Adventure 40 December 2023 Progress Report

December 2023

There has not been a lot to write about since we finished discussing the Version 2.0 design in August, but there has been a lot going on behind the scenes.

But before we get into that, if you are new to the Adventure 40 project, please read the June 2023 progress report, so what follows makes sense to you.

And if you don’t know why the Adventure 40 will be insanely great1, start here.

OK, all caught up? Let’s lift the curtain:


In the late summer Maxime spent several intense days with a prospective builder who has a great track record of completing boats in modern materials that must withstand the gruelling world of French offshore racing—the Adventure 40 will present no new technical challenges for them.

They also have deep experience building one-off custom boats, and so have the technology to build a prototype A40 at a reasonable2 cost.

Over the fall, Maxime has continued to work with this builder on feasibility and technical issues and things are looking good, although we will not be revealing more until the deal is done.


With the Version 2.00 renderings and drawings done, incorporating many changes and improvements arising from the first iteration, Vincent Lebailly has finished his part of the project and signed over the design to Maxime.

Architectural Review and Engineering

Maxime and the prospective builder are working together to select another naval architecture firm to perform a design review, with particular attention to sea kindliness and performance, and to work closely with the builder and Maxime on engineering and optimizing the design for mass production.

As of the time of writing, preliminary discussions have been held with a well-known naval architecture firm in France who the prospective builder has worked with in the past, and who have deep experience designing production boats—lots of brands you have heard of.

Once again, we will not be announcing the firm until the deal is done.

Prototype Funding

A very experienced sailor has expressed serious interest in buying the Adventure 40 prototype. A great development that looks likely to help fund that phase.


While Maxime has made huge progress over the last four months, there are still many details that are not yet nailed down that make a production schedule tentative.

But the good news is that we are still on the schedule we revealed in June:

  1. Late 2024:
    • Preliminary price and specification available.
    • Preliminary order taking with a part-deposit to secure place in build schedule.
  2. Summer of 2025:
    • Prototype sailing.
    • Finalize price and specification based on the experience with the prototype.
  3. Late Summer 2025:
    • Final order confirmation including payment of full deposit and allocation of boats, with those who committed in 2024 getting precedence.
  4. Summer 2026:
    • First production boats delivered to owners.

The fun thing is that, with a prototype in the plan we may see a boat in-build and then sailing earlier than expected, which should help the order book.


All of the above sounds straightforward when listed out in a quick article, but I can assure you that, as with any project of this magnitude, there have been significant challenges that would have discouraged or even caused most people to give up.

However, Maxime has exhibited the rare, and it is rare, entrepreneurial grit necessary to approach each road block and dead-end as part of the process of getting to success.

And when hard decisions had to be made Maxime grasped the nettle and acted—more than anything else, this is the mark of a manager who makes success happen.

We are lucky to have him in charge.

Mailing List

The Adventure 40 mailing list continues to grow, with sailors signing up every month as interested in buying a boat.

As I write, the total stands at 727. The unsubscribe rate remains incredibly low at just 99 since we first offered the list in 2013, and the open rate on mailings is equally amazing, averaging about 70%.

We have a lot of people interested in the Adventure 40 and they stay interested over time.


I’m deep into moving this site to a new theme technology that will allow Adventure 40 articles to have their own branding, but still be part of Attainable Adventure Cruising so as to benefit from our great Google Page Rank and traffic.

Not sure what the completion date will be, since it’s a complex project and must be fitted in around my primary jobs of creating and updating content and answering comments, but I manage to put some hours into it every week.


The GoFundMe contributions total €19,188. All of this has been spent on out-of-pocket expenses, mainly design fees.

Note that not one penny has gone to:

  • Attainable Adventure Cruising, or me.
  • 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.

We at AAC have just made our third donation.

So if you can see your way clear to making a donation, either your first or additional, that will help get boats in the water.

More on the GoFundMe campaign, including terms and disclaimer.


We still have a long way to go, with plenty of uncertainty remaining, but huge progress has been made, the news is good, and we are on track.

  1. Thanks, Steve Jobs. ↩︎
  2. Reasonable in the context of custom boats. ↩︎
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Giles Adams

John, Phyllis,

Great to see the update and progress.


Appreciate all the hard work going on behind the scenes, really excited to see the results of your efforts.

Have a great time over the holidays.

Regards – Giles

PS. Deposit sat in the Bank.

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Giles,

thank you, and great to hear!

Robert Hellier

Nice pre-Christmas present to hear such positive news about the boat’s design and key partnerships! Seeing the prototype evolve and go for seatrials will be such a thrill for all of us who’ve been following the A40 since your inception of it in 2016.

Talk about delayed gratification, especially for you, John! But “good things come to those that wait”. Or more correctly, to those that have the patience and tenacity.

Coming down your way (Nova Scotia) tomorrow, with a trailer full of building materials and tools. Got my own design project to work on over the holidays and beyond…

Maxime Gérardin

Hi everyone,
I must add to John’s kind words: needless to say, none of what we’re currently doing could have been without John’s vision for the A40, without the thoughtful community that is AAC, without your contributions in both comments and donations, and without John’s careful advice all along the way!
Many thanks and happy holidays to you all!!

Gordon Hinds

I bought a few years ago a kiwi cold moulded 38 footer built in 1986. It’s a little like your adventure 40. I measured my boat a while back and could I had an extra 2 feet! It’s finer in the bow and stern and very sea kindly. It also needed a ton of work as the previous owner had craftily hidden bad stuff like some sort of weird game of discovery. The boat was ahead of its time with hull windows. Being built by a frugal kiwi it has little storage for clothes or food. The hull windows are a treat and would add to the appeal of the adventure 40. We have a large aft wheel wheel twin wheels are more user friendly as access to the transom is easy. Down below we could use a rethink on how the head works and there is no wet locker.
As a racing sailor I am keen for speed. But I am also learning that short handed sailing is slower that I am used to, but there are limits on how fast you can go with just two of you. Ten knots in a sea throws you around wuite a bit and while the ride for me is
Exhilarating, for my wife it’s not so much fun. Scary for her. Getting the balance right is tough.
Refitting or simply fixing a good yacht that has been vandalised is an expensive and perhaps thankless task. Happy to share more details for your other readers.
Gordon Hinds

Matt Marsh

It’s quite possible to make hull windows that are sufficiently strong and durable for a cruising boat. It is, however, tremendously expensive and tedious. The hull reinforcement around them needs to be carefully planned and executed; the curved frames are hard to make; the glass panes themselves need to be a lot thicker and heavier than a naive water-pressure calculation would suggest. Most examples that I’ve seen – I’d say >70% at least – are done with a degree of cost-cutting that I would not trust in a rough seaway, or for the long term.

Charlie Armor

I thought you and Maxime would be interested in this if you haven’t seen it already, your timing is good 🙂

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Charlie,

thank you, encouraging indeed!!

Boris Essender

Hi John, Bonjour Maxime,

Thanks for updates, I hope things will develop positively and you’ll soon find a competent and motivated builder for this project, which I’m seriously considering, as I plan to upgrade from my current Alubat Ovni 32.

One thing which I’m not sure has already been discussed: have you guys considered to build-in a central water outlet hub allowing to connect outlets above waterline, and facilitating their maintenance (see picture from HR69)? I guess this might be a great contribution to the low maintenance cost principle, while probably not very expensive to include in the building of the boat.

Looking forward to next updates, I send another modest contribution to the kitty “pour garder le moral”. Bonne chance!

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Boris,

thank you for the additional donation and the encouragement!!

On the sea chest, in addition to John’s points, to me the most direct way is to stay with the simpler multi-seacock configuration, but make sure to select the best (think Guidi) bronze seacocks available!