A New Open 40 Gets Hatched

California Condor, a new Open 40 designed by Jim Antrim and Built at Berkeley Marine recently launched in the Bay Area

California Condor, a new Open 40 designed by Jim Antrim and built at Berkeley Marine recently launched in the Bay Area

Dan Newland helps finish a new Open 40.

For 5 weeks this spring I was in the Bay area working on the build of a new Open Class 40, “Condor” or more properly “California Condor.” I was originally going to be there for 1-2 weeks to design and build some of the detailed finish composite work but they liked what I was doing and they were far behind schedule so I was invited to stay as long as I could. After 5 weeks of 7 days a week and 10-12 hours a day, (300+ hours in 5 weeks time) plus needing to do some work for some other customers, I had to get back so I came home before the boat was launched.

The boat is 10,000 lbs with a 4000 lb lead bulb at the bottom at 40′ LOA and 15′ wide. Now THAT is WIDE! (Pegasus is 37′ but only 10′ wide for comparison). They carry so much sail they had to go with square headed mainsails (otherwise the height of the center of lift becomes so far aloft it heels the boat excessively).

I find it fascinating that after all these years of increasing the height and aspect ratio of racing boat sail plans, we are back to gaff rigs and bowsprits!  These “fat head” mains could only be possible with the light, super stiff and strong carbon fiber tube battens...in other words, "gaffs".

I find it fascinating that after all these years of increasing the height and aspect ratio of racing boat sail plans, we are back to gaff rigs and bowsprits! These “fat head” mains could only be possible with the light, super stiff and strong carbon fiber tube battens...in other words, "gaffs".

The width of the boats and high speed shapes tend to make for very flat sections with really high wetted surface so interestingly, their speed in light air is only so-so. And heeling them over actually increases wetted surface so it is better to trim them down by the bow.

Dual rudders and chines carried forward

Dual rudders and forward chines

California Condor is so powerful and planes easily enough that Jim placed chines forward on the boat along with separate chines aft. The chines forward are to divert the water sideways away from the hull to completely detach the flow from the sides in order to reduce viscous drag. This worked very well in another Antrim 40, “XL” however, it was not designed to the same race rule as the Class 40.

 

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