Farr 400

2011 April 1

With all the emphasis on high-performance one-design classes today it has sort of become an arms race to get the most high-tech and fastest boat. Now we can add to that the convenience of having the entire boat fit into a standard 40-foot shipping container so they can be easily transported to any race venue worldwide. The Farr office's entry into this league is the new Farr 400, and it is a very interesting high-tech package built entirely of carbon fiber by Premier Composite Technologies in Dubai. Consistency from boat to boat is achieved by using the SP/High Modulus Smartpac design system, ensuring identical materials for each boat.

I got a set of lines for the boat before I read the designer's comments. The boat appeared a bit slab sided but that's not unusual today. Then I read that the boat had to go into a standard 40-foot container. The boat goes into the container turned at what appears to be 90 degrees on a special cradle. There is a chine in the hull starting at about station 7.5 and getting more pronounced as it goes aft. You don't see any chine forward. The bow sections are on the full side with no hollows and a half angle of entry of 15 degrees. The D/L is 83.9 and the L/B is 3.45. I wonder what the L/B would have been if the boat didn't have to fit into a container? I suspect not much higher. The reverse sheer is quite pronounced and gives the boat a very distinct look. The sections are arclike and there is no deadrise. There is nothing about this hull shape that doesn't say speed. The keel is retractable using the primary winches and removable for shipping. The fin is cast iron and the long, skinny bulb is lead. The ballast-to-displacement ratio is 60%, indicating very light construction as you would expect with a carbon hull. Draft with the keel down is 9 feet, 6 inches.

The deck plan is asymmetrical in its layout with the companionway off to port. This puzzled me a bit and I assumed it had something to do with making the deck more efficient for one way around the course. So I picked up the phone and called the Farr office. In fact, the reason for the asymmetric layout is pragmatic and has more to do with having room to work around the keel trunk below. Lines exiting the mast go to winches on the starboard side. The double-ended mainsheet goes under the deck all the way aft, then back forward to exit the deck just forward of the secondary winches. Spinnaker, jib sheets and spinnaker halyard lead to the pedestal-driven primaries. It looks to me like that droopy angle on the bowsprit conforms to the deck centerline and eliminates the need for a bobstay.

The rig shows a square-head main and twin backstays. The carbon fiber mast is split for container compliance. All standing rigging is carbon fiber. The spreader sweep is 22 degrees. Sail area off the wind is 2,530 square feet.

LOA 38'9"; LWL 36'5"; Beam 11'3"; Draft 6'6" (keel up), 9'6" (keel down); Displacement 9,105 lbs.; Ballast 5,432 lbs.; Sail area 1,098 sq. ft.; SA/D 40.29; D/L 83.9; L/B 3.45; Auxiliary Volvo-Penta 27-hp; Fuel 11 gals.; Water 20 gals.

Our Best Estimate of the sail-away price
o.b.e. $470,000

Farr Yacht Sales
613 Third St., Suite 22, Annapolis, MD 21403
(410) 267-6550