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Great Lakes 40

2010 July 1
It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you the design work of Rick Beddoe of Grand Portage Yachts out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I met Rick when he became one of the founders of the World's Largest Yacht Design Office over on the Sailing Anarchy website. This was a group of sailors who began indulging themselves in a series of design projects aimed at "What the sailing world really needs is a…" and we'd take turns filling in the rest of the sentence, producing a group-effort design to fit the bill. It was all done for fun and a way to exercise our imaginations and put on paper the lessons we had learned sailing stock boats. Rick's primary role at the WLYDO was 3-D rendering and he got so good at it that I began hiring him to assist me in my own design projects. There are few better than Rick at bringing a preliminary design to life with 3-D images.

Unfortunately there is no button or command on the computer called "create 3-D model." It takes an eye for design, an eye for detail, a deep knowledge of sailing yachts and a lot of time to produce these renderings. And if you are working with me it also takes a lot of patience. Rick owns one of my Baba 30s but he had an idea on his own to produce a design that he thought would provide the perfect boat for Great Lakes cruising. He calls the design the Great Lakes 40.

The hull form is moderate with a D/L of 228. This provides good volume for cruising tankage and gear. The waterline is long at 36 feet, 3 inches, so the ends are short. The midsection shows 16 degrees of deadrise and the L/B is 3.16, so this is a beamy boat. There is quite a bit of tumblehome in the topsides and this gives a very pretty shaped transom. All that deadrise provides a deep and efficient bilge sump where it will be very easy to collect any water that gets into the bilge. There is a hint of hollow in the DWL forward. Draft is 6 feet with a low-aspect-ratio fin with a bulb at the tip.

In laying out the interior it was decided that life on board the Great Lakes 40 would happen primarily in the cockpit. A hard dodger was used to give some protection and a bimini is rigged to the arch to provide shade for most of the rest of the cockpit. The cockpit is very long. This means there is less room below than you would find in many other boats of this LOA. But the lazarette and cockpit lockers are huge. There is a double quarterberth to starboard and galley to port. The settees look too short to my eye and I get the feeling that I would feel a little cramped in this main cabin. I like the athwartships head. It makes the best use of the room available. The plumb stem gives plenty of volume forward for a nice, big double V-berth.

The 40 is rigged as a cutter with the mast well aft and a short bowsprit to open up the J dimension for two headsails. The spreaders are swept 27 degrees and that's too much for me. I'd like to see 20 degrees so it's not so easy to impale the mainsail on the spreaders when running. I'm not sure why the cap shrouds stop well short of the masthead. I'd like to see them go to the masthead. The SA/D is listed as 18.78 but this includes the area of both the staysail and the yankee. I only use I, J E and P for this calculation, and if I did it my way I think we would be looking at an SA/D closer to 16.5. It is very convenient to have the mainsheet traveler on top of the arch but this forces the height of the boom up so high that it would be hard to attach the halyard. The deck plan shows the genoa tracks outboard and the chainplates also out near the rail. The staysail sheets to tracks on the cabintrunk top. This gives you a sheeting angle for the genoa or yankee of 15 degrees. That's pretty wide. Maybe you could sheet the genoa inside the cap shrouds but then you would want the tracks inboard more.

This is a very good-looking, traditionally styled boat. I would hope that it might capture some sailor's eye and that he would have Rick proceed with the build.

LOA 39'11"; LWL 36'3"; Beam 12'8"; Draft 6'; Displacement 26,000 lbs.; Ballast 8,000 lbs.; Sail area 798 sq. ft.; SA/D 18.78; D/L 228; L/B 3.16; Auxiliary Yanmar 4JHSE 53-hp; Fuel 100 gals.; Water 100 gals.
Grand Portage Yachts, c/o Rick Beddoe, 4720 Park Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55407, (612) 803-6724, http://grandportageyachts.sail2live.com.

OBE: $410,000
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