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Akilaria Class 40

2009 March 1


Here is another Class 40 design. This time the designer is Marc Lombard. The Akilaria is built as a stock, production boat and available in both "standard" and "race" versions. I assume that there is a difference in the two versions in the interior accommodations but I do not have interior drawings for the standard version. From the specs the race version has a more exotic deck layout, more complex electronics package and a carbon boom.

We have already discussed the why of chines in the Antrim review. The Lombard design also has chines aft but I see no indication of a forward chine below the DWL. The sectional shape at the transom is very similar to that of the Antrim boat but not quite so slack in the bilge. The design is also at the class limit for beam at 14 feet, 8 inches, and the transom beam is 93 percent of beam max. These boats are bizarre looking in plan view. They are so beamy and so broad aft, but there is a distinct difference between the two 40s in plan view. If you look at the deck plan of both boats you will see the Antrim boat is much finer forward. At the deck, the half angle of "entry" for the Antrim boat is 20.5 degrees, while the Lombard boat is fuller at 26.5 degrees. One thing I noticed about both designs is that they both have rather attractive sheers for all-out racing boats. Most rules dictate minimum freeboards at certain locations so sheers tend to be functions of the rule. The Class 40 rule is different. It gives an average freeboard of 1.1 meters. It's up to the designer to determine how he is going to get that average. The Akilaria has a very handsome sheer spring.

Note that in both designs the mast is quite far aft. The rule dictates the max upwind sail area, mast height and prod length, but does not limit downwind sail area. So it pays to have as big a foretriangle as possible so your spinnakers can be bigger. The Akilaria's asymmetrical chute is 2,052 square feet, while the Antrim has an asymmetric area of 1,889 square feet. By using the fat-head main shape the mainsail can be a more effective off-the-wind sail. If you took the fat head off the mainsail and added area to the jib you would be reducing the downwind sail area. The chainplates are right at the sheer and, in fact, are external.

These designs are not about accommodations, they are about huge rigs and very carefully thought-out deck plans. The cross-linked twin rudders are small so they don't require long tillers. With the rudders well outboard the two tillers are also well outboard, making it easy for the driver to sit high on the weather side. The Antrim 40 has a single, centerline tiller. On centerline aft, between the two tillers, is a tall console where the mainsheet and traveler controls are located. Primary and secondary winches are located very close to the helmsman. Halyard winches flank the companionway hatch. I really like the jib sheeting arrangement on this design. It comes from the Volvo 60s. It uses three widely spaced pad eyes with blocks arranged in a triangle: two on the deck and one on the housetop. Control lines lead from these pad eyes to a titanium rig that the jib sheet passes through. This way you have total freedom of positioning the clew on the jib without any track at all. It's effective and it's very light.

The Akilaria is built on the coast of Tunisia by MC-TEC. The hull, as per Class 40 rules, is low-tech with a balsa core and laid-up with the infusion method. The deck is PVC foam cored with hardwood inserts in high-load areas. Vinylester resin is used throughout. The keel fin is steel. Again, in keeping with the "no exotic materials" part of the rule, the rudders have solid stainless steel stocks.

Even with the "full cruise interior" version you may not think this is a cruising boat. I know the racers out there will recognize the race potential of the Akilaria. I have always thought a "cruising boat" was a boat you went cruising in. But I recognize room for argument there. If you value boat speed above creature comforts the Akilaria should be on your short list. I would certainly like to take a test sail.

LOA 40'; LWL 40'; Beam 14'8"; Draft 9'11"; Displacement 10,628 lbs.; Ballast 4,594 lbs.; Water ballast 1,650 lbs.; Sail area 1,242 sq. ft.; SA/D 41.11; D/L 74.14; L/B 2.72; Auxiliary Nanni 3.100; Fuel 23 gals.; Water 13 gals.

Maine Yacht Center, 100 Kensington St., Portland, ME 04103, (207) 842-9000, www.akilaria.com.

OBE: $560,000
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