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.

As I reread the above I do have to admit that some of it sounds a bit dogmatic, perhaps even arrogant. That is not my intent. Rather 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!


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.

Like what you just read? Get lots more:

Meet the Author


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.

62 comments… add one
  • Ray Dunn Aug 31, 2014, 11:47 am

    Thanks for the update, John- I don’t think you are being arrogant, and this is one of the better posts you’ve written on this topic in a while (at least for me), and I appreciate the simplicity with which you are approaching this project. After going through enough trials on my current boat retro-fitting a number of systems for single-handing I appreciate you letting the eventual owners of this boat customize on their own and I think it will be fun. I look forward to the posts when the prototype gets to the sea-trials.


  • Martin Burnett Aug 31, 2014, 12:00 pm

    I still think this is a great idea and a i am willing to help in any way possible. looking forward to any posts that you make GO For It John

  • Chris Terajewicz Aug 31, 2014, 12:11 pm

    1. Will be interested in safely single handing the Adventure 40. This means deck plan and sail plan that can be safely managed from the cockpit.
    2. Sea berths in main salon are a must.
    3. You won’t design around me, but I’m 6 ft 6″ and will need a long sea berth.
    4. Headroom down below is important to me(as close as you can get to 6’6
    5. Please pay lots of attention nav station layout and workspace
    6. Deep keel ?

    • John Sep 1, 2014, 8:02 am

      Hi Chris,

      The Adventure 40 will be a great singlehander’s boat. I have done quite a bit of singlehanding over the years so I can say that with confidence.

      You can find the keel design in the hull post.

  • Nathaniel Montague Aug 31, 2014, 5:43 pm

    I know that maybe I am just opening up a can of worms, but why are you not considering a cat ketch rig? If you want a vessel that fits everything you have just listed above including, speed, comfort at speed, gear that has been in use for 10+ yrs (try 35), and simplicity and ease of handling, that is the rig to use. Your emphasis on safety? With considerably less weight aloft you will be able to design a boat which could (although hopefully never would) roll to a turtle and actually be able to pop back up relatively quickly. When discussing seaworthiness of a full-time cruising boat, the amount of time expected to recover from a roll should not be overlooked as that length of time means the difference between survival or drowning.

    • John Sep 1, 2014, 7:53 am

      Hi Nathaniel,

      As I said at the end of the post, I would like to save discussion of rig specifics for the rig and deck post. If you would like to bring it up then I will be happy talk about it then. Having said that, in the context of this post, a cat ketch fails #19 because it says “general use”. Yes there are a few cat ketches around, but they hardly qualify as being in general use, particularly for crossing oceans.

    • Dan Sep 1, 2014, 6:27 pm

      I’ve owned and sailed sloop and ketch rigs. My present yacht is a Pearson 424 ketch here in the trades of Hawai’i. Easy to handle in a boat of this size, I love the flexibility and choice of sail plan with a ketch rig and will probably never go back to a sloop.

      • John Sep 2, 2014, 8:36 am


        Each to their own. I sailed and raced thousands of miles in a ketch and much prefer sloops or cutters, particularly in smaller sizes. Also split rigs add expense, weight alloft, and complexity. And in a boat this size, a lot of clutter in the cockpit area. A ketch rig is also a significant performance hit.

  • Roger Aug 31, 2014, 7:57 pm

    Looking forward to the deck and rig post. Happy to see matters are moving along.

    As I sit here looking at a bunch of fat-assed Beneteaus, Catalinas, and yes, even Sabres, there has to be a better alternative available.

    Best regards, and carry on, promptly!


  • Andy Nemier Aug 31, 2014, 8:01 pm

    Bravo! Excellent post. It is exactly these 20 principles that drew me here. Stick to these and you will produce a legend. Please change nothing.

  • George M Sep 1, 2014, 4:07 am

    I agree with all the points except that I think number 9 needs a clarificatory remark. It is true that in harbour a few big spaces are preferable to lots of cramped ones. However, at sea wide open spaces above or below deck are dangerous. The trick is to design a boat so that it appears large when in fact it is snug and cosy enough to be safe at sea.

    Another thing I have been thinking about is intrinsic flexibility. Two of the boats my father has had have had a neat arrangement in the forecabin that allowed that cabin to be converted from one large double to two smaller doubles when needed. Were one to build the A40 as standard with such an arrangment (and there is enough space on the A40 to do this, I have checked.) one would significantly increase the appeal of the boat without having to offer a whole bunch of options, or decrease its desirability as a couple’s boat. One could have the best of both world for little extra cost.

    This is also why I like the idea of Pullman’s berths in the saloon. With very little extra cost and no errosion of stowage one gets a boat with 4 perfect sea berths instead of just 2. This hugely increases the flexibility of the boat for very little extra cost.

    • John Sep 1, 2014, 7:54 am

      Hi George,

      Let’s save he discussion of the interior for the interior post when we have a drawing in front of us.

      And yes, I agree with your clarification remark, thank you. What I was trying to say is that it is better, for example, to have one decent head with a roomy shower than two small heads.

      • George M Sep 1, 2014, 10:28 am

        Sorry for the drift. Just thinking out load. Its a hazard of my profession; the need to write things down to get your ideas straight. I’ll try to keep my powder dry in future.

  • Niels Sep 1, 2014, 9:43 am

    I missed the early discussions. What predicated the choice of limiting LOA to 40ft ? It certainly makes Rule #2 difficult to achieve.

    On reflection, I think a lightweight, easily driven 60ft with no more “stuff” on board than the 40 footer would be easier to design and build. Maintenance would be a joy. And Rule #2 will indeed rule!

    But then, of late, I find myself becoming a Dashewite.

    • John Sep 1, 2014, 10:23 am

      Hi Neils,

      The short answer is that the Adventure 40, which is actually 42′ overall, is absolutely the most boat at 9 tons that you could have for $200k. The absolute minimum, assuming ultra-light displacement, you could do a 60′ boat for is, I would guess $400k.

      Also, much as I like Steve’s concepts, you don’t need to go to 60′ to be fast and comfortable. It’s more about design focus than size.

  • Stephan Hamann Sep 1, 2014, 4:18 pm

    Hi, to the whole community!
    I am following the post just for a little while and I goes you are bringing my thoughts of an ideal cruising boat to “paper”. But maybe I am a unicorn in that community as well as being from Germany.
    So an important question for us, a couple with a small daughter, where will the boats being build? I know there are a number of good manufacturers here in Germany as well. Close by is the old Dehler shipyard is not to far.

    An secondly, did you think about the regulatory framework such as CE-marking of the boat for all those European folks interested in that design?
    Many thanks for your thoughts and I would be willing to help where I can to make the project happen!

    Stephan, close to Cologne

    • John Sep 2, 2014, 8:39 am

      Hi Stephan,

      A builder has not been selected, although right now the lead contender is here in Nova Scotia. Having said that, if a German boat builder showed interest in building the Adventure 40, we would be happy to listen with an open mind.

      And yes, the boat will be CE certified for use in Europe.

      • Stephan Hamann Sep 2, 2014, 9:19 am

        I know that the old Dehler shipyard is closed but a new one with a number of the old boatbuilders under new management formed a new company on the same infrastructure.
        If you like, or if it is okay with you, I will try to get in contact with these people and investigated whether there is interest on such a project at all.
        Best regards,

        • John Sep 3, 2014, 8:33 am

          Hi Stephan,

          By all means, thanks.

  • Dick Stevenson Sep 2, 2014, 2:56 am

    Why 2 lights on the leading edge of the mast (is that a European convention which I have seen but never understood). One I would see as steaming. Is the other a deck light and the diagram just shows it shining forward? And there look to be no side lights (stern light may be there, hard to tell) which caught my attention because the other lights are so nicely displayed. Also, it may be confusing, going forward, to show radar if you are not planning to include it in the delivered boat.
    It looks really nice.
    Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

    • John Sep 2, 2014, 8:33 am

      Hi Dick,

      All true. At this point this is a preliminary drawing so we don’t want to get too fixated on these details. I can check with Erik, but I’m guessing that the light is shining forward just because the ready made symbol that he used in CAD was that way and he did not want, at this point, to take hours to draw a proper deck light, and the other lights.

      As I said in the post, I really want to hold discussion of this drawing until for the rig and deck post when we will have a full text list of what is and is not included.

    • Erik de Jong Sep 22, 2014, 2:55 pm

      Hi Dick,

      Those lights drawn represent the regular lights you find on all boats. Nothing European about it. A vessel has to comply with “COLREG”, and that is the same throughout the world.
      The unconventional thing about the arrangement that I usually advice on, is that the red-green sector light (that is usually on the push-pit) is on the mast as well. In my opinion a much better place than on the bow for several reasons:
      1. It is higher above the water, so visible on a larger distance, and does not get out of the line of sight from other vessels in a swell either.
      2. Less prone to damaged lamp glasses due to stepping on the boat, bumping into something etc.
      3. Significantly less maintenance, as the lamp does not get submerged underwater anymore.

      I agree on the radar, should not be shown on the final drawings as it will not be part of the delivery.

      Thanks for the sharp eye!

      • John Sep 22, 2014, 3:48 pm

        Hi Erik,

        That’s interesting, and I can certainly see the logic of having the lower nav lights on the mast, rather than the pulpit. However, there is one drawback: that is with a sail up in the foretriangle the light will be obscured and will also reflect off the sale and ruin the crews night vision.

        Now, of course, the lower lights will mostly be used when motoring, but there is one big exception where I like to use the lower lights, even when sailing, and that’s in thick fog since I’m convinced it’s safer because by the time another boat gets close without seeing you, as they may in fog, they are more likely to see lower lights through the fog, rather than a tri-light. Of course I have spent a lot of my life in very foggy areas teeming with fishing boats, so this is a specialist opinion, but still worth thinking about.

        • Erik de Jong Sep 22, 2014, 4:49 pm

          Hi John,

          Good arguments.
          I have used this setup on Bagheera since I constructed her, and I’m very happy with it. The reflection is not bad at all, although I must admit that I barely ever have a headsail up when running these lights.

          An obscured light by a sail would also be obscuring the white light that needs to shine at the same time when motoring along. So the problem is there in any case.

          I actually stop moving at all when the fog is so thick that you can only see the other vessel so close that they have to look really up before they can see the masthead light. But you are right, not very applicable for most potential A40 buyers I assume.

  • Martin Sep 2, 2014, 5:13 am

    I commend how, in answer to design queries, reference is made to a particular number of the stated principles. If it was not already your plan, I suggest that you fix the individual numbers, and keep referring to them when debates about design details and choices arise in future.
    If you have to adjust the original set of principles, which is possible, a number can be removed and a new one added. (Apologies if this approach was already explained and embedded).
    I would expect that few commercial sailboats would be developed by sticking to a limited set of non-marketing related foundation principles like is being done with the A40. They give welcome transparency to the detail design process.

    • John Sep 2, 2014, 8:29 am

      Hi Martin,

      That’s a good idea. One of the reason’s I wrote the list is that I’m hoping that referring to it will streamline the process of discussion.

  • Olianta Sep 2, 2014, 7:49 am

    Hi John,

    Regarding n.12 even a carbon fibre mast option will be out of consideration?

    • John Sep 2, 2014, 8:28 am

      Ho Olianta,

      That’s right, no options, and that would include a carbon fibre mast.

  • George M Sep 2, 2014, 10:57 am

    On the options point 12 again. My point about intrinsic flexibility in the interior also generalizes to all aspects of the boat: the rig, the draft, the engine, etc. Its great to do an options free boat but the intrinsic flexibility of the design should be as great as is consistent with the boats mission. A boat with no options and narrowly targeted will have a limited customer base, one with no options and a good deal of flexibility built in will have a much wider customer base.

    • John Sep 3, 2014, 8:33 am

      Hi George,

      I have to say that the idea of “intrinsic flexibility” to sell more boats makes me nervous. My thinking would be that once one committed to that it would be very like trying to be all things to all people, which is, in my opinion, a sure route to a bad boat.

      To me, the way to design a good boat is to keep a laser-like focus on the boats primary mission, which in this case is crossing oceans with a couple aboard. If we start, for example, to try to make the interior also to totally satisfy a family of four transiting the intercoastal waterway we will end up with a boat that does neither well.

      We are already committed to making the boat easy to customize and add gear to.

  • Sandy Stephen Sep 2, 2014, 5:26 pm

    Hello John, (all)

    I’ve been following the Adventure 40 project for some time now. Your design methods and ideas remind me of a video I recently watched on TED.
    The leadership and the respect you show to others (ideas) are driving this project into reality.
    Being a late starter into the sailing world, it gives me great peace of mind to have so many experienced people behind this boat. The core principles are spot on. Looking forward to the next posts.

    Keep up the good work,

  • Ray Sep 3, 2014, 4:04 am

    Do you have a target launch date for the prototype John?

    • John Sep 3, 2014, 8:24 am

      Hi Ray,

      No, not yet. A lot will depend on Erik’s schedule when he gets back from the Arctic.

  • John Sep 3, 2014, 8:36 am

    Hi All,

    Thanks so much for the encouraging tone of all the comments—much appreciated and a huge motivator.

  • Andy Nemier Sep 3, 2014, 8:42 am

    I’m literally waiting for the Deck & Rig info ,,,
    (like a child at Christmas ; )

  • Frans Sep 3, 2014, 4:48 pm

    No electronics…. Does this mean no speed transducer (log) and depth transducer, so we have to drill in our perfectly new boat to place our transducers of choice? It seems to me that these are elementary instruments, though I think that the transducers will be manufacturer specific, so that it is a catch 22?
    A boat ready to sail would include at least depth, speed, wind angle /speed instruments is my thought.

    • John Sep 4, 2014, 8:01 am

      Hi Frans,

      I hear you on the depth sounder and maybe the speed/log. On the wind instruments, not so much. I sailed for 20 years before I saw my first set of wind instruments…and those were broken!

      We will provide hard points for the installation of a speed and depth transducer, but yes, the owner will need to install them. Really not a big deal in a hull that is not cored.

      One thing your comment does bring up is that maybe we can (and should) build a fillet into the mould so that the depth transducer can be mounted vertically without a lot of messing about.

  • Frans Sep 4, 2014, 8:06 am

    Hi John,
    Thank you. Yes, I think a fillet would be great. “Problem” solved I think. 🙂

    • John Sep 4, 2014, 10:59 am

      Hi Frans,

      Great, I should also of said that the mast will have a nice big raceway for extra wires with a messenger line, so no problem installing wind instruments.

  • John Frazee Sep 4, 2014, 9:50 am

    Tankage, tankage, tankage. You can’t always get fresh water and you will certainly be places the water is too dirty to make water.

    Let us not forget that the best offshore boat is still just transportation to the destination. At sea it is little more than a bus. The boat must also meet the needs of the 80% use, that being sitting at anchor at your destination. Few of us just go sail on ocean passages without a destination. What works for the days at sea may be impractical for the months of anchoring. I would rather be inconvenienced for 10 days at sea than 6 months cruising at my destination. Also design with dinghy use in mind. It has to go with you on the ocean and be convenient to use at the destination. No one sails to a destination with no plans to go ashore. Finally design in the ability to add solar and wind to provide the necessary power to live aboard while cruising.

    • John Sep 4, 2014, 10:47 am

      Hi John,

      I could not agree more. All of the points you mention are covered off in the design.

      The boat will be very comfortable for two people to live on at anchor.

      One slight caveat, when you look at tankage there is only so much you can cram into a 9 ton boat. Those that want a lot of water will want a small DC watermaker. Yes, that means you will have to leave the anchorage to make water, but hey, that’s what the A40 is all about…sailing!

      On fuel, the A40 efficient hull form will make diesel fuel go a long, long way.

      • John Frazee Sep 4, 2014, 11:23 am


        Here is our list of needs in a boat. We have been spoiled for 4 years of cruising on a 42 foot cat but the cost of cat cruising is quite a burden and we are considering a monohull as a replacement. This list is the result of both my input and my wife’s. We are in our 60’s and that colors some of our comments. The list is by priority.

        Ease of dinghy access and storage. If you can’t get off and on a boat at anchor what good is it? This one requirement shrinks the list more than any other.

        Comfortable and dry cockpit long enough to relax and sleep in. Who wants to sit in the rain. This is where the cat really shines. In the last 6,000 miles of offshore sailing we have never had to put on foul weather gear.


        Galley convenience.

        Alternate power source handling ability. This includes adequate battery storage space.

        Separate shower

        Adequate storage in both refrigerator and freezer. We are no longer backpackers and food gets used every day.

        Bulk food storage in an accessible location.

        Ease of reefing. You must be able to reef by one person in the dark easily. Offshore your crew does not know the boat the way the owner does and nothing bad happens in the daylight.

        A keel designed to keep the boat going in a straight line offshore. Hand steering for 1,500 miles loses it’s appeal after the first day and an autopilot or self steerer that keeps hunting soon wears itself out.

        Pleasing to the eye. Who wants to sail an ugly boat?

        These are our no compromise items. It sure narrows down the list of available boats

        • John Sep 4, 2014, 4:19 pm

          Hi John,

          First off, I would recommend reading at least the first two chapters of Our How To Buy a Boat book. I think this will help you get away from a features list and focus in on what really matters to you.

          The short version is that sure, I can say that the A40 ticks all those boxes, because it does, but the larger question is: is it the boat for you? The book will give you a different and better way to look at that.

          Having said all that, I’m going to guess that coming from the huge volume of a 42-foot cat, and with your emphasis on creature comforts and convenience at anchor, a 9 ton Adventure 40 simply is not the boat for you and your wife. Nor will any 9 ton mono-hull be, for that matter.

  • Stephan Hamann Sep 11, 2014, 1:19 pm

    as I said,
    I contacted a shipyard here in Germany, the former Dehler Werft, now called SQ Freienohl.
    They do have interest in building the Adventure 40 and I summarized quite some infromation for them in order to allow a first calculation in building a prototype, somewhat a One-Off. More I woud be pleased to tell not in that public round.
    Can we please have some kind of a side conversation how to move on with theses guys? I assume it might be good at one point in time to have a discussion on the phone or face to face would even be better.


    • John Sep 11, 2014, 5:19 pm

      Hi Stephen,

      Sounds good, but it is not me you need to talk to, but Erik. I will pass this on to him on his return from the Arctic in a few weeks.

      • Stephan Hamann Sep 17, 2014, 3:52 am

        do you have something like condensed Design Input Specifications that I could provide to the shipyard in order to allow them to make a valid calculation of the building of a prototype /moulds for the series / etc?

        • John Sep 17, 2014, 7:49 am

          Hi Stepan,

          No, not yet. That will come at the end of the next design iteration when Erik gets back from the Arctic.

  • Marco Lupieri Sep 12, 2014, 5:14 pm

    Hi John, Marco from Italy here.
    I’ve been following the A40 project since its very initial stage, and possibly read all posts. However, I can’t recall any mention to interior air circulation, for those who intend to sail in warm waters…what about dorade ventilators, for instance?
    Keep going!

    • John Sep 13, 2014, 9:05 am

      Hi Marco,

      Ventilation was, and will be, covered under the interior chapters.

  • Andy Nemier Sep 12, 2014, 9:43 pm

    Hi John,
    First of all,,, great work to Eric & the team for another fantastic effort. I ‘ve been sitting on my post, as I feel ‘if you have nothing positive to say,,,’ However, I see the boat has grown yet again. At 40′, I was all over it. At 42′, I talked myself into the benefits, but at 45′, you’re losing me. I simply want a smaller boat, less = more. Am I alone with this thought? I thought I’d ask if this LOA was now firm?

    • John Sep 13, 2014, 9:02 am

      Hi Andy,

      The boat is not 45-feet, that includes the anchor roller and rudder. She is 42-feet on deck. Also, she has not got any bigger from when she was 40 feet since she is still the same displacement and righting moment. See this post for an explanation of size.

  • Dick Stevenson Sep 22, 2014, 3:14 pm

    Erik, Thanks for the explanation. I think having the sidelights on the mast well below the steaming light is brilliant and makes perfect sense for all the reasons you describe. Dick

  • Claire Sep 27, 2014, 11:44 pm

    John, I have been thinking about your principle #12: no options.

    As a general rule, it’s great. Interior layout variations hugely complicate the construction process and add to costs. Items such as electronics present a warranty headache for the builders, and are best left to the aftermarket. So minimising options is a great idea.

    But zero options? That seems a bit extreme, because some options can surely be offered without messing up production schedules or raising warranty hassles … but denying them could cost sales.

    Here are some examples which occur to me:
    * Hull colour. A coloured gelcoat just requires a different mix for the first stage of the layup. Aside from choosing a different tin, no extra or altered work is involved.
    * Presumably the boat will be supplied with berth cushions. In a back-to-basics fitout, the colour and fabric of the coverings will have a significant impact on the ambience of the interior, and are a simple way to personalise the boat. Choice of these loose items raises no significant warranty issues or production hassles, but lack of it could be a deal-breaker for the female half of couples to whom the boat is marketed.
    * Carbon masts may be a good idea or a bad idea, but again have almost no impact on production. The spars will be shipped shrink-wrapped to the customer; so if someone wants to spend an extra $10,000+ on a carbon mast, why not let them?
    * Same with sails. There are arguments for and against several different sailcloths; why not give the customer a choice of what’s in the sealed bag?
    * Bow pulpit styles vary according to use; e.g. walk-through pulpits are preferred in Scandinavia. Choice could easily be be offered there at the design stage, so that various options share the same mountings.

    There are probably many more such choices which can be left to the customer without complicating production, increasing costs, or risking warranty hassles. Managing such options would be trivial; why take such a firm stand against *any* choice?

    • John Sep 28, 2014, 8:35 am

      Hi Claire,

      Lot’s of interesting suggestions, none the less, we will be sticking with the no options policy. All boats that will be identical as they come from the factory. As I have said before, the complications of managing options, and the potential warranty problems, would endanger the whole Adventure 40 concept and have a negative effect on quality. More here.

      By the way, you are undoubtably right that we would sell more boats if we offered a lot of options, at least for a while until stuff started going wrong, but that’s not the goal here, as I say in the post.

      Having said that, sails will not be included, as explained in the rigging post.

    • John Sep 28, 2014, 10:38 am

      Hi Claire,

      Just to add to my answer to, perhaps, make it a little more palatable. Let’s take the carbon fibre mast option idea. A carbon mast changes the stability of the boat, that, in turn, requires reengineering every single fitting on the deck that interacts with the rig: chain plates, winches, sheet leads, blocks, everything.

      And then a core principle of the A40 is that nothing will go on the production boat that has not been properly tested on the prototype. And when I say properly tested, I mean several ocean passages. So now, just by adding the carbon mast, we have added at least 50% to the testing cycle!

  • Craig Apr 26, 2015, 9:50 pm

    Just curious, why didn’t you choose an aluminum hull? I have not read all the pages so please excuse my possible ignorance if the answer is in those unread pages. Regards, Craig.

  • Kobus Jul 31, 2015, 11:20 am

    While accumulating the knowledge offering on this site and having covered the sections on drogues and anchors I had to come back to the core principles in this section to verify whether you are walking the talk. I was very surprised to find the Jordan Series Drogue specifically mentioned in core principle 13! I could now safely assume that there will be 2 oversized high quality anchors (Rocna and SPADE) included in the sale, not to mention the third aluminium anchor! Not only that it will be beautifully stowed. I still have a lot of reading ahead but so far the inventory on the Adventure 40 is looking better and better albeit by assumption. The only problem is that my expectations are being raised bring the hope that there will be no disappointments later.

    • John Jul 31, 2015, 11:57 am

      Hi Kobus,

      See the deck post for what comes with the boat. And no, three anchors will not be included. Different users will have different requirements.

  • Stein Varjord Aug 15, 2015, 8:33 pm

    Hi John.
    I admire your ability to keep the cool and answer politely even when people question the properly discussed core principles of your “baby”. 🙂

    As you may have noticed I’m completely lost to the light and fast multihull side of things, so I will not be a customer, but I find the process of development and the principles or “philosophy” very interesting, so I intend to dig more into it. I think there is much to learn for any boat development project or any buyer of a boat.

    I think all the 20 points are good ones. My answer to them would be a completely different boat, but that doesn’t mean I disagree on the principles. as I come from extreme multihulls, my take on very thoroughly tested solutions and having been out there for preferably 20 years or more, is also quite different as we tested very exotic stuff long time ago.

    Points 12 through 17 I think will be essential for achieving a consistent high quality at a low price point. The number 12 alone might be flexed in some strictly limited ways though. I would say that interior “software” like mattresses and textiles might be left out of the basic delivery, to let people have the opportunity to make that their own design.

    The interior feel has a massive influence on the decision to buy even a serious boat, like this one. I think some buyers will then make all this themselves and others will use subcontractors suggested by you. These items will not affect the secondhand value of the boat type, as it is so easy to update in a secondhand boat too.

    Probably there will be several topics similar to this one. I would suggest letting the standard (non alterable) delivery be as minimal as at all possible. Install only the items that influence the core values of the boat. Those items that an owner or a subcontractor should not be trusted with as it may affect the secondhand value of the boat type.

    I would also not allow different gelcoat types or any other alteration to the main structures. I am a very firm believer in carbon masts however, so personally I’d say they are an improvement that is easily worth the added cost. I’ve had about 20 masts come down on boats I’ve sailed. Mostly racing masts, but still gives some clues and an ability to predict it some times. I’ve seen ridiculously light high modulus carbon masts (Marstrom 15 metre/50 foot and 42 kilo/92 pounds) do the most extreme type of bending and survive it undamaged, and seen the same boat kill alu masts 3 times as heavy in way lighter challenges.

    Still I would also have only one rig alternative. With two mast alternatives, you could use the same chain plates etc, as loads would be lower than with an alu mast, but building a carbon rig and building an alu rig, even when not thinking of the tube itself, are two entirely different types of work. If this should be treated as an area of options, I’d say you also need to outsource the whole rigging. No matter which type the customer will choose. I’d say have one alternative only.

    I assume I’ll find more topics I can’t resist commenting. I hope not to be too annoying, but can’t promise I won’t be. 🙂

    • John Aug 16, 2015, 2:48 pm

      Hi Stein,

      Lots of good ideas. But one thing I need to correct. Going with a carbon mast increases the loads on the rigging and chain plates, not the other way around.

      Counter intuitive I know, but still true. The reason is that a lighter mast increases the stability of the boat, and stability is what governs rig loads.

  • Stein Varjord Aug 16, 2015, 9:57 pm

    Hi John.
    My comment on carbon mast was mostly meant as a study of why I agree with the very strict “no options” policy outlined. I’m also not at all an educated engineer, just a hands-on guy that had to get an understanding of the loads to make things work while staying ridiculously light for racing. Thus I should try to restrict myself, but a few words may be useful. (If I say the phrase “a few words”, all who know me will laugh…) 🙂

    You are of course totally right that a lighter total rig weight will make the boat more stable, heel less and thus generate more power. This difference is noticeable without very exact instruments, but is still clearly not the main advantage with a carbon mast.

    The above observation is about static loads. The maximum loads on the rig, chain plates, etc, do however come when the static loads are high and then dynamic loads are added on top. This can more than double the total load. So the chain plates, sheets, etc need to tolerate short bursts of tension that can easily be twice the max righting moment of the boat.

    These dynamic loads are very complex and it’s impossible to calculate and predict them entirely, but the main factors are inertia of the rig and sails and relative wind speeds when flipping to and from. Inertia is the big one.

    If using carbon instead of aluminium, a realistic weight reduction in the tube alone might be 40%. Much lighter is possible, but will need more expensive carbon types. The removed weight in the rig will thus amount to something much more significant to the boat behaviour than two guys standing at the bow, since the distance from the rotational centre is much bigger.

    The reduction in inertia of the rig, thus the dynamic loads, will be reduced by more than the static loads will increase. The peak loads on the rig and chainplates etc will thus be considerably lower with a lighter rig, but no redesign will be necessary.

    As one mighr have guessed, a speed addict like me must love carbon masts. Still, I’m not so sure it is a good choice for this boat. It will disintegrate the price goal of 200 000. It may not appeal to the market segment this boat is made for. It’s harder to find qualified people to repair a broken one, even though the job is actually at least as easy as with alu and the result is better. I’ve done both. The most important:

    The sail track is not always trouble free. If made in carbon, it’s very strong, but still more vulnerable to abrasion and damage from being hit. If a metal track is used, a bit of weight advantage is lost and we got a combination of materials that might be perfectly good or might develop galvanic corrosion or other stuff. I would not use a carbon mast tube until I felt this problem was bullet proof.

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