Adventure 40 June 2021 Progress Report

I just heard from Maxime and Pascal (who are putting together a project to build the Adventure 40 in France) asking about growth of the mailing list of people interested in buying the boat.

So, in keeping with the one of the fundamental principles of the project: transparency, I’m going to share those numbers in this article, as well as a couple of other cool things that are happening.

State Of Play

To recap, between 2012 and 2016 I wrote 16 articles, which we discussed in a couple of thousand comments. During that time 467 people signed up as interested in buying an Adventure 40.

The project then went into hiatus, for want of a builder, until earlier this year when Maxime and Pascal restarted the process.

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article about them and their project, which attracted 124 comments from AAC members—the article is outside the paywall, but we require membership to comment.

Mailing List Status

So let’s take a look at the sign-up list statistics since then:

  • The email associated with the article went out to 366 recipients on the list who were still active after the 5-year hiatus (had not unsubscribed).
  • 249 of those recipients opened the email—almost certainly more than that since open reporting pretty much always underreports due to security settings on some user’s devices.
  • 161 clicked on the link to the article—again, probably lower than reality.
  • 25 emails bounced due to changed addresses.
  • And, best of all, only 14 recipients unsubscribed as no longer interested in the boat.

For those of you not familiar with email marketing, the above numbers are absolutely banoodles (in a good way), particularly for a list that has been unused for five years—leaving a mailing list fallow is usually the death of it.

But, wait, it gets better. Since we published the article on April 10th the list has grown to 467 subscribers as 101 new people have signed up as interested in buying an A40.

To put that growth in perspective, it took us four years of steady publishing and building buzz about the Adventure 40 to get 360 people (net of unsubscribes) to sign up as interested, but just 60 days and one article to get 101 more. Great news.

Swag

sample-navy-1.jpg

In other news we will soon have Adventure 40 tee-shirts available, thanks to the creativity, design talent, and generous donation of time from Scott Arenz. I will post again as soon as we can order them.

And Scott has also, and again generously, agreed to let us use his art work to punch up the visibility of the A40 on this site. We should get that done in the next month or so.

Tote_Bag_T_Shirt-1.2-resized-800x800.png

I just love what Scott has done here with both the graphics and copy. Just shows what a real design professional can do.

And I’m hoping that he will at least be partially compensated for his time by the profits from selling the swag.

Specification Process

In other good news, Maxime tells me that he and Pascal have finished the version 1.0.1 specifications. They still have some technical work to do on some points, and others will wait until the naval architect is selected and the design process starts.

And they have already had some preliminary discussions with designers and boatyards.

At some point the specification will be available for discussion here at AAC, but it’s a bit early to make a date commitment on that. Also, at the moment it’s only available in French.

Sign Up

In the meantime, the best thing you can do to make this boat real is sign up as interested in buying one:

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Dick Stevenson

To the crew making this happen:
How exciting. Good on you. I want at least a couple t shirts. I look forward to this evolving project. Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Andy Schell

I’d be curious how many on that list are really interested buyers versus just interested in following the progress. I’m on the list for example but have no intention of buying, I just like reading the updates. That would be a better metric right?

Kimberly Young

As a data point, I expect to be boat shopping as I near retirement. I have a Sabre 34 that suits me for my present Great Lakes cruising, but not really what I would want as a live-aboard bluewater boat. The Adventure 40 is certainly a possibility, but will depend upon timing, price, and other (used boat) alternatives available at the time.

P D Squire

A 4-yr-old Rustler 37 sold here recently for the equivalent of US$370k. We’re all different and the R37 is a wonderful blue water vessel, but for my needs overall I’d rather have a new A40 and $120k cash.

Philippe Candelier

If you need someone to work the translation French to English I can help: originally from France, I am leaving in Canada now.

Scott Arenz

Hi John,

Thanks for the very kind words and feature of the draft t-shirt design & mockup! I’m in the process of making some minor changes to the design based on how the prototype prints came out, as well as finalizing what garments will be offered. 

From my perspective as a huge fan of the A40 project, the swag has a few different purposes. First, to help give the A40 a distinctive brand image, signaling the credibility and thoughtfulness of the project. Next, for all of us A40 fans to have something tangible and fun that further kindles our imaginations. And of course most importantly, the many conversations we hope to stimulate (provoke?) within the sailing community to attract more people to the boat and these pages. 🙂 

With the aim of getting shirts and the like into as many hands as possible in this audience-building period, I intend to price all items with just a token markup on the cost of goods. Hopefully prices will be such that folks won’t give the purchase a second thought and possibly buy an extra or two for a friend. 

The stats on the email list are indeed impressive and unusual in the world of newsletters. A click through rate of over 50% on the revival email bodes well for the project. Exciting things ahead!

Tom Ogilvie

John, Maxime and Pascal
This is a really great project and I wish you all the best in making it succeed. I love the concept and I’ve subscribed because I could be a buyer. It’s hard to be more committed at this stage before the concept has become an actual design but in the meantime I’m up for a T-shirt (great work Scott)!

Ben Garvey

Sign me up for a shirt or two… very interested in the objectives of the project. Not currently a potential buyer, but certainly rub shoulders with several who come to me for guidance at times. It’s important to me to know who and what is the ‘state of the art’ in this realm… great project!

Francis Livingston

Hi John

I am still interested in the A40 though a bit concerned about american dollar exchange rate on the day plus the impact of inflation on the original 200k USD price.

I am also wondering how many boats will be turned out a year once things get rolling. Ten boats a year can quickly make even a short line a very long line.

Great to see movement on the concept even if it doesn’t, in the end, benefit me.

Francis

PS: thanks for fixing the website so that I can once again login through a vpn.

Vesa Ikonen

John,
that’s an interesting point:
are there any indications as to how many boats might be produced yearly, if the order books would fill quickly as it seems now?

Pedro Fernando

Hello
Could you provide the list of equipment the boat will come with?
Regards

Pedro Fernando

you say this is a ready to go for serious offshore sailing and bluewater cruising. i say: where is the autopilot, windvane, electronics (even if bare and simple) 4 man liferaft, dinghy, outboard, epirb, flare kit, watermaker, solar panels, battery banks (i read this boat will not have lithium batteries! amazing!) stern arch, bimini, dodger, stack pack, should i continue?! you are asking 200k for a bare boat, bluewater capable (not disputing that) thousands of dollars away of being bluewater ready.

Pedro Fernando

this is not about me.
i know already that this doesnt work for me and that is not the reason why i am commenting in the first place.
point taken on the dodger and solar arch, out of all the equipment ive talked about.
i said what i said because, to my view, its misleading to market this boat as a ready to go boat, when it isnt, at that price! you stated the difference between a 200 and 400k, i will be very curious to know the final price, after the costumer specs to his needs (another example, you dont go off shore without a a reliable windlass, correct? for a 40 footer that alones costs 3/4k) it all adds up very quick (what kind of anchor will they choose, and the rode? all chain? chain and warp? if ppl want to do some serious cruising they will need the gear, period. or else all the ppl cruising right now are just crazies who enjoy spending money just because they can.(and not bvecause they need) about the grouding at hull speed i ask: what was that person doing at the helm of that boat in the first place. dont get me wrong, we ALL make mistakes and we are all HUMAN, ive grounded myself before haveno qualms admitting that to anyone. grounding at hull speed denotes someone who doesnt have a clue of whats happening, didnt plan and its careless , clearly missed the tide section/secondary ports (and all that good stuff).theory, not monitoring the surroundings and didnt looked at the chart properly. you probably have more keels failing of boats due to ill inspections, than from ppl motoring/sailing at reefs at hull speed, and if they do, they shouldnt be on the water because they are a danger to themselves and others.

all i have said above is my opinion and it doesnt diminishes the validity of the project, but if you only want to hear ppl saying “yes”, and “what a good idea” without some other views you end up with a fan boy blog.
all the best

Pedro Fernando

It appears i’ve clearly skipped some points,
my apologies for that.

all the best
Pedro

Mark Wilson

Hi John

Pedro makes a fair point about actually being able to head off into the blue within a week of the arrival of the Adventure 40 on the back of a lorry. But in the effort to make his case he overstates it.

The jury is still out on many of the items he feels are missing: watermaker, lithium batteries, liferaft, wind instuments, stackpack, bimini. And many of the other items: flare pack, EPIRB,  dinghy, outboard, batteries etc can be picked up in a quick visit to a good chandlers and specified to the particular tastes of the owner. They could pick up a couple of handheld VHF’s at the same time and a hand held GPS to back up their Ipads. All at no great cost. Most owners will be bringing some of these items from their previous boat.

What would help a new owner would be detailed specifications and designs for those items you will not be supplying but that many owners will be installing; bimini’s, a stern roller and storage to fit a Fortress anchor for instance. The test boat voyages would be the perfect time to find out what works best and save future owners from costly failed experiments. These specs can be handed to fabricators by purchasers and the items ready for installation on the day Sailaway I arrives.

Best

Mark

Mark Wilson

Hi John

Fair enough. Judging by the comments on here I think you will be able to count on a pretty active owner’s association.

John Cobb

Very excited to see this boat become real. I’m on the list and have been since early on. Unfortunately my age is catching up with me. Hopefully the boat will be available sooner rather than later.

For what it’s worth, IMO, the no-options concept while building in provisions for easy owner customization is absolutely the right way to go and always has been. You’ve laid out compelling aurguments over and over again as to why. Stick to your guns, John. 👍

P D Squire

Yep, whenever I buy something I always seem to be upsold into too many accessories in my initial excitement. Most never get used, and I’ll have a lot of clutter to clear when the time comes to leave the house and go to sea.

Nice to have someone taking the opposite approach: “Buy an A40, sails, GPS, VHF, and go.” The primary “want” is to go cruising. Once out there I might discover other “wants” but I won’t have a cluttered boat when I set off, or a bunch of gear to maintain until I eventually sell it for half what I paid.

I’m on the list too, and I’m getting older (that grunty, bullet proof, reliable anchor winch is looking more and more attractive 😉 )
My timeframe is 2-3 years. Hope that’s long enough.

Patrick Boylan

I think the basic Model T ethos will be key to the demographic who are interested. Most people who are circumspect enough to arrive at deciding that the A40 is the right fit for them are probably the same people who will be able to decide (and enjoy the process of researching) the right level of additional kit and equipment for their needs and use case. Though the plan is to be ocean-ready, I suspect many potential owners will not be going trans Atlantic or trans Pacific in their first year or two of ownership – plenty of time to get a feel for their boat and decide what will be the right level of additional equipment for their planned adventures. You can always choose to up-spec a vessel at a cost but you cannot down-spec a vessel which you cannot afford to buy!

Ernest E Vogelsinger

Really great news!
Well, I’m not signing up for being interested to have one, not that I wouldn’t be, but first of all I’m a poor man sailor, and even the A40 would be waaay beyond any safe retirement budget. And I just bought a boat that fits my purse.
But I’ll gladly order A40 merchandise and make some noise about the project. Maybe I’ll eventually convince someone who would take me for a shakedown cruise after delivery 😉

P D Squire

Any chance of doing a deal with an insurer so a standard policy can be offered? I appreciate they’ll want to adjust it based on each applicant’s experience and cruising ground, but It’d be awesome to have a starting point.

P D Squire

The list’s age distribution would be interesting.

Richard Phillips

Here – I have designed a shorthand logo for the adventure 40..

4@

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Stein Varjord

I like it!