Adventure 40 Reveal—Galley, Head, and Aft Storage

In previous A40 articles we revealed the hull, cockpit, and rig, and then took a look at the deck layout.

Now let’s go below to check out the areas aft of the salon, and then in the next article I will cover the salon and forward cabin.

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Brandon Reese

This boat design is looking fantastic for a couple. I’m ecstatic about the cutter rig and hard dodger in particular. I can’t wait to see the final product! The timeline for production may even line up well with when I would want to acquire a boat for the intended purpose as well. Exciting stuff! Keep up the good work Maxime and John!

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Brandon,

Great to read this, many thanks!!

Taras Kalapun

A question about toilet / heads / shower (I have very similar area on my current boat).

  1. In rough weather, it would be beneficial to sit down while showering – any provisions on that like flip down seat? Or do you think sitting on the toilet will work?
  2. Where would you hang the wet foul weather gear? If “in shower” – than that will block access to sink / toilet
  3. Working on engine – the bulkhead that is to the port of toilet – wont it limit how easy it will be to work on engine? And usually it’s where the fuel filter is and oil dip stick (at least on Volvo)
  4. Where do you plan to put the black water tank? Ideally it should be above water line for self drainage.
Dick Stevenson

Hi Taras,
Showering underway is a huge luxury and can transform a beat-up bedraggled self into someone seemingly civilized like magic. I would counsel against sitting in the toilet however, if at all on a heel: the hinges are just not robust enough to tolerate the side loads and will rip right off.
In fact, it is almost required, in my experience, to bolster the side load security by small “right angle supports” attached under the seat that catch to sturdy bowl, probably of porcelain, and preclude any side slipping. Mine are of white Starboard and are almost un-notice-able. Without these, the seat will quickly slide off the bowl and rip off (or loosen) the hinges when sitting at a heel.
And, sitting may happen more often, as, if like on Alchemy, men are “required” to make all deposits from a sitting position: most men have an inflated idea of the accuracy of their aim (and splatter matters).
In the bathroom as designed, for a shower, I would likely try to sit on an inverted bucket over the grid or just sit on the grid itself with the shower in hand. The latter is the safest, perhaps not the most elegant, but I suspect you will still emerge to get in your off-watch sleeping bag clean and feeling great.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Taras,

on 2., you may hang the foul weather gear in the “corridor” in the heads towards the equipment bay – very accessible yet out of the way. By the way, when not sailing and taking a shower, the same place can be used for the dry towel and clothes, behind the curtain we’ve represented, or a similar arrangement.

Dick Stevenson

Hi John and all,
I enjoyed the interior tour and the sharing of your thinking about the trade-offs. The equipment room might benefit from owners considering the vice below:
This is just a heads-up on what I consider a great vice for any boat. It is a Zyliss vice and it is made of some sort of metal alloy, I suspect aluminum based. It is extremely versatile with lots of accessories to handle metal, pipes, wood, lathe work etc.: all best shown by googling. Mine is 30-40 years old and is like new.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy 

Dick Stevenson

Ps. The Zyliss vice is, perhaps, not ideal when it comes to holding metal that you really want to lean on, although this may depend more on what the vice is attached to. I did need a heavy steel vice attached to an anvil to lever off a seized shackle I could not otherwise get off my anchor.
My best, Dick

Star Tracker

I’m currently playing with ideas for this on my boat. Much more limited on space at 33′, but one idea I keep coming back to is a blacksmith’s leg vice, mounted on the aft rail. Upside is excellent clamping force, and the leg transfers the load of leaning on or using a sledge. Downside being if you guess wrong you lose whatever it was over the side. Other contenders are the Grip-on pliers and mounts, basically a pair of vice grips with mounts to clamp. can hold long thin things easily, pipe etc. Works well where I don’t have a big steel vice.
As a side note, my galley is similar, and the head as well, it’s nice to see all this brilliant design work going on here showing that the choices already made are likely the best that can be given my space limits. I quite like my sink/counter layout, possibly a little more, might be worth a look for the A40. Sinks themselves are closer to centerline, and in my case angled slightly. Gives me the largest counter area possible by the stove, and right behind me a cutting board over the sink works well, I have my food scraps tub in the non-cutting board topped sink, easy to swipe off into it but doesn’t use up space at other times. I’m still deciding what to do about the nav station, it’s wholly impractical as you noted here. If I run out of things to do, I’m thinking a modified Japanese style step in tub, it has an integral seat, watertight door and is not tall. On a passage it would be a well contained wet gear overflow, with a table top just ahead of the head itself, still usable as a nav station too and probably more comfortably than my current one. A tri-fold tabletop would allow for navigation use, and also a large surface adjacent to the galley. My hanging locker in the quarter berth just to one side is elegant though, as it’s the berth for off-watch and has a drain and good ventilation. Much skinnier than I thought was practical until I figured out it holds one set of wet gear and a life-jacket perfectly with it’s own drain. I wish it was big enough to justify the aft storage area behind the head, but as it is the locker is already so small as to make changing it to an inside access not easily doable I think.

Philip Wilkie

I totally agree with the raised coaming and cockpit levels creating more volume aft of the companionway. My boat does not have this height, which means everything there is a crawl space; which in turn means it is very hard to efficiently utilise the already limited volume back there efficiently.

Definitely of the compromises I would change if I could.

Richard Tomlinson

Really good to see a design coming together that is optimised for long distance short-handed sailing and not for partying in a marina! The rig, hard dodger, cockpit layout, flat foredeck, attention to weight distribution are near perfect. Really pleased also that you have resisted the temptation of putting cabins at the back and have gone for masses of storage/work/technical space.

Also really like the “no coaming” cockpit. I can imagine it could end up being a comfortable position to keep watch in good weather, sitting against the pushpit with legs stretched forward.

Also think about cockpit storage for the small stuff – binoculars, cameras, suncream, shampoo for stern shower which you need to have handy rather than burying to the bottom of a locker where the small stuff always finishes.

I would like to see some thought to integrating a dual-use lightweight boarding plank (just a plank nothing fancy) into the cockpit design. Maybe as a back rest for occasional use in the cockpit, or as a bench seat at the rear of the cockpit?

I share your slight disappointment that there is no space for a separate shower stall that can double as a wet locker, ideally just at the bottom of the ladder. I would happily sacrifice saloon space and to achieve it. But if it can’t be done so be it.

On the subject of the saloon, I hope there will not be too much space wasted on a huge table which (on my boats anyway) never gets used to its full seating capacity. Most of the time I would end up using the saloon table as office space, rather than eating (which takes place upstairs whenever possible). So I would like to see some sort of consideration for “office -use” eg integrated power outlets, good storage, or if that is not possible then at least make it easy for the owner to customise. On both my previous boats I ended up chopping out the ridiculous saloon tables and making something smaller.

Please don’t delete the existing galley trash design! So much easier to use (and clean) than a locker inside a cupboard. And they don’t diminish galley working space as you can place pots and pans on top of the lids. I have this arrangement on my existing boat and it is way nicer and cleaner than my old boat with trash in a cupboard. I agree that extending the tip of the “U” would make it more practical when it gets rough, and add more counter top too.

Keep up the good work I am really liking how this project is coming together.

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Richard,

thank you for the kind words!

And thank you for the heads up on the boarding plank – we’ll soon make a few adjustments around the transom, better make sure that they work well with a plank being around, if it can be done without compromising something else.

What you write on the shower stall is exactly how we felt when we designed the heads! Also note that the resulting heads is quite large for this size of boat, and this is part of the tradeoff.

On the saloon table, the video John embedded into the article will give you some answers – but let’s discuss the details under the next article!

And my experience of this trash design is the exact same as yours! (although probably shorter)

John Cobb

Also disappointed re the separate shower stall. But I trust that the designer has made the right compromise here.

Re extending the counter aft into the current pantry shelves. Maybe that could be done while still leaving a storage shelf above the extended counter?

Colin Farrar

My thought exactly.

Alan Bradley

Just a question/suggestion: Why are all galley sinks divided when every woman sailor I’ve ever spoken to wishes she had a larger, single sink to wash her pans? If a second sink area is desired, it’s easy enough to set a plastic tub down into the larger sink. One more nit picking idea: Most faucet retrofits, including ours, replace the slightly angled faucet with a gooseneck design that has a head that can be pulled down to rinse out the corners of the sink.

Iain Dell

I’m very lucky in that my wife loves to cook and doubly lucky that she prefers to do the washing up as she goes along! She has a definite preference for the ‘one and a half’ sink layout that aids drainage and/or food washing when there’s stuff in the main sink.

Kit Laughlin

Completely agree with the ‘one larger sink’ idea: you simply can’t wash that one big pot that we all have one of in a small sink. In our land base (in a house we designed and had built) we put a laundry sink in the kitchen, and everyone who see it loves it. And yes to the gooseneck tap suggestion, too.

Stein Varjord

Hi Alan, John and all,
I’m planning a refit of our galley and will definitely get rid of the one and a half sink. The big one is too small for washing big items comfortably and the small one just a waste of space. That layout annoys me enough to think of ugly words. 🙂 I’ll be building the new solution and I do 95% of the dishes, (30% of the cooking) so even if my GF is a bit sceptical, this is how it will be! 🙂

I want a single much bigger sink. I want it deeper than usual, to make plenty space for safe storage of dishes. It will also be much longer than the combined length of the two we have now. The drip area will also be in/above the sink.

Along both longitudinal edges of the sink, I want an edge or rail to hold cutting boards and dish racks. These can be slid sideways to any position above the sink. Cutting boards will then be flush with the rest of the bench top. When slid to the end of the sink, they will fit tight. The sink will be rectangular, with sharp corners. The bottom will be inclined towards the drain hole in one corner.

This very large sink can be separated into smaller compartments by inserting a loose plate, or by putting a plastic tray inside it. I’m happy with taking a significant part of the counter space, because the drip rack and cutting board(s) will usually be above the sink. They can also be put on the bench next to the sink, of course.

The faucet will be a normal kitchen type that can swing sideways, but it will be placed on the wall/splash guard, not on the counter. I see zero point in having a horizontal ledge behind the sink to gather grime. The backsplash will go straight into the sink, only interrupted by the edge/rail for the cutting board etc. Same at the side where we stand. As close to no edge thickness as possible. More volume and far better ergonomics. Holding the arms forward more than necessary for a prolonged period is bad for our health, even if we are healthy.

In addition to this faucet, I’ll have a small shower head with an on/off lever straight on it. I’ll use the type that is normal for outside showers. Osculati Tiger is stainless and costs around 30 Euros. I’ll use it for rinsing off soap from dishes and clean off the counter top. It also reaches the stove, for filling kettles. It has a mixer for hot and cold on the splashguard. The hose hangs inside the bench. The head sits in a raised hole in the countertop, close to the splashguard, between the sink and the stove. Ready instantaneously. One hand operation.

I haven’t decided on materials and all details yet, but I’m considering making it all in one piece by glueing Corian. Reasonably light (if keeping the thickness to 6mm), durable, easy to work with and looks professional. An alternative is a combination of a stainless steel sink and a coconut wood counter top covered in lots of epoxy. I’ve seen equipment for pro kitchens looking about right. The angular design sink I want is also not too expensive to get made one off in stainless plates, bent and welded. Even the whole countertop and sink in one piece stainless is realistic, but I don’t think we’ll go that way.

For a a production boat like this, I think a mould for the whole thing is worth considering…? Or use a separate stainless sink attached under a glass/foam counter top? Sinks like that are available. Perhaps owners want another counter top surface, which they can then easily add on top, the A40 way.

Stein Varjord

To give some shape to the above ideas, our sink will have measurements of roughly:
Length: 80 cm (31 inches)
Width: 44 cm (17 inches)
Depth at drain: 22 cm (8,6 inches)
Depth at shallow end: 16 cm (6,3 inches)
Tentative numbers but close to real. Depth and length may increase. The bottom must be steep enough to drain away water properly, but not so steep that items in the sink slide too easily.

This sink would be really big even in a house, and we have a catamaran, with it’s abundance of space, but it’s still no problem to fit this into any 40ish foot cruising boat. The sink is an active part of the counter top surface. It doesn’t take space from it. It just gives it better functionality.

The sink is a much more used utility on a cruising boat than in a house, and the motion means the use is far more challenging too. It really needs to work well, not be an afterthought designed by someone who never did dishes manually. Most designers are men who at best can fill a dish washer. The many modern kitchens where the puny sink is placed far from the counter edge proves this incompetence.

Robert Hellier

Nice progress!

I like the flatter raised salon window layout. Looks much more purposeful and is imminently easier to maintain and repair

Totally agree to eliminate the footwell. Our boat has a hard dodger which we have to stoop under to get to the companionway. Absolutely no big deal. We even have to step up over a sill which is at least 12″ higher than the cockpit sole. Again, no big deal and we’re hardly contortionists! Given the many advantages of eliminating the well makes it a no-brainer for my wife and I. Hopefully the design team comes around to this. We’re completely in agreement to replace the step housing with a tubular ladder with solid steps and handholds. Once again, there’s too many advantages to really argue against this change.

Yes, it would be very nice to have more counter space by eliminating the pantry’s fwd bit. But it doesn’t have to be a 100% elimination. A shallow upper cabinet could remain which will make the bast use of the volume in that upper area. I agree with another commenter that a somewhat larger single sink would be preferable to two smaller sinks. The single sink would take up less overall space on the countertop too. Also a great improvement to raise the height of the back splash to 6″ or 8″.

I’m not convinced on the wall opening in the V-berth. Would rather have that closed off and use the wall space for other things. Form the looks of it there’s a handy desk space in the V-berth facing aft. So if the designer’s goal is to have a see-thru for visual com between the V-berth and settee/galley, you’d only really need the lower half of the opening. This would allow some storage/screens/electronics above the opening that is not now possible.

Wow it’s really coming along and I’m sure everyone is appreciating having the opportunity to be able to contribute to the design decisions in such an open manner. Normally, sailors get this opportunity only when we are ordering a custom build and how many of us are rich enough to do that!?. Keep up the great work.

Matt Marsh

We have a full bridgedeck between the cockpit and the companionway. Our traveller is mounted on it. Having the traveller across there is nice for the skipper, a little less nice for kids going up and down the companionway. But the bridgedeck is no trouble at all to climb over, especially when weighed against the peace of mind of knowing that a swamped cockpit absolutely cannot downflood the cabin, period.
I don’t see any need for a footwell there. John’s proposed improvement really is a better way.

Iain Dell

After this update I’m happy to say that my budget manager, aka wife, has got really keen to the point we’ve now registered our interest. However, contrary to what folk seem to be saying we’re quite happy with the arrangement in the Heads as inevitably, we give the toilet and associated area a quick wash with very hot water after each shower. There’s a grate on the deck so subsequent users don’t get wet feet and there’s a dedicated microfibre for wiping the seat. We definitely concur about maximising food preparation surfaces in the galley, though.

Maxime Gérardin

Thank you Iain (and wife!) for the positive feedback!

Colin Farrar

Love this design: head, galley, and utility spaces! John, your suggestions make eminent sense – the companionway, ladder, one-piece galley top and fiddles, etc. I think the shared toilet space / shower stall is a reasonable compromise and a practical use of space in a boat this size.

Two comments: 1. Re: electrical master switches / distribution busses, I have no problem with them in the utility bay: a) easier for the owner to wire optional equipment like a fridge compressor or water maker; and b) this might shorten the sum distance (and voltage drop) between said equipment and the house batteries. 2. I would give up the tooth-brush cabinet if this is where the black-water tank must go. BTW, I’m glad Maxime is planning for a gravity-dump holding tank, consistent with A40 simplicity/maintainability!

Matt Marsh

I highly recommend having only one black-water tank, and making it as big as physically possible, even if that intrudes on space that could be used for other things. Everything within a month’s sail of us is a no-discharge zone. Pumpouts are a major time-consuming nuisance, and are charged per tank, not per litre.

Dick Stevenson

Hi Matt,
Very good advice re holding tanks.
We have been on the Great Lakes now 2 seasons and pump outs are not hard to come by, but often in inconvenient locations: boatyards and marinas keep the good spots for their use. And it can get quite interesting watching boats work their way out of a narrow downwind spot.
Then there is the marina check-out-time which finds boat just getting underway milling around under power waiting for others to clear the pump-out dock. Again, interesting if maneuvering slowly in close quarters and it is a bit windy as boats jockey for position and try to remember who was next in line.
Although this solution is not for everyone, we have been using an Air Head Composting Toilet (more accurately described as a desiccating toilet) for our seasons on the GL’s and have been very happy.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Nathan Moore

I had a composting (desiccating) head on a previous boat, and absolutely loved it. No smell, no pumpout headaches, no joker valves, etc. I would consider removing even a brand new marine head and replacing it with a desiccating head on my next boat.

Stein Varjord

Hi Dick,
We also use desiccating toilet (I prefer the more descriptive “separating drying toilet”), and will never replace it with a water closet. We do have a normal boat toilet too, in a guest cabin, but it is almost never used. I’ve built ours myself. Easy, and fits the space better. Main ingredients:

– An enclosure with a top lid, in our case a bench built into the boat, to fit a seat, a pee funnel and a solid bucket with a trash bag in it. Having space for two or more is smart, as rotating them now and then gives capacity and more time for drying. We use 3 low and wide buckets and typically last as many months.
– A hose from the pee funnel to a container and/or a drain out of the boat. We have a small automatic pump to normally drain our 10 litre (2,5 gallon) tank overboard. It can also easily be lifted out and carried to a toilet on land. Choose a dark tank material for discretion.
– A computer processor fan and small hose to constantly draw a bit of air from the enclosure to the outside of the boat. It removes all smell and creates a drying air flow over the solids. Ours seems to draw about 0,2 Amps 12V, but constantly… No audible sound.

We live two grownups fulltime aboard and take the solids to the normal trash bin every couple of months. Just a couple of normal small trash bags, up to about 5 kilos/10 pounds of reasonably dry matter each).
– No smell.
– Minimal plumbing.
– No below waterline through hulls.
– No leaks.
– No blockages.
– No maintenance.
– No consumables, apart from toilet paper and trash bags.
– No waiting lines.
– No limits for what can be dropped in there, as long as fluids and solids are kept apart. Baby diapers no problem.
– No tanks to empty, just the inconspicuous and non smelly bags with the normal trash now and then. At sea the solids can be dumped overboard, of course, but then without a plastic bag. We use “compostable” bags, but have limited trust in the reality of that function.

Only downside is that guests need to be educated and convinced to sit down for any errand. Also that if they did it standing up, (guilty until proven innocent) it will not be left unpunished, including on our water closet. No matter how good the aim, tiny droplets will ALWAYS spray out of the toilet, with obvious consequences.

The announced punishment is:
– Prove that you can swim with clothes on,
– at a moment you didn’t expect, freezing temps ok.
Our friends have learned that breaking this rule, no matter how drunk, will make all others cooperate on surprise plans that will entertain them and sober you up! 😀 Not easily forgotten, as it becomes a joke for years. 🙂

Charlie Armor

I’ve recently met another very experienced sailor who has replaced his traditional Jabsco with a dessicating toilet. Everyone who has tried one assures me the smell isn’t an issue and I can’t think of any other downside. Perhaps the hardware and through hulls needed for a ‘wet’ heads should omitted from the standard build, with just a solid area left in the hull so people can fit a wet loo if they want?

I haven’t yet had the pleasure of trying one myself but they do seem to be becoming popular among the more minimalist blue water sailors the A40 is targeting

Dick Stevenson

Hi Stein and Charlie,
As much as I like my composting toilet and may never go back when we leave the Great Lakes, I am clear they are not for everybody nor for every cruising ground.
Besides, I can see John rolling his eyes and saying “And I have to respond to this also…”
My best, Dick

Dick Stevenson

Hi all,
For those interested, frequent and appreciated AAC contributor Drew Frye wrote a lengthy and excellent piece on composting/desiccating toilets in Practical Sailor (June 2021??) including design considerations for DIY heads.
My best, Dick

Dick Stevenson

Hi John,
 I agree that it is easy to go from a traditional marine toilet to a composting, especially if you can deal with the increased height of a composting toilet, without too much trouble: basically, throwing stuff out and capping off the water connections.
And I went from a venerable Baby Blake toilet (which had its entertaining challenges) straight to a Raritan PHII. No experience with Jabsco, but I would put in a good word for Raritan: with a decent maintenance schedule, it served us well for decades, much of which was live-aboard.
My best, Dick

James Peto

As a husband and wife team we have sailed throughout Europe and spent much time in the Arctic too..we made many changes over the years to our 40 ft sailboat but of the many the one from a comfort / practical point of view was to move the toilet bowl to the corner of the heads such that the seat was 45 degrees to the centre line. Even in the roughest of seas one was held in place by the two sides of the corner walls – we never even broke the lugs holding the seat in place as there was no strain.
I would also add that making the corners of the windows round / curved is sensible from an engineering standpoint remeber why the Comet Aircraft exploded in the early 50s.

Eric Klem

Hi John,

This looks good to me and I am glad that you are not trying to reinvent the wheel on this. A few quick comments from things I noticed:

Are the aft passageways actually wide enough to bend down and get something off a shelf in? When we bend down, we need a much wider area to maneuver in than when standing and working at a standing height. The same goes for working on the engine, if you can’t sit next to it you will be stuck lying on your side and working 1 handed. Since it looks low in the hull, getting the person low enough to work on it could be a challenge, sitting frog legged above the engine and trying to lean forward over your knees is not the easiest but I also don’t want you to raise the engine as that has all sorts of bad performance impacts. I will admit that one thing that really drives me nuts working on engines is when it is hard to transition from the front to the side of the engine but given your need for separating the head, I don’t see much of a way around this here.

You mention various pieces of equipment that could go on shelves. Have you considered noise? Right now it looks like the buyer will need to build a sound insulated compartment for things like the refrigeration, watermaker, etc. if they decide to install them. I suppose heat might also be a consideration in this category.

I have no issues with ladders at companionways. For safety, I am a big believer in having high vertical lips on the side of the steps and cleats covered in non-skid on the steps. Cleats are super common on commercial boats and almost never found on recreational ones in my experience and they allow you to walk down facing either direction safely in quite nasty weather. Of course, part of the reason they are not on most boats may be the boots that companies like Gil sell that have flat soles, I much prefer boots like these:

Has any thought been given at this point as to where the piping and wiring runs will go? I hope repairs and modifications won’t require major surgery or hours of snaking.

The headroom question is interesting and I suspect it may be down to priorities. People who argue that a boat spends 90% of the time at anchor may well feel headroom is non-negotiable whereas people who are only interested in sailing offshore may see it differently. I have owned 1 boat and sailed on a few others that did not have standing headroom for me and I can say for myself that it became a non-negotiable requirement when buying our current boat. Given that it is at 6’3″ right now it would seem a shame if that inch or whatever it was couldn’t be found in the design so that 99th percentile people could stand up with normal shoes on.


James Chase

I’m pretty much exactly 6’3″, having just done a 14-month cruise on a boat with a variety of headrooms throughout the boat, I know for sure that I can tolerate less than 6’3″ headroom through most of the boat EXCEPT the galley. For cooking and washing up, if my head touches the headliner at all,… I’m out… (and I sure hope I’m not out, because I absolutely LOVE every detail of this design that has been released so far!)

Maxime Gérardin

Hi James,

thank you for the support! And in addition to John’s answer, yes, see my other comment below: people of your size will be totally comfortable around the galley and at the shower spot, and a little less going forward.

Matt Marsh

I cannot over-emphasize the importance of easy engine access. I have rejected *so* many boats as “nope, I won’t buy that and you shouldn’t either” because it’s too difficult to get to the parts that might break. Poor engine access hurts resale value on its own, and hinders proper maintenance, which hurts resale value even further. It also makes mechanics issue larger invoices for more hours. Purely on a total-cost-of-ownership basis, it’s very important to get this right, even without considering the cursing and injuries that come with poor access.

The high cockpit sole in this proposed design helps a lot. This idea of using a ladder and removable front & side panels would help a lot, too.

Eric Klem

Hi John,

My initial reaction is that I like the idea of a ladder with hand rails built in that otherwise opens up the space. I have always found them to be secure and functional although maybe a bit industrial. I have certainly seen companionways that are secure in the sense of being narrow so you are confined but that don’t have good handgrips which are far worse than a decent sized rail at the right height. One interesting question would be whether opening up those areas was easy to do structurally as often there is a structural bulkhead in the vicinity of the companionway.

Regarding noise and heat, I generally strive for a quiet boat and have so far been pretty successful so I was slightly surprised to hear that you have not done the same. Our refrigeration is just audible in the galley and nowhere else if everything else is truly quiet and the fresh water pump is only a little louder. The engine and windlass can both be heard quite clearly and I think that is just life. I suspect many customers will opt for refrigeration and most compressors I have seen make no provision for a remote condenser installation which was what originally got me thinking about this. So some thought about how to allow the running of refrigerant lines back to the cockpit locker may make sense as that would seem a much better location for the compressor and condenser.

With regards to the alleyway widths I took a quick look through MIL 1472 which is one of the major human factors standards that would be used in this sort of situation. I like this one as it assumes fit people and isn’t overly conservative like another one of the major ones plus it often gives values for different people like it gives strength values in all sorts of positions for 5th percentile female and 95th percentile male so you see the range. I only gave it a quick look but didn’t see a direct answer to the space question although I may have missed it or it may be covered in a different standard, I do use these standards regularly for work but I am not a human factors person and have someone on my team that I rely on for these sorts of things. It did have a few interesting related things:

  • For kneeling work facing head-on, the minimum depth of space needed is 42″. All of these numbers assume you don’t need to see perfectly, they provide other, larger numbers when that is required, these are basically so you can turn a screwdriver. I think this is a useful number to keep in mind for working on an engine, watermaker, etc. if they are low in the boat.
  • For squatting work, the minimum depth of space needed is 36″. Squatting is only for very short term work like a quick adjustment, you shouldn’t be adjusting your engine valves while squatting.
  • For standing work, 24″ is enough depth.
  • 95th percentile males have a shoulder breadth of just over 21″. This one probably demands some caution as these are military people, I suspect the general population will skew broader.

I also took a minute and measured the amounts that I would need as being 6’3″ and 200lbs, I am a pretty good gauge of a large male. The numbers above seem about right, they would be tight but that is what you want with limited space. I also tried getting something off a shelf to the side and for a low shelf, my minimum was 28″ width in the alley. I was unable to do this straight-on and had to be mostly sideways with some twist at my waist and most of it in my arms. I couldn’t necessarily see what I was grabbing and wouldn’t be able to work on things or lift something heavy but I could grab normal boat stuff off a low shelf with 28″. The standard actually mentions lifting while twisting and recommends a max of 30° and an absolute limit of 45° with a 20% lifting capacity reduction at the 30° position.

Of course, these numbers may well still be too big. So in the end, I do think you are right that a mockup will be the final answer. I have a feeling engine access may need to be sitting working sideways which is not ideal but not the end of the world as long as it isn’t lying on your side.

I realize now that I was far too general in my headroom comment. Yes, it matters where in the boat we are talking about. The areas you mention should be sufficient.


Dick Stevenson

Hi John,
There is a ying and a yang to things that make noise on a boat.
Quiet is really nice, but Alchemy has a fan) for each of the air-cooled Sea Frost refrigeration systems (frig & freezer) right in the living area of the boat. We are used to them cycling on and off, but it is very like living in your kitchen at home with the frig/freezer appliance cycling on and off.
Noise is information. Every now and again, I notice that the fan is running more often than usual (possibly low refrigerant). Or that it has not run in a while. Or the noise quality has changed.
For me to wish to isolate noise completely, I would need to be dead-certain that the noise would never carry important information.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy 

Maxime Gérardin

Hi John,

regarding the shelves, yes, this looks like good modifications! At the moment I would say just as you write on starboard, and, on portside, maybe pushing everything from the shelves to the galley very slightly towards the hull – so that the sea berth (which was slightly narrow anyway) stays rectangular.

Eric Klem

Hi John,

Thinking about heat for a minute. I would expect most marine refrigeration units to have a COP of something in the range of 2 although I find it incredibly annoying how most marine refrigeration equipment doesn’t post performance specs. With this COP and assumption of a 10 cubic foot refrigerator with 4″ foam insulation, I would guess that the amount of heat generated will be on the order of 450 BTU in the tropics. This is a little less than having 2 more people sitting down below which isn’t too bad unless it is raining and you have the boat closed up for a while, then it would definitely not be appreciated. The take away probably is that there needs to be a plan for air flow at all times like dorades and not opening ports wherever the refrigeration is installed unless it is a cold weather boat. And I would include a cockpit locker in this if someone installs one there, even if a person won’t get overly hot, the COP will suffer a lot and you will need bigger batteries and more power generation.

Regarding keeping the shelves parallel to the hull, I definitely think that would help with maximizing space and keeping it usable.


Eric Klem

Hi John,

Yes, raw water cooling the fridge is definitely a solution to this as it will send 2/3+ of the heat into the water. Also, from an efficiency standpoint, liquid cooling is great as it greatly increases your condenser efficiency. It is worth keeping in mind that pumping water can be energy intensive so these gains can be completely wiped away if not set up right by doing something like creating a large pressure differential on the pump.

That being said, I know of almost no one using liquid cooled refrigeration on their boat at this point and I know several who have switched away but maybe that is just me. I think that the major reason is problems with marine growth fouling the heat exchanger which is not cleanable. I am definitely not an expert in the practical application of this but I do understand the theory so if there is another reason I would certainly be open to hearing about it.

My earlier comments were indeed about air cooled, I didn’t even think of anything else.


Maxime Gérardin


Eric, it’s hard to follow you through imperial units (for others like me: 450 BTU/h is 130W), but yes on the takeaway!

John, sure building a ventilation through the rope storage bay under the winches is quite straightforward – it’s been done on boats that have exterior storage in the coamings, but I had not remembered, thank you!!

(by the way I don’t readily see the relationship between the exchanger on the seawater side and having a holding plate, maybe a more general evolution to more compact and less maintainable systems? But as you noted elsewhere I’m not in the fridge business!)

Dick Stevenson

Hi all,
Just an FYI: I have lived with an air-cooled frig and an air-cooled freezer for getting close to a couple of decades now. They are both BD units from Sea Frost. They both have the option of water cooling. In consult with SF when installing, I felt that the added complications of installation (plumbing and electrical) and of maintenance that comes with water cooling plus the fact that they would demand power to operate the water pump argued for air cooling. I have been and remain happy with this decision.
An added benefit: for those on boats that wander widely and are using different boatyards: you live aboard on the hard regularly, sometimes for a good bit of time. Being able to have refrigeration on the hard is just a large step toward civilized living.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
Ps. The heat exchanger does need to be vacuumed clean of dust occasionally.

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Eric,

no, the exact location of the wire conduits has not been thought out, although I think we can reveal that weight centering and the other constraints imply the house bank will be slightly forward of the mast post (and thus close to the windlass).

And just as John says, yes people of 6’3″ (190cm) will be totally comfortable around the galley and at the shower spot, and a little less going forward.

Eric Klem

Hi Maxime,

That sounds like a good place for the batteries. And I expect the engine will be small enough that voltage drops would be acceptable for starting with large cabling like 2/0 if the starting is done from there too.


Alan Sexton

Hi John,
I have a similar shape galley, just a little larger. A few thoughts

  1. Have a toe kick recess below the sink area. If that is made 150mm high then you can have a cunning pair of drawers for extra stowage in what would otherwise be waste space
  2. Ideally the stove should be far enough aft, at least 350-400mm that you can rest against the cabinet whilst on starboard tack rather than the crash bar.
  3. I have a small refrigerator under the side deck, with the freezer under the bench – works really well for access.
  4. I would make the centreline cabinet return wide enough to retrofit a front opening fridge or one of those drawer fridge units -accessed from the aft end. The rubbish slot(s) can go at the forard end of the bench
  5. I know you have previously said you do not want too many drawers, but ideally a stack of 4 drawers aft of the stove would cover cutlery, cooking tools, boxes of wraps etc and finally tea towels etc respectively.
  6. I have a raised splash back with a narrow rack on top of it at the front of the bench – ideal for cups, tea, coffee, condiments etc that are within instant reach. Mine is open top, however ideally should have a cover both for visual effect and security in case of a knockdown


Mark Ellis

Totally agree with you, Alan, re the toe-kick area. I would have it everywhere I could. A real bad-back-saver. I took the sole out of my first live-aboard yacht (28′) and it gave me about a foot of toe room under the cupboards. You can actually use it for stability when cooking when it’s rough (which remeber can happen at anchor too) . But I’m guessing molding the glass might be more awkward and thus more expensive.

And I too am a fan of drawers. I don’t know why so many people are against them. On the other hand, well stowed plastic boxes are really good too, a perfect compromise.

And John, I’d love to see watertight bulkheads around the engine room. Has that been a consideration at all? It need not mean sacrificing the excellent engine accessibility.

But looking fantastic. The boat is shaping up to be a real competitor in the market.




Consider moving the refrigerator and freezer from under the galley counter, to the inboard side of the counter (below the recycle and trash) and accessed from the inboard side. It would suggest two separate drawers, rather than doors, just like what is shown in the rendering.

Trash and recycle should be on a pull-out shelf below the sink where most of the garbage is created.

Galley faucet should have a pull-out spray head and large enough sink to allow shampooing of hair.

Mark Wilson

It must seem that every comment that comes in implies a criticism of your project. So please accept this as an observation and no more. Or at least enjoy the chance to further hone the purity of the details of your “proper yacht”.

I wonder if the startling amount of equipment and machine space your design provides will tempt the unwary to unbalance the boat and to fill it with every kind of equipment and machinery, some of which may or may not come in useful five or ten or even fifteen years into the mission. Such may have been a boon twenty or thirty years ago in a time of almost universal snail like shipping and extreme currency controls. Less so now. Its a wonderful thing to always have the right tools for the job but how many are enough ?

Further I can see this design being very attractive to marina queens handymen. Nothing wrong with them and I certainly have benefited from their expertise but was it really for them that on those long night watches you came up with the Adventure 40 concept ?


P D Squire

Solar, radar, dingy, bimini, wind turbine, …
Are there any rules of thumb indicating how much is too much to hang aft? e.g.;

  • Total surface area presented at 10deg of heel to wind coming 45deg off the bow or stern must be less than X% of the sail area
  • Total weight must not shift the COG aft by more than x%
Dan Perrott

I like the possibility of a small pipe birth in the port aft storage area.
Our quarter birth is our preferred off watch sleeping area.
I agree with your comments on the single material galley fiddles and higher splash back.
Our companionway ladder clips in place to the side (in the galley). This means it’s still just about usable for the suitably athletic to get up and down. Often engine work takes a little time and it’s nice not to be stuck below the whole time. This may block side engine access though which would be worse.
Just wondering where people who prefer one sink put the just washed up dishes to drain securely while sailing?
I thought I needed enough headroom. Then discovered the boat we liked didn’t have enough. I then discovered as we sailed south and my shoes came off I did have enough after all.

Peter Thornton

Hi all, has consideration been given for placing the engine forward of the galley? This places one of the heaviest single components directly over the keel where the weight is most useful. Engine beds can be incorporated into the structure holding the keel on saving weight further. A single piece engine box covers the entire engine, much more effective soundproofing than 3 removable panels as under the cockpit. Engine can be worked on without disruption to galley/head/companion way. Yes it will be slightly in the way of the saloon activities and access to the forward cabin but it can be offset slightly to port with no problem.

The middle of the boat has the most carring capacity but other than tankage it is hard to utilize. The engine is close to 200kg so placing it here has merit, many kiwi designers have used this approach when building performance orientated yachts.

The space left under the cockpit would be great for large bulky light weight items such as inflatable dinghy, light weather sails, folding bike etc. John, I really like your ladder idea for easy access to this area.

We have a 12m yacht very similar in shape to the A40. The (single) quarter berth is the place to be on passage, no contest, it would be even better if the motor wasn’t next door.

The space in the back half of the boat is the most useful to humans sailing the boat on passage that’s why everything is grouped around this space. The motor doesn’t need to be here.

I know the exhaust gets long and so does the prop shaft and control cables but with the raised galley sole there is plenty of room plus this arrangement gives great access to all the drive components etc.

Charles Starke MD

Hi John
I had a Hinckley 38 which “supposedly” was “designed” for the engine under the sole in the main cabin. Of course, they had to add a big bulb sticking out both sides of the hull above the keel to ACTUALLY accommodate said engine.
Best wishes,
Charles L Starke
s/v Dawnpiper

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Peter,

to give more details, yes, what you say is something we considered – in fact there were three whole weeks when we had almost the current design for the hull rig cockpit etc., knew we had the right space inside for the accomodation, but didn’t know how to have it come together – so we tried many things, not all of them wise! (and I’m now all the more happy of how great the solution, in my opinion, is, but the complete view of that will be with the next article!)

A few things came out when trying to push the engine forward:
– access is not as straightforward to organize as you write: you can’t easily just have one big box, as it has to go somewhere when you open, including at sea.
– it’s not just the weight of the engine, but also the weight of the fuel tank: in the current arrangement, we will very likely, baring any yet unidentified problem, place the tank forward of the engine under the raised cabin sole. While if we push the engine forward, the tank has to go backwards, and you lose part or all of what you’ve just gained…

Also, as the pitching moment of inertia thing is quadratic, what matters is taking the masses out of the ends. But then as you move them towards the center, each new meter matters less than the previous one. And anyway you can’t practicaly pile up all the masses just at the center!

Ignat Fialkovskiy

l understand this part is yet to come, but hope you will provide a properly comfortable chair at the “boat s office” . Couldn’t see any in the Video.

Great job otherwise!!

Kevin Williams

I agree that the galley layout is excellent and the suggestions that would expand counter space only serve to improve it. I also support those that suggest a small bank of drawers. There has been some discussion of tap configuration, but I have not seen any consideration of a seawater foot pump? This is one of the most used fixtures on our boat while extended cruising. It would seem that mechanical system considerations include the provision of hot/pressure water…I must admit that it makes no sense to me that ice box refrigeration would not receive the same “built in” consideration. Surely the vast majority of purchasers will want it, and the chosen system can be designed into the boat with compressor space/noise/ventilation/wiring all taken care of. I agree that those wanting extended capacity and/or freeezer can look to the storage bay. I anticipate the rationale for omission falls to cost, but respectfully, I would suggest saving on the standard inclusion of a windvane that would receive periodic use by some, and no use by others. As much as the A40 objective is to be adventure ready upon launch, it seems evident from years and thousands of comments that purchasers will still want/need to make their own choices with respect to sails, electronics, and autopilot/steering, and drogue systems. Believing such, I fully support all construction costs efforts that provide conduits, blanks and hardpoints for purchasers to configure the vessel to their own needs. It is very gratifying to see the project come together, with design adaptation to new styling and thinking…and most importantly remaining focused on simplicity and robust design. Thanks to everyone involved.

Dick Stevenson

Hi all,
This does not apply to the A40, so read on only if interested in a different take on sea water access at the galley sink.
In probably hundreds of clean anchorages, we did much of our dish washing with sea water, especially in those areas where we were depending on a watermaker. (Followed by a much easier fresh water clean & rinse using far less domestic water.) An added bonus now that we are in the Great Lakes is that we are pumping fresh water.
I would suggest, not a foot pump, but to “T” a spray nozzle onto one’s deck wash for anchor cleaning. Then, you have a powerful spray for cleaning of pots and dishes. In addition, you have a spray ready-at-hand with a decent amount of range which can augment fighting fires.
It is really nice to have an unlimited amount of water for initial pots and dishes clean-up.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy 

Calvin S Holt

The video is great and excited to see more. I’m not qualified to comment on the layout. While it sounds like the head will be spacious, would a 6′ 3″ man, with a large posterior, be comfortable on the loo?

Off topic – would it be worthwhile for an insurance company to comment on what they look? Would they consider placing this boat in a lower premium category for risk/repair considerations?

I know the length – 40.8 has been discussed, but there is no way to make it 39.9 for dock/storage fee advantages?

What’s the current ETA? 2024? Is there another round of order-taking coming up?

Great job all, keep it up! This is looking to be a winner.

Calvin S Holt

John my limited experience with marinas is that the hull length stated in the brochure is what the footage fee is based on. Thanks for the reply

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Calvin,

thank you for the kind words!

On insurance companies, yes of course in an ideal world they would be a primary source of input. More than a year ago I tried to ask, and quickly understood it was a loss of time, at least at this stage.

On length, if it were a matter of 5 cms then we would have “twisted” things, but it’s more than that. Similarly, keeping the hull length under 12 meters can slightly reduce certification costs, but we preferred to stay at 12.45 meters.

2024 would be for a prototype only.

I insert here the answer to Brandon’s comment below, because these points work together: yes the US$285k cited by John (before tax and with no fancy equipment), at today’s exchange rate (things will be done in euros…), are the area we want to reach – although it’s a challenge.

And, regarding your last question: for this challenge to be met AND high quality be achieved, we’ll have to demonstrate to all participants and suppliers (there are many!) that this really is a large series. The GoFundMe campaign is an excellent first hint – thank you all again!! But then, when we’ll have finished presenting the work done with Vincent and team and on the keel, we’ll have to go one step further. So yes, another round, although its details are still to be defined!

Brandon Reese

I know it’s premature, as the design is still in flux and a builder hasn’t been chosen yet, but I’m curious on the current estimated retail pricing. Is that something Maxime can share? I know the original target was $250k, but that was ten years ago. With inflation that’s closer to $320k today, is that the target?

Brandon Reese

Thanks John! One final bit of clarification, the price target was set as “ready to go,” I know that the sails are intended to be “included” by the builder, but rather set(s) that are recommended are to be bought separately. Does that envisioned “ready to go” price include the (estimated cost, of course) sails, or no? Either way, if he can get the price in that ballpark that’s going to be great! Thanks again, and I’ll keep following along with excitement.

Brandon Reese

You don’t have to convince me! What you say about the sails makes perfect sense. Just waiting with bated breath on all of the details! Just need to plan how big of a coin hoard I need socked away so I can buy one in a few years.

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Brandon,

thank you for the enthusiasm! On price targets, see my answer to Calvin just above.


Hi, Is there a launch date and price?

Thanks, David

Gretchen Hartke

Love the cutter rig and U-shaped galley! As a couple who has converted one of our (stupid) aft quarter berths into a “garage” that includes our Victron controls for the lithium bank, inverter, an auxiliary freezer/fridge, water maker controls, and various equipment, we couldn’t agree more that having two aft cabins is an absolutely impractical use of space for a cruising couple or small family. Keep going, looks great! We’ll start saving our pennies.

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Gretchen,

thank you for the endorsement and encouragement!!

Drew Frye

Steps vs. Ladder and Old Guys.

Your buyers are not going to be all youngsters (most will be >50), and as we age knees go bad. Maybe up and down the steps is just tiring at first, and eventually quite difficult or impossible. And it’s not what you can do when you buy the boat, it is what you will feel like 10-15 years later. Many (most) boats suffer from what I call “tall step disease.”

A standard step is 7 1/2 inches. Many on boats are higher to save space.

Ladders are typically 16 inches. OK if you have good knees, the ladder is not leaning, and you have two free hands to pull on the rungs. I would turn down any boat with a companionway ladder step that is over 7 1/2 inches, unless I could see an easy way to replace the ladder, and then I would count that against the purchase price.

I’ve added steps or replaced ladders on every boat I have owned, starting when I was in my 20s. Maybe just me, my bad knee, and my wife’s bad knee. But every “mature” visitor has complimented the changes. Some ofthose bad knees start pretty young (my injury happened in college). But I would consider and older or tired person’s ergonomics. Few designers do.

Drew Frye

And I agree that ladders are not dangerous. Certainly no more so than stairs, and in a seaway both depend on good railings.

Frederick Gleason


I think the changes suggested for the galley, stair and cockpit floor are good. I also like the improve flat glass with radius corners for more strength.

I really like this suggestion because insurers generally require this capability if the boat is going offshore, and failures have caused abandonment etc.

This change would also allow the builder to make provision—perhaps threaded inserts set into the laminate—for the installation of storm shutters. But even without that, a flat window is easy to jury-rig/repair (with a hatch lid, or similar, held in place with a strong-back) in the event of a failure at sea. More on that here.

I don’t know the boat as well as many, but where and how big are the battery banks? Are the well ventilated and away from the engine compartment and well protected from outside. Is there a dedicated and ample Electrical Equipment wall that is well ventilated and has ready access to ships panel, the engine compartment and likely solar locations?
How big is it? The electrical equipment needed is quite extensive.

Is there a out of sight, easy to run, internal cable route from the mast to the nav station, electrical panel, cockpit, and forward, etc.?

I have one comment about the forward of galley layout. We seem to have a lot of discussion about where to locate steps in this boat. I think I know why the step down from the galley to the settee and dining was located there, but I think it should be moved forward to the aft edge of the rear facing dinette seat to align with the forward edge of the settee. This would allow better keel reinforcement, make the cabin more integrated with the galley, reduce steps up and down, and make the starboard settee more useful. I see that there are drawers and storage that would be lost, but there could also be more long term (batteries ?) or storage underfoot.
I do not know if there is significantly less headroom as your move forward, or if the step is located there to reduce a headroom problem, but the floor layout begs to be more integrated with the galley.

Robert Hellier

Hi John and Maxime,

A very quick comment/suggestion about windlass controls. My current 36′ sailboat has a wand on a cable. The cable starts from the cockpit and is long enough to walk it out to the bow. This is the usual mode when an experienced couple are sailing together. But if only one experienced person is available to anchor, everything can be done from the helm with this configuration. I’ve not seen this on any other boat but it’s actually a great idea. Two previous owners spent 25+ years at various anchorages in Europe and North/Central America and it proved to be a good solution. To avoid the cable being a trip hazard I just run it out over the cabin top where it won’t slip onto the deck because the rails and dorade boxes stop it from doing so.


Rob on Mayero 2

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Robert,

many thanks for this suggestion!! Having no experience with longer-than-usual control cables it’s not easy to visualize the tradeoff, but it does sound like this could be a solution in case we can find no reliable-affordable wireless control!