology to swing the keel and control the foils and now commercializes this innovative patented technology.
Over the past few years, moveable ballast has become more and more mainstream as designers seek methods to improve the speed, safety and simplicity of sailing yachts. The adaption of canting-keel systems by most of the “around-the-world” monohull yachtsmen and yachtswomen is a testament to the benefit and safety of the concept.
(from top left clockwise)
 Peter, Chuck, Alberto, Matt and Bill
Today you’ll see canting-keel and CBTF designs on a broad range of boats. The production boat, Schock 40, won Sailing World’s “Boat of the Year” in 2001. And many custom boats now use canting keels and the CBTF system, including luxurious cruising yachts by Wally and high-performance racing yachts by Reichel-Pugh.
Movable ballast significantly improves boat performance as evidenced by its growing popularity on racing and cruising boats around the world; however, Canting Ballast Twin Foil by CBTF Co. is the only movable ballast system that provides safe, reliable and non-intrusive performance for everyday sailing. The successful development of the CBTF concept is a milestone in the evolution of sailboat design.
History Behind the CBTF Development
DynaYacht’s patented Canting Ballast Twin Foil (CBTF™ ) has evolved through 5 generations of design since 1991. Individual components, such as the battery, hydraulic and control systems have been continuously refined.
The fist CBTF prototype was a Soling modified with twin foils by Tom Blackaller. The original Soling keel weighed about 1250 lbs., with a ballast weighing in at about 900 lbs. with a much lower center of gravity than a standard ballast. The ballast was controlled by a truck which with a cable attached to the top of the strut. Says Bill, “I remember the first time we canted the ballast, slowly increasing the cant angle and reducing the heel angle, until we were sailing upwind without heel straining hard against the hull speed limit. The results were exciting and proved the potential of the design.”
Further successful testing of the CBTF system on a Catalina 30 with a hydraulic actuation system led to the development of the DynaFlyer 38, Green Hornet. We discovered that by moving the ballast up to 55’ on either side, we could reduce heel up to 40’, regaining some of the horsepower lost to heel. Green Hornet was the first CBTF boat to become well known on the race course, being campaigned up and down the West Coast by Peter Isler.
Following the accomplishments of Green Hornet, the Red Hornet was launched in 1997. The 40 foot boat was raced from San Francicso to Key West, turning heads everywhere it went with its combination of blazing speed and simplicity.
These designs paved the way for more current models, which can be found under CBTF Boats.
M Ship Co.
Chuck Robinson and Bill Burns also founded M Ship Co. after beginning their endeavor with CBTF Technology.
M Ship Co. is an award-winning maritime design firm formed to develop the innovative M-hull technology. The M-hull evolved from a challenge to help solve the serious problem of wave erosion to the ancient buildings of Venice, Italy.
For more information on M Ship Co. please visit