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class 40 sailboat plans

Class 40 “Icarus Racing” 40' / 12.19m

The first Class 40 to be designed and built in the United States. Currently being campaigned by Jeffrey MacFarlane. http://jefferymacfarlane.com/

Yacht Specifications

40' / 12.19m
14.75' / 4.5m
9.84' / 3m
10255# / 4650kg

“ICARUS RACING” – the first U.S. built Class-40

Build of the boat is by Ted Brown and Stewart Wiley of Al Fresco Composites, Portsmouth, RI.

To begin the design process we decided to test a series of hulls in a weather matrix for the race as well as a long-race performance predicition tool developed in-house by RMD. Class 40 is a ‘box rule,’ so we investigated one shape overtly maximized to the box. The other extreme was considerably narrower than the maximum, with a single rudder, lighter hull and a higher ballast-ratio, both to the minimum displacement. A third boat tested was between these extremes. For these three exploratory types, we used a ‘parent/child’ annex to our Velocity Prediction Program (VPP). This allows the boat to choose the location and amount of ballast (including ballast to leeward or empty) to give the boat its best performance in every wind strength and direction. Of course it doesn’t take into account sea conditions, exhaustion, broken gear and the indefinable issue of seakindliness. If it did, we could leave it all to the machines!

An intuition that a subtle step further was needed, led to the final hull choice. It was faster in the weather matrix and RMD’s own RTW test by a greater margin than all the others. We were on our way and sent the surface files to Goetz Custom for computer cutting. Design partner, Ross Weene has worked wonders (and long hours) to complete this program efficiently and accurately.

Spars are by Halls Spars of Bristol, RI.  Sails are North 3Di. Steve Koopman, Dirk Kramers’ partner in SDK Structures has worked with Ross to engineer advanced light, durable hull and appendage structures with materials from Rich O’Meara’s ROM Composites of Newport.

This is not only an all-out US entry into Class 40 and ocean racing arena, but an all-Rhode Island entry too.

class 40 sailboat plans



class 40 sailboat plans

class 40 sailboat plans


  • Board of Directors
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  • FFV/world sailing documents
  • Constitution and internal regulation


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The Class40 association gathers the skippers of Class40 yachts and any person interested in their evolution. The Class40 is a monohull sailboat sea-oriented racing and cruising with a maximum length is 40 feet. The original goal of the class was to make offshore races accessible to amateur sailors. The success of the class has moved it beyond these parameters, with more and more professional sailors attracted to it. Part of the attraction of this class is the simple and stringent box-rule, which keeps costs down. It is a class of both amateurs and professionals. There are an ever-increasing number of boats being built in France and abroad.


DYD Yacht Designers Dibley Marine

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The dibley design advantage, dibley class 40 racing yacht, dibley marine have been successfully involved with a large number of racing yachts over the years, both as sole designers as well as design support for laurie davidson ., new: updated 2024 class 40 design ….

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Class 40 Mighty Mites

  • By James Boyd
  • May 23, 2023

shorthanded ocean racing machine

For sailing fans visiting from ­outside France, the Route du Rhum is a cultural shock, barely to be believed even once seen. It is France’s oldest singlehanded race, first held in 1978, and run every four years from St. Malo in northern France 3,500 miles across the North Atlantic to Guadeloupe. The fleet of 138 boats that assembled for the start in November 2022 was incredible, with an estimated value of 260 million euros—from the implausible 100-foot Ultime trimarans to a record fleet of 38 IMOCA 60s and a similarly impressive fleet of 55 Class40s. Dock sides are crammed with spectators, many hoping to catch a glimpse of the top skippers—some are genuine sports stars. Had the 2022 start not been delayed, French President Emmanuel Macron was to have attended. It’s that much of a big deal.

In the days and hours before the Route du Rhum started, more than 1 million people passed through its race village in St. Malo. In this environment, even non-French amateurs, such as the two US Class40 skippers, Alex Mehran and Greg Leonard, gained celebrity status with relentless autograph signing, selfies with fans and press interviews. Usually outshone by the bigger, higher-profile boats, the Class40 is the most successful 40-footer of all time. While the Farr 40 never topped more than 40 boats at a world championship, this is the second Route du Rhum in which more than 50 participated. To date, 192 Class40 hull numbers have been allocated.

While “Open 40s” once competed in the OSTAR and Around Alone, the Class40 came about independently. Born in France in the early 2000s, two designs defined the class: the Pogo 40 and the Jumbo 40. But the success and longevity of the Class40 is due to its highly constrictive box rule, drafted by a group that includes wise French sailor and journalist Patrice Carpentier, which remains robust 18 years on.

The box rule’s basic parameters are a maximum length overall of 39 feet, 11 inches; max beam of 14 feet, 9 inches; draft of 9 feet, 10 inches; average freeboard of 3 feet, 6 inches; max mast height of 62 feet, 4 inches; max working sail area of 1,238 square feet; minimum displacement at 10,097 pounds; and max water ballast of 1,653 pounds per side. Most brutal are the materials limitations: Carbon fiber, aramid, honeycomb cores and pre-preg resin are forbidden from the construction of the hull, deck, interior structure and fittings; go down below on one and, joyously, thanks to the GRP construction, it is not coffin black.

Carbon fiber is permitted for the mast, boom and ­bowsprit, while standing rigging must be steel rod. Sails are limited to eight, and all but two and the heavy-weather jib must be polyester and nylon. A single fixed keel and as many as two rudders are permitted, but daggerboards and foils are banned, as are canting, rotating masts, mast jacks, and adjustable or removable forestays. However, complex kick-up rudders are permitted. (Although their effectiveness to kick up in a collision is allegedly dubious.) Over the years, displacement and average freeboard have slightly reduced, but the biggest rule amendment has limited “how scow” Class40 hull shapes can be. While the latest foiling Protos in the Classe Mini (the “flying bathtubs”) are fully flat-bowed, Class40 has two max beam limits just short of the bow to prevent this. Naturally, costs have risen, but the rule has successfully limited them; today, a top Class40 costs 700,000 to 800,000 euros.

Class40 sailboats

Those sailing the Class40s in the early days were a mix of pros and amateurs. Today professionals on sponsored boats are the majority. As for aspirant French pro sailors, the Class40 has become a significant stepping stone between from the Classe Mini and Figaro circuits to the IMOCA.

As skipper of Groupe SNEF , leading Mini and Figaro skipper Xavier Macaire says: “The transatlantic races like this [Route du Rhum] are very interesting to us, and the boat is not very expensive. The Class40 is easy to maintain and prepare, and is not a complicated boat like an IMOCA where you need 12 guys. With this, you need two or three, not full time. It is an easy, fast boat.”

With more top pros like Macaire joining, 30 new Class40s have been launched in the last four-year cycle. The most recent Route du Rhum podium, for example, comprised two-time Solitaire du Figaro winner Yoann Richomme ( Paprec Arkea ) and Mini Transat winners Corentin Douguet ( Queguiner-Innoveo ) and Ambrogio Beccaria ( Allagrande Pirelli ) of Italy.

Of the French classes, the Class40 and the Mini remain the most cosmopolitan, with entries from other European countries, notably Italy at present, while the United States, Australia and South Africa were also represented in the Route du Rhum. Far from being put off by the pro element, Americans Alex Mehran and Greg Leonard were thrilled to be on the same starting line. “It is such a privilege to race against some of the top offshore sailors in the world,” says Leonard, who hails from Florida. “It is like playing football against a first team in the NFL—it is that level of quality. There are not that many sports you can do that in.”

Both American skippers came to the Route du Rhum from similar paths. With his Mach 40.3 Kite , Leonard is a professional economist originally from Texas. He campaigned a J/120 for many years with his remarkable son Hannes, who raced his first doublehanded overnighter with his father at age 13. Now 18 and with thousands of race miles under his belt, both in the US and Europe, he is a Class40 expert. For his father, the Route du Rhum was his first singlehanded race.

Groupe SNEF

Over the years, several top shorthanded sailors, notably British Vendée Globe skippers Mike Golding and Miranda Merron, have raced with him, also coaching him. He is very enthusiastic about the Class40: “They are beautiful boats, such fun to sail. When we delivered her to St. Malo, we had 28 to 40 knots just aft of the beam, and we just hung in the low 20s boatspeed, and it was finger-light steering.”

Mehran skippers Polka Dot , which has the perfect pedigree, being Yoann Richomme’s 2018 Route du Rhum winner—a Lift V1 design. Growing up as part of the St. Francis YC Laser squad and subsequently a Brown collegiate sailor, he met Welsh Class40 designer Merfyn Owen in 2009 and raced one of his designs. Remarkably, he won his first major singlehanded race, the 2009 Bermuda 1-2. He subsequently graduated to an Owen Clarke-designed Open 50, in which he set a record in 2012’s singlehanded Transpac. He then went off, had four kids, and developed his commercial real estate business before getting the itch once more last year. He competed ­doublehanded with Owen in the 2021 Transat Jacques Vabre on an old Class40, but as Mehran puts it, “We needed to get ­something scow.”

He too has been receiving coaching from Merron and Golding, among others. According to Mehran, one of the most difficult things to explain to those back home is less the offshore-racing fever that afflicts French fans, but that their skippers are not multimillionaires. Instead, they come from a wide age group and all have commercial backing to either buy a secondhand boat or—if they are higher-­profile, more accomplished or just plain lucky—build a new one. So, returning to the Route du Rhum podium, Paprec’s business is waste disposal (admittedly, its owner races his own Wally 107), Arkea is banking and insurance, Queguiner is building materials, Innoveo is an app-­development platform, and Pirelli makes tires (its CEO has a Wally 145).

Over the last two decades, the Class40s themselves have evolved, despite Draconian design limitations. What started as cruiser-racers with fitted-out interiors became racer-cruisers and are now refined pure racers. They may not be black inside, but the build quality of the latest-generation designs is of the highest ­standard, and it seems no longer possible to buy a cruiser-racer.

A delight of the Class40 is that no one designer is dominant; eight different designs make up the 30 boats built over the last four years. Pogo Structures, last of the original builders, is on its fourth version of its Pogo 40, the S4, designed by Emirates Team New Zealand’s naval architect, Guillaume Verdier (who also designed Structures’ scow-bowed flying Proto Mini).

The man who developed the first blunt-fronted scow Mini, David Raison, produced the Max40, built by JPS in La Trinité-sur-Mer. Also built by JPS are Sam Manuard designs—the Mach 40.4, such as the 2021 Transat Jacques Vabre winner Redman , skippered by Antoine Carpentier (nephew of the original rule’s writer), and now its evolution, the Mach 40.5, of which two competed in the Route du Rhum.

In 2020, VPLP made its first foray into the class with the Clak 40, built by Multiplast, of which four raced in the Route du Rhum, the top finisher being Martin le Pape’s Fondation Stargardt. Etienne Bertrand, another successful Mini designer, had two Cape Racing Scow 40s in the race, while Allagrande Pirelli , believed to be the most expensive of the latest crop and campaigned by last year’s Mini Transat winner, Ambrogio Beccaria, is an all-Italian affair designed by Gianluca Guelfi and built by Sangiorgio Marine Shipyard in Genoa.

Solitaire du Figaro winner Yoann Richomme

However, after the recent Route du Rhum, ­nosing in front in the design race is Marc Lombard with his Lift V2s, of which seven were racing, including Yoann Richomme’s winner, Paprec Arkea . Lombard is one of the longest continuous players in the Class40, and has worked with Tunisian manufacturer Akilaria on its RC1, RC2 and RC3 models since 2006, of which 38 were built. His latest designs have been the Lift, introduced in 2016; Veedol-AIC , one example, took Richomme to his first Route du Rhum victory. The Lifts were custom-built with a hull and deck made by Gepeto in Lorient, but finished off by the V1D2 yard in Caen, and were more precisely engineered and built than the Akilarias. They were superseded this cycle by the Lift V2, the most popular of the new Class40s, with seven competing.

For Richomme, the Route du Rhum was a small distraction from having a new IMOCA built. He entered the Route du Rhum to defend his title and stay race-fit. If the first Lift was an early scow, the present one is at the limit, to the extent that it has a bump in the hull 2 meters aft from the bow at the limit of where the Class40 rule restricts the max beam to prevent such extreme scowness.

The scow bow provides more righting moment, but it also does interesting things to the boat’s hydrodynamics. “With a pointy bow, the keel is more angled and creates more drag,” explains Richomme, who is also a trained naval architect. “When a scow heels, the hull is almost parallel to the keel, so sometimes when we go over the waves, we can feel the keel shudder when it is producing lift. The chine is low and therefore very powerful, and when we heel, it makes for a very long waterline length. Also, we have very little rocker, whereas other [new] boats have a lot, which creates a lot of drag so they don’t accelerate so well when they heel.”

The Lift V2 “is a weapon reaching,” Richomme says. “We can hold the gennaker higher than we used to. Last time, I didn’t even take one. But with the power going up, so have the loads, and we are having problems with the hardware. I have broken two winches already.”

A downside of the big bow and straight chine is downwind, where the technique seems to be preventing the bow from immersing. Paprec Arkea is typically trimmed far aft, including the stack and the positioning of the 1,653 pounds of water ballast (most new boats have three tanks each side), while its engine is 19 inches farther aft, and the mast and keel 11 inches farther aft than they were on his previous boat. They are 77 pounds below the minimum weight, which Richomme admits may be too extreme—during training they broke a bulkhead.

Otherwise, their increased cockpit protection is most noticeable on all the new designs (although not to IMOCA degrees), while most have a central pit area with halyards fed aft from the mast down a tunnel running through the cabin. On Paprec Arkea , a pit winch is mounted just off the cockpit sole. With the main sheet and traveler lead there as well, Richomme can trim from inside the cabin.

Most extraordinary about the scows is how fast they are. Anglo-Frenchman Luke Berry, skipper of Lamotte-Module Création , graduated from a Manuard Mach 40.3 to a 40.5 this year and says: “It is a massive improvement both in speed and comfort. Reaching and downwind, we are 2 knots faster, which is extraordinary.”

The top speeds he has seen are 27 to 28 knots. “Most incredible are the average speeds—higher than 20.”

This effectively turns yacht-design theory on its head, with ­waterline length and hull speed having less effect upon defining the speed of a boat that spends so much time planing. On the Mach 40.5, the waterline is just 32 feet, with a length overall of 39 feet. Compared to the Lift V2, it has more rocker, supposedly making it better able to deal with waves.

Nowhere is the speed of the latest Class40s more apparent than where they finished in the Route du Rhum in comparison to the IMOCA fleet. Paprec Arkea arrived in Guadeloupe ahead of 13 IMOCAs, or one-third of the way up the IMOCA fleet. Richomme says he used to sail on a Lombard-designed IMOCA 20 years ago, when they would make 10.5 knots upwind. “On a reach, I reckon we are faster than them now. We can do 20 to 22 knots average speed.”

Ugly seems to be quick, but when it comes to the Class40, beauty is in the eye of the beholder of the trophy.

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The sails of a Class 40 explained by the engineer who designed them

  • November 17, 2022
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class 40 sailboat plans

After a week of being “stragglers,” with an Atlantic Ocean that did everything it could to scramble the Route du Rhum 2022 competitors , for the Class 40s, with less than 2,000 miles to go, there seems to be a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. And the light of course is none other than the entry of the trade winds, which become apparent when the virtual halfway mark has now been passed. Perhaps, using a bit of imagination, the smell of the air is starting to change, the wind is getting warmer and changing consistency, but the skippers’ heads still cannot go toward land, not at least if a good result is to be brought home.

class 40 sailboat plans

Tradewinds signify the final farewell to the upwind and entry into the carrying gaits. Now, in addition to the skippers’ strategy, boat speed will be decisive. Sails will still play a key role, and it was about them that we spoke with Aerospace engineer Michele Malandra, designer for North Sails Italy , who edited for the Class 40 Allagrande Pirelli by Ambrogio Beccaria the design service, which is the study of various sail plan options to be adapted to Allagrande’s hull (a somewhat different job as you will read compared to the design of the single sail n.d.r.). Before we read the Engineer’s words and find out how the sails of Beccaria’s boat came to be, let’s look at what our people are doing in the Ocean.

Route du Rhum – What the Italians are doing

Our spotlight is always on the Class 40s , where Ambrogio Beccaria now occupies fifth position and Alberto Bona on IBSA Group is in seventh. Andrea Fornaro, on the other hand, after a technical stop in the Azores for a keel check that showed some problems, restarted and is sailing close to 15th position.

class 40 sailboat plans

Beccaria and Bona are in the lead group , among the boats that will potentially go for the podium, clear of the breakaway of Yoann Richomme in the lead who does not seem intent on leaving any openings for his opponents.

route du rhum sails

Beccaria in the last 24 hours seems to have been less effective than usual, probably the autopilot that can no longer work in “wind mode” but only compass starts to weigh on Allagrande’s pace, although the physically toughest part of the race for the skipper seems behind him. He dropped back to the rear of the frontrunners Alberto Bona, who instead tried to keep a very high pace in the last 24 hours to stay hooked to the front of the race. However, both remain in the running for an important result and have cards to play for this second part of the journey.

Route du Rhum – How the sails of a Class 40 are made.

class 40 yachts sails

After Pietro Luciani ‘s commentary on sail configuration , and Tommaso Stella’s on the halyards and rigging of a Class 40 the floor was passed to another super technician, Engineer Malandra of North S ails who studied various sail plan options for Allagrande Pirelli .

class 40 sailboat plans

We asked him how many sails a Class 40 has and how a designer can “play” with the sail plan to seek maximum hull performance. And of course we also talked about the sails for carrying swells that will be indispensable now in the trade winds.

Design freedom on Class 40 sails

class 40 sails

“There is a lot of design freedom on the sail plan,” Michele explained . “The big stakes are two: the maximum summed area of mainsail and jib , which has a limit, and the ban on using carbon . The first limitation actually leaves a lot of room, because it is possible to variously distribute the surfaces between mainsail and jib . In the case of Ambrose, I was in charge of doing aerodynamic studies of different sail plan configurations (we call them design services), especially regarding the distribution of the mainsail-jib surface. With our software we can do very precise simulations on various types of planes, and also simulate how the boat reacts to adjustments. The design of the profiles of the individual sails then was done by our French colleagues, who have a huge backgroung in these classes.

Doing an aerodynamic study also means, for example, deciding at what height to put the sail attachments and thus the halyard exits in the mast , another option on which the Class 40 regulations leave room for designers to move.

At this stage of study, it is crucial to figure out the best sail plan based on the keel designed by the designers , Gianluca Guelfi and Fabio D’Angeli in the case of Allagrande Pirelli.

class 40 sails

“The sail plan alone doesn’t go anywhere,” Malandra points out. “My job is to make the right fit between what’s above with what’s below . We did simulations on what each type of sail plan would entail for the boat by analyzing the forces and moments produced, and we passed these analyses to the designer who evaluated them based on the characteristics of the submerged part of the boat. For example, with the same sail shape, we evaluated what the best rake angles (mast tilt on the fore-aft axis) were.

There is a limit to the boom travel to the stern , whose trope must be 80 cm inside the stern limit. When we were moving the sail plan back and forth in the simulations we had to deal with this limitation, and figure out how much area to move to the head of the mainsail when we went back with the mast. Moving the mast back you have to decide whether you want to keep a given area of mainsail and thus stretch it vertically, or decrease its area and add to the Solent. In practice, it is ultimately a compromise choice between the aerodynamic part and the immersed component. Having thought of a boat with the trim very much aft the mainsail area had to deal with that 80 cm limit.

What materials are the sails of a Class 40 made of and how many are on board?

“We made an aramid mainsail with 3 coats, a solent/J1 on garrocci with a vertical reefing also made of aramid, J2 same material, but rollable with vertical battens, and then the turret/J3 . To these sails were added two Code 0 Helix polyester , one for masthead and one fractional, one for light air and one for wind. And then we made three asymmetrics, one on each halyard height, A2-A4-A6 . For load-bearing gaits, therefore, the inventory is very rich. Compared to a crew gennaker, however, these are somewhat different sails for soloists: solo gennakers can also sail at tighter angles than intended to possibly limit sail changes. And in general that of making “tolerant” changes between sails is also done with upwind sails.

Instead, Allagrande Pirelli is the only Class 40 in the fleet with a steerable bowsprit , an option that could have opened up some unconventional choices. “There was a lot of space opening up because of the steerable bowsprit at the design level. We could definitely have made “rounder” sails to try to aim for more pronounced angles at the leeward. However, it meant making a sail that was too specific and unsuitable for solo sailing where a sail has to be able to work effectively even if used a little outside its angle ranges.” Designer and Aerospace Engineer’s Word.

Mauro Giuffrè

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Class 40 Sailing: First Impressions

  • June 2nd, 2016
  • Sailing Yacht

Now that some 4 weeks passed by since I´ve had my fist real offshore sailing experience with a Class 40 sailing yacht and with having gained some distance to that trip I am trying to sum up my experiences and bundle testimonies of my fellow crew mates to have a thorough review of what it is like to sail a Pogo 40. You may read the cruise report of the first leg here  and of the second leg under Gennaker here  .

What a hull!

First of all: Looking at the boat is an experience by itself. Being accustomed to the view onto classic yachts, seeing this compact, flat hull with its extra-wide stern is amazing. This hull seemingly promises to go fast by its looks alone. My heartbeat went faster upon arrival at the mooring and it was the same with the other crew members. Let´s board the ship and have a look around.

Rigging and Cockpit Layout of a Class 40

A Class 40 is made for single handed and double handing racing. That means first of all that all ropes and lines must be guided in a way that they could be worked upon from the cockpit. Which is done beautifully in the Pogo 40: All halyards run down within the massive carbon mast or over the cabin roof and through jammers and can thus easily be unlocked, brought on to the winch and worked with. Only for hoisting and reefing of the mainsail somebody has to proceed midship to the mast.

Every single rope can be worked upon from the cockpit.

When sailing single or double handed – above all in race situations – maneuvers have to be carried out with speed. To assure this, everything has to be within reach of one person: And it is indeed! There is a sheet winch on either side of the cockpit, well within reach with the one mainsheet winch on the center-housing for the life raft. This winch can operate both sheets of jib and Genoa as well as the backstays which also run through spinlocks.

The cockpit: Everything´s still within reach and optimized for single hand sailing.

Traveller sheets end in spinlocks right vis-à-vis the mainsheet winch. So, in theory a lone sailor could handle all the running rigging alone. Which of course is proven by a dozen of single hand sailors on Class 40 yachts all over the oceans. Although the cockpit is with its 4.50 meters extremely wide, ways from winch to winch and to the tiller helms are very short. The timeframe from changing conditions to a reaction can thus be made very short.

Lazy Jacks are a must.

Of course, our Pogo 40 was equipped with Lazy Jacks to have the ritual of taking down the main sail made as easy as possible, though I can state by my own experience that both hoisting these 70 square meters of canvas and taking them down properly was extremely hard work: I can barely imagine doing this all alone. Thank god electric winches are invented. I felt at home in our Pogo´s cockpit and after a few hours manning the different stations was a no brainer. Again: Being responsible for the whole ship alone should be trained very thoroughly. A Class 40 is far away from being a no frills boat control wise.

Class 40 Sailing: Fast Planing like a Rocket

That was something I was looking forward to the most when booking a cruise on this boat. After having done the interview with Sven, co-owner of SY KNUBBEL, a Pogo 12.50 (which can be read here ) I was impatiently waiting for that sensation when the hull does overcome the boundaries of the wave system and sails faster than her theoretical maximum hull speed. So, all hands on deck, hoist all sails-ho! And tell me now what´s this planing like?

This is what planing looks like.

“Planing is when this constant gurgling and bubbling at the stern suddenly stops and is substituted by a smooth Swoosh….- like sound”, tells Sven when I was asking him. Sitting at the helm of POGO 1 beating upwind with 11 to 12 knots I am shouting to the skipper: “Capt´n, at which speed will she start planing?” “We already are – it needs 8 knots”. And yes, looking aft in our wake I notice a white trail indicating the gliding of our hull. It´s just an awesome feeling!

She is a true beauty.

Maintaining control over the ship´s bearing is easy: The Pogo 40 is equipped with twin rudders in such an arrangement that even when heeled extremely the lee-rudder will have full steering capabilities. There was never too much pressure on the rudders though we didn´t have had to cope with too severe gales or swell conditions. It felt quite easy to trim her course by giving rudder – she reacts very vivid and instantly to even smallest corrections. Steering whilst planing? No difference to the classic way of sailing.

Heeling is a matter of stability here.

Speaking of heeling: The Pogo 40 needs heeling. This process assures the exposure of a smallest possible wetted surface under water thus reducing resistance. She sails very stable even when heeled extremely to up to 40 degrees and I never had the impression of being unsafe. Roaming about on deck when heeled is tricky: It´s wet and slippery, there are ropes virtually everywhere and – when sailing with a crew of five – even a 4.50 meters wide cockpit can easily become cramped.

Under full canvas with Gennaker downwind.

A truly unique experience was sailing under Gennaker (which can be read in detail here ). The Class 40 is trimmed to go downwind – and she will go as fast as hell! Fastest speed on our POGO 1 in light conditions has been 14 knots, our skipper told us of occasionally exceeding speeds of 20 knots easily. Again: This is a racing machine and riding this stallion must be done only by experienced skippers and crews. She´s definitely not a boat for the rookie.

The Beauty of Sailing a Class 40

Nevertheless, counting myself to the rookie side and looking at how my fellow crew mates managed their jobs on board – all of them with far more experience in sailing than me – with a good skipper sailing on a Class 40 is both exciting, full of adventure and thrilling on the one hand and filled with beauty and grace on the other. Seeing the Class 40 under all canvas, accelerating to full speed and starting to plane filles me with pure joy.

40 ft. are huge - but can also make a smaller impression when sailed by a large crew.

It is barely imaginable that any sailing vessel can sail faster than these kind of boats. I was puzzled when we were overtaking another sailing yacht going at full speed with engine in a matter of minutes, doing our 50 miles in less than 6 hours with light winds. Although it´s a frightening idea but I´d love to be sailing with a Pogo 40 when things get a bit rougher. Well … there are some cruises offered on the Pogo 40 in September. This do get rough in September … This yacht let endorphins flow to the liters, people do have a constant grin on their faces for it is extremely satisfying to sail on a Class 40. Going fast is satisfying: Who wouldn´t trade his VW Golf for a Porsche? I felt constrained to compare the beauty of these boats to the grace of the old square rigged Clipper ships, which might be a sacrilege, but thinking of it there are so much similarities to these fastest sailing vessels of forgotten times.

Leaving Helgoland. A grace.

“She sails wet.”, said skipper Thomas when conducting the safety briefing. There was some water coming down the companionway indeed, but I read reviews of real tough regattas and saw pictures of saloons full of water, soaked cushion and no dry place left whatsoever. As well a frightening prospect, but hell, this must be an awesome experience!

Reviewing a Class 40 Interior

Down below a Class 40 like the Pogo 40 is a true miracle regarding space. She is a 40 ft. boat – I personally find 40 feet with more than 12.50 meters huge compared to my 33 ft. King´s Cruiser – but due to her extreme width of 4.50 meters internal space is just huge! Even with 5 adults leaving their berths, brushing teeth, searching for clothes and having a cup of coffee the saloon didn´t felt cramped at all.

The main navigation station.

The main saloon is dominated by the large navigation station right on the keel in the middle of the cabin. A seat, a rugged laptop, radio and plotter – even by poking one´s head down the companionway all essential data could be grabbed at once. Down the cabin in the middle is a big fridge and the large folding table which makes dining even with a big crew easy.

Massive construction for maximum rigidity.

Due to the fact that this is a high performance yacht you shouldn´t expect panels or veneers: Even the massive structural stringers of the underbody structure is clearly visible. Watch your step! There´s an L-settee to the port side, a long settee on the starboard side right after the galley which features a two-fire stove, a large sink and working table.

The galley on the starboard side.

The Pogo 40 features two aft cabins of which the starboard cabin is large enough for two persons, the port cabin has a berth too is also filled with machinery such as heating, vents and pumps and the main power control. Here a more than bare head is to be found: One can seal off when doing his business by having a curtain applied, but again: No doors, no real visual protection and no sound protection at all. It´s a race – not a cruise …

Head and port side aft cabin.

Next to these three possible berths there is more on the port side settees, two persons, another one on the starboard side and – whilst in port – the fore cabin could offer two additional berths. In the end, a crew of 8 persons could find a place to rest while on board but again, that´s just in theory.

Port side aft cabin is cramped with auxillary machinery and stuff.

When we have been underway with five people – four crew and one skipper – we´ve had two of us in the forepeak, me and another member in the aft cabin, skipper and the last crew member in the saloon berths. Though I didn´t slept on any of the other bunks, I guess I have been lucky indeed having won a berth in the comfortable aft cabin.

Can you imagine cruising in a Class 40?

To sum it up: The interior won´t appeal to everyone since the isn´t any. Wooden surfaces are limited to galley and folding table, cushion is water proof and so not very cozy (the color being grey does add nothing to create a “ship-like” atmosphere as well) and there is bare GRP everywhere you look. She´s a pure racer. Oh, is she?

Cruising with a Class 40?

There are more owner cruising with their boats than serious racers. You can do cruising with these boats: They have everything needed. This ship is large enough to have provisions and fuel for Blue Water passages, more than enough space and – above all – it will bring you faster to the destinations of your dreams or – being fast above all – allows to stay longer because of reduced sailing time. I guess, a Pogo-concept of fast sailing does correlate with a French sailing philosophy (which I tried to look into here  by interviewing Charly Fernbach of Pogo structures and naval designer-legend Marc Lombard).

At anchor in Barbados? Why not?

If one can adapt to this bare and uncomplicated style of sailing by actively abstaining from luxury I would say yeah, cruising with a Class 40 can be done and should be done! Why wasting precious time on lame old fashioned cruisers? Why not prowl the oceans with speed, arrive early and spend more time? Well, I guess it´s because these days a classy wooden Hallberg-Rassy interior has its fans still – and besides, controlling a yacht like the Pogo 40, going wet and fast with extreme heeling is prospect of asking too much of the ordinary family skipper.

Well, that´s honestly not very inviting for most people (er ... wives)

Looking at the sparse interior fitting – even when thinking of replacing the faux water proof leather of the cushion by a friendlier, fresher color, it´s still hard to envision myself and my family going on a long cruise (even a short one) in this boat. Well, envisioning myself I can, but the family … Nevertheless, there are reports of some families doing exactly this.

I am dreaming ...

And the more I think about it – given that I can build up more and more competence and sailing abilities over time – this idea becomes attractive and tempting to dream of ever more. I just love this no-frills-approach to sailing (apart from the not-so-no-frills demand of the boat to be controlled with aplomb), this clean, white, bare surfaces. No wooden panels to care about, easy to maintain and clean, no doors, no portholes – no frills.

I fell in love …

And with all these no frills-commodities, there comes so much joy, so much adventure, so much fun. So much demanding in this boat and – which is most attractive I would say – so much gain in reachable distance! Going faster than 10 knots at virtually any time increases the range of activities extremely: Going faster could mean to reach more distant places or reach more places in the same time. Fascinating. And, sadly enough, unreachable for me (and totally impractical as well). But there´s a solution: Simply by booking another cruise on these fantastic sailing machines.

The HAS to be a next time. This kind of sailing is too tempting.

An alternative for owners who seriously consider to get a Class 40 could be the smaller yet comparable Class 9.50 racer of which some interesting boats are on the market, or – very interesting indeed – a Beneteau Figaro II. A sailing yacht legend of which I am going to publish a couple or articles in the near future.

Bottom line: Class 40 sailing has opened my eyes and thinking back to the wonderful 110 miles aboard POGO 1 still thrills me.

Thanks to Ole Macke for these wonderful Pictures

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Plans / kits for Class 40 plywood?

Discussion in ' Boat Design ' started by RevKev , Mar 25, 2013 .


RevKev New Member

Hi! Anyone know of plans or kits for building an Open 40 (Class 40) out of plywood? Thanks! Always, Rev Kev  


waikikin Senior Member

RevKev said: ↑ Hi! Anyone know of plans or kits for building an Open 40 (Class 40) out of plywood? Thanks! Always, Rev Kev Click to expand...


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American david linger's class40 makes it 51 for global solo challenge.

American David Linger's Class40 makes it 51 for Global Solo Challenge

David Linger from Seattle is the 4th American to sign up for the Global Solo Challenge, the 11th Class40/Open40 in the fleet, which is proving to be a popular choice of boat in the event. David had been in touch with the organisers for some time and recently took the big leap to buy “Koloa Maoli”, an Owen Clarke Design Class40 built by Jazz Marine formerly known as “Bolands Mills”. Inspired by his sailing heroes and by his lifelong dream of a solo circumnavigation the right time and planets alignment has come for David to be able to undertake this great adventure. The number of entries keeps growing and there’s still a few that may enter and as one of the participants recently put it, even if just half of the entries made it to the start the GSC would be a tremendous success. We are very please to have hit the nail with the format and spirit for this event and hope to grow it organically and sustainably over the years.

GSC Interview:

Where does your passion for sailing come from? As A Lifetime sailor all my hero’s growing up were all adventurers and or Sailors. Chichester, Colas, Tabarly. Great adventurers and sailors who innovated and did amazing things!

What lessons have you learned from sailing? Teamwork and resourcefulness are required to get boats across oceans, if something breaks or stops working you have to come up with a workable solution to get the job done.

What brought you to like single-handed sailing? Being able to problem solve and do the job “your own way” and get the boat safely from a to b intact.

What prompted you to sign up for this event? It was the combination of the right course at the right time in my life, to be able to make a trip around our planet!

How do you plan to prepare for this event? Well I will sail “Koloa Maoli” this summer to begin to learn the boat then do the long distance solo qualifying voyage. A re-fit this winter for some comfort mods and system upgrades. I’ve started on the “Safety at Sea” requirements and will be meeting the first aid requirements over the winter.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge? Getting to the start line is of course a really big challenge in its own but leaving Spain at the start will be huge! Off into a great big unknown!

Tell us about your boat or the boat you would like to have. I now own a Class 40! USA #15 Koloa Maoli, Ex “Bolands Mill” and it’s a new boat to me so a bit of a learning curve to get up to speed! My friends and I will sail the boat this summer/fall to get a feel for what needs to be updated for the Global Solo Challenge (a small heat source, and a water-maker come to mind!)

Is there anything else you would like to add? Looking forward to an amazing adventure with a large and diverse group of sailors with a shared goal of a trip around the great Capes!

Sailing experience 20.000+ Miles sailed. Currently racing Six Meter class sailboats locally and Internationally and supporting racers in the Race to Alaska “R2AK” with race preparation and support.

About the Boat

Boat name: Koloa Maoli Project: Jazz Marine Class 40 (Owen Clarke Design) Sail number: USA 15 Year: 2006 LOA: 40ft Displacement: 4500kgs Upwind sail area: 115m2 Downwind sail area: 250m2

Click here for more on the Global Solo Challenge

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OC Performance Yacht Brokerage Services are specialists in Class 40 yacht sales and brokerage. We are an international sailboat broker with specialist experience in the design, operation and brokerage of pre-owned Class 40 racing yachts that are for sale in the UK, Europe, USA and worldwide.

The OC Performance Yacht Brokerage consistently sells and has by far the greatest number of Class 40 sailboats for sale, of any other yacht broker, anywhere. As designers in the class since 2006 with almost twenty of our own designs on the water, we have considerable specialist experience in the design, racing, operation and brokerage of the pre-owned Class 40 racing yachts we have for sale in the UK, Europe, USA and worldwide. We're pleased to introduce our website listings page dedicated to the sale of these exciting offshore racing and racer cruising yachts.

Guillaume Verdier Pogo S4

Launch: 2023

Lying: La Trinite, France


Sam Manuard Mach 40.5

Launch: 2023

Lying: La Trinite, France

€750,000 Ex Vat


VPLP Clak40

Launch: 2022

Lying: Brittany, France

€810,000 Ex VAT


VPLP Clak40

Launch: 2021

Lying: St Malo, France

€600,000 Ex VAT


Lombard Lift V2

Launch August 2021

Lying: La Trinite sur mer

€650,000 ex-VAT


Etienne Bertrand/Cape Racing Scow

Launch 2021

Lying: La Trinite sur mer

€500,000 ex-VAT


Marc Lombard

Launch: 2018

Lying: Port Ferret, France


Guillaume Verdier, Tizh 40

Launch: 2016

Lying: La Grande Motte, Montpellier,  France

€340,000 Ex Vat


Sam Manuard Mach 40.3

Launch: 2015

Lying: Hamble, UK

€360,000 UK Vat paid


Marc Lombard Akilaria RC3

Launch: 2013

Lying: Lorient,  France

€250,000 Ex VAT


Marc Lombard Akilaria RC3

Launch: 2013

Lying: Caen, France


Marc Lombard Akilaria RC2

Launch: 2011

Lying: Trinidad

€140,000 Ex Vat


Marc Lombard Akilaria RC2

Launch: 2010

Lying: La Coruna, Spain

€125,000 EU VAT PAID


Owen Clarke Design

Launch: 2009

Lying: Scheveningen

€130,000 Tax paid


Marc Lombard Akilaria RC2

Launch: 2008

Lying: Cherbourg, France

€135,000 Ex VAT


Marc Lombard Akilaria RC1

Launch: 2007

Lying: Halstad, Sweden

€115,000 Ex VAT


Marc Lombard Akilaria RC1

Launch: 2006/7

Lying: Split, Croatia



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