For nearly ten years, hundreds of us have been planning, writing, discussing and, above all, dreaming of the Adventure 40, a voyaging sailboat that will truly be Offshore Ready From Day One at a reasonable price.
The French Team Get Real
Despite all that time and effort, it sometimes seemed as if we were not getting any closer to an actual boat. But now that’s changing…big time:
- Vincent Lebailly, the chosen designer, will be starting the detailed design this week.
- Maxime has personally guaranteed Vincent’s initial fee of at least €12,000. This guy is seriously real.
- A team of students at one of France’s universities, CentraleSupélec, are just finishing up investigating ways that the Adventure 40 keel can be made grounding resistant—more on that in the next article.
Our Turn to Get Real, Too
So now it’s time for us to show we are real, too:
- The French team have created a GoFundMe page.
- The initial funding goal, though we hope to raise more, is a modest €5000 (US$5500).
- Phyllis and I have already made the first donation of €100.
Why It Matters
We need to collectively show:
- To Maxime¹ that it’s not just him reaching into his pocket, and that we are there with him, albeit at much smaller amounts.
- Reassure Maxime’s family that investing his time and their savings in the Adventure 40 is worth it.
- To show Vincent that he is designing a boat for committed people, not just talkers.
- To give Maxime more credibility as he negotiates with prospective boatbuilders and equipment vendors.
¹Limosa Workshop (see banner) is Maxime’s new company dedicated to making the Adventure 40 real. Limosa is a genus of birds that make long oceanic migrations. Huge thank you to AAC member and professional designer Scott Arenz for the banner.
How It Will Be Spent
The money raised will be spent on the design process, including:
- A set of drawings.
- A full 3D model of the boat that can be viewed and manipulated in an online app.
Here are two examples of what we will get for our (and Maxime’s) money:
How It Won’t Be Spent
- Not one penny to Attainable Adventure Cruising, or me.
- Not one penny to Maxime for his time. I hope that one day he will make a fair profit for all his time, effort, and investment, but that day is not today.
Who Should Donate?
Obviously, all of us who dream of one day owning an Adventure 40 should donate, but even if, like Phyllis and me, you already have a boat that satisfies your needs², I would encourage you to make a donation, just like we did.
Why? Having just been through the secondhand boat-buying process, and now being deep into a refit, I can tell you that both experiences were, and continue to be, absolutely horrible.
And that’s for me, a deeply-experienced boat owner with major leverage over industry players conferred by my job.
For others, the experience will be worse. The way the previous two owners of our boat were treated is truly horrific—I can see the evidence every day as I fix the carnage left behind by those who “professionally maintained” the boat and the mistakes made by the builder and original dealer.
Bottom line, the cruising yacht industry, including builders, brokers, surveyors and boatyards, is, with a few shining exceptions, broken. This is the worst situation I have seen in all my 50 years of boat ownership, and trust me, I have seen some bad shit.
And, worse still, the buying frenzy that came with Covid—who would have called that one—has left the inventory of decent secondhand boats at its lowest level in decades.
We need to fix this. The Adventure 40 can at least help do that by setting an example of elegance, simplicity, quality, reliability and value, that will benefit us all.
By making a donation to the Adventure 40 we are funding positive change to a lifestyle we love, no matter what offshore boat we own, or aspire to own.
²That said an Adventure 40 would seriously tempt us to change boats again.
How It Works
With GoFundMe we are making a donation to the Adventure 40 design project.
This is different than platforms like KickStarter that are used to fund an already designed and prototyped product, and where payments are linked to specific deliverables to each person depending on the amount pledged.
Credit Where Credit is Due
That said, the names of those who donate to this vital first round will be displayed at the factory and/or on the prototype³, as a reminder to all who come after of your vital contribution, regardless of amount contributed.
³If you prefer to remain anonymous just tick the box when you donate and your name will not appear.
Of course, this is just the first round. So what do the French team plan for future funding? There are lots of options:
- KickStarter or the like
- Equity investors (venture capital)
- Boat deposits
- Builder funding
- A combination of the above
- Something Maxime has not thought of
Whatever, the more we contribute at this stage, the easier the next stage will be.
If you have ideas or thoughts on future funding, please leave a comment.
I have now spent some nine months communicating with Maxime and just had a fun and informative zoom call with him. Based on that I think he is a sincere and honourable person who is going to make this happen. That’s why I donated €100.
I’m also impressed that Vincent, an established naval architect, is willing to start work based on Maxime’s fee guarantee alone.
I also sincerely believe everything I wrote in this article is correct, but I have no way to verify any of it beyond all doubt.
So I need to make clear that I and Attainable Adventure Cruising Ltd are not guaranteeing any of this in any way.
And, further, I have no control of the project, and no deal for any revenue from it. I’m a reporter here, that’s it.
One more thing before the donation button. Pascal has left the project.
Here’s Maxime on what happened:
Pascal and I worked hard together to launch the French part of the Adventure 40 project, and, among many other things, were together in choosing Vincent as designer. However, on the way to taking the project further, our views on priorities and on several decisions diverged (for instance, on taking on the personal risk of guaranteeing the design fee), to the point where I eventually called it a breakup. This doesn’t take away from the many things that Pascal has done for the Adventure 40.
I never met Pascal, but I enjoyed our communications and will be forever grateful to him for being part of the French team who resurrected the project.
How Much Each?
So how much should each of us donate? That’s up to you. Phyllis and I went with €100 because it has a nice ring to it, and seems a rational number, but If that doesn’t work for you, that’s absolutely fine. The GoFundMe minimum is €5.
It’s way better for the project if you make a smaller donation, than no donation at all.
That said, if you want an Adventure 40 and can afford more, give more.
And if you want to make a substantial direct investment in the Adventure 40 project, please write to moc.duolcsnagrom@ofni and I will pass on your interest to Maxime.
The more we raise, the more credibility Maxime will have as he negotiates with the hard-nosed business people he needs to convince to get the boat built.
As any startup founder will tell you, the people who matter will put a lot more effort into a project that has a successful first round of financing under its belt.
Given that, let’s not stop at €5000 but rather raise as much as we can.