Twenty Adventure 40 Core Principles

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As I was reading through the existing posts on the boat to get myself in the Adventure 40 mindset, it struck me that sticking with the core principles that govern the boat’s design is actually quite a challenge, even for me who conceived the boat in the first place. All of the principles are defined in the posts, but they are scattered about to the point that it would be very easy to stray and, in so doing, screw up the boat.

So I resolved to make myself a cheat sheet to make sure I stayed focused. And then it struck me that I should share that:

  1. The Adventure 40 is an offshore voyaging boat. Everything else will follow from that.
  2. The boat will be fast, and comfortable when going fast.
  3. The boat will be as safe offshore as we can make her.
  4. The goal is low ten year cost of ownership, not a low sticker price.
  5. We are aiming at a ready to sail away price of US$200,000.
  6. The boat will be trouble free for at least ten years with only routine maintenance required—quality control trumps all.
  7. The boat is designed for a couple to live on and voyage, possibly with a child or two. It will be possible to have guests or crew for a passage but they probably won’t stay long.
  8. Storage is more important than the number of berths.
  9. It is always better to have a few big spaces, both below and on deck, than a lot of cramped ones.
  10. Simple and elegant will always win over complex, even if the simple answer involves some inconvenience.
  11. The boat will be built super-strong and forgive mistakes like running aground.
  12. There will be no options. Every boat will be identical when delivered. Buyers will not even be able to specify that a piece of standard gear should be left off. However, you can have the boat in any colour you like…as long as it’s white.
  13. The builder will provide gear as standard, like an arch and chain plates for a Jordan Series Drogue, that would be difficult and expensive for the owner to install.
  14. We will make the boat easy to customize and add gear to: Mounting space, cable ways, spare breakers, places for additional seacocks, etc.
  15. The boat will be delivered with no electronics. The last thing the builder needs is to be distracted by 50 new owners with software problems with the latest whiz-bang plotter.
  16. The boat will be delivered with a robust engine and basic electrical system. No other mechanical or electromechanical gear will be provided as standard, although provision for adding things like refrigeration and watermakers will be made.
  17. We will spend the money on great gear, rather than a lot of gear.
  18. Nothing will be fitted to the production boats that was not exhaustively tested on the prototype.
  19. No gear will be fitted to the boat that has not been in general use for at least ten years, and twenty would be better.
  20. Wants won’t make it onto the boat as delivered, but all the needs will.

The assertiveness of this list reflects my concern that it would be very easy to inadvertently build just another bad boat, if we let any ambiguity creep into the core concepts.

The overall point being that the Adventure 40 is not an “all things to all people” boat. And we will never succumb to the temptation to make it one just to make a sale.

Or to put it another way, the default when faced with “unless you change this I will not buy” will be “well, I guess this is not the boat for you”. We would rather build a few great boats than a lot of lousy ones.

Although having said that, the list of people interested in buying an Adventure 40 just reached 340 people, and that before we even finish the design!

Comments

If you have any questions about the above, please leave a comment. Ditto if you think I have forgotten something, which is quite possible given the complexity of this project. But before you comment, please read, or reread, the summary post as many of the points above are explained in depth there.

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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