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:

Builder

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.

Design

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.

Schedule

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.

Maxime

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.

Website

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.

GoFundMe

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.

Conclusion

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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