Najad 405

2007 April 12
April 2007

Family cruiser

I have always found the Najad line to be interesting. They are always designed with an extra ounce of flair and styling that is far from typical or generic. They just don't look like other boats. This new Najad 405 is the same. Designed by Judel/Vrolijk I think it's safe to assume that the designers have given this model all the performance you can expect from a boat of this type.

I don't have hull lines for this boat but let's see what we can tell from profile and plan views. The D/L is on the heavy side of moderate at 298. This means that it is a high volume hull. There also is plenty of freeboard, so there will be a lot of usable space for the interior. The L/B is 3.18, indicating a beamy boat. The overhangs are moderately short but more pronounced than in many modern designs. The stern is very broad. This certainly does not help the boat aesthetically but it adds volume aft for those quarterberths and it can add to the stability of the boat. In a design like this the designer is often inclined to focus the hull lines on what he needs to satisfy the market's desires for an interior layout. In short, the hull is wrapped around a layout. It's not much different than wrapping a hull around a racing handicap measurement rule. While the goals are markedly different, the process is similar. Standard draft is 6 feet, 11 inches, and there is an option for shoal draft at 6 feet, 3 inches.

Once again the builder has given us three interior layout options to broaden the appeal of this design. There is a three-stateroom model with two staterooms aft. One aft stateroom has a tight single berth while the other has a double berth. There is a generous machinery space adjacent to the cockpit well. The galley runs down the side of the cockpit. This is not the most ideal location for a galley but in a boat this size there are few options. The other two layouts vary in that they have one stateroom aft but you can have a double berth on centerline or offset double with single to port. One layout lets you choose the very popular Streisand chairs to starboard while the other has a settee/berth to starboard. There is only one head and I like that. The nav station is more than adequate and will be a prime spot to sit while entertaining. You can mix and match with those options to get just the layout you prefer. Note the number of hanging lockers.

What you give up with a center-cockpit boat of this length is a lazarette. In this design there are two small lockers outboard of the aft cabin, so that will help, but they are not big. The fo'c'sle is also very small. For extended cruising you may find that you need more deck access stowage space than this design provides. The swim step is deep and should work very well. There are ports in the transom face for light and air in the aft cabins. There is a stout windshield surrounding the forward end of the cockpit with handy grab bars. I like this windshield. It adds interest to the boat's profile and is very practical. Bill Garden was putting windshields on sailboats back in the early 1960s. I have drawings of the original Rawson 30 showing a windshield. Center cockpits are a challenge on boats under 45 feet LOA. There is little you can do to salvage cockpit and deck space given the pressure of the end-to-end layout. I think this design does it as well as any in its size range.

The rig is pretty generic except that it has triple swept spreaders. The headstay is pulled aft off the stem slightly and there is an extension on the bow fitting to get the tack of the asymmetrical chute forward, There is an optional inner forestay for a staysail. This stay is only about 14 inches aft of the headstay. So it will be purely a heavy air stay. But keeping this stay well forward of the traditional cutter inner forestay position means that the boat will be more forgiving to balance issues. The SA/D should be around 15.75 using I, J, E and P, but I do not have those dimensions so this is an educated guess based upon the sail areas listed in the specs. This boat was not designed as a light air screamer.

This is a good looking boat that will provide a roomy cruising home for a family.