Cruising a Beneteau 40.7

Kiwi Clipper

Member
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As a 40.7 owner I am in the process of converting my boat from a racing boat to a short and long distance cruiser. Empty the many sails out of the fore peak and actually use the bunks. Electric winch for the halyards, bimini top; dodger... And more.
What's somewhat unique about the 40.7 is that more than 700 were made; but the design is now more than 20 years old and inevitably many of the boats will convert from racer to cruiser. BTW 700 may make the 40.7 the most popular racer cruiser ever, in its size range. One endearing fact is that the 40.7 is constructed with a solid fiberglass hull ... not a foam or balsa and glass sandwich. And I like it's lively performance because good sailing is still fun, even though we will be cruising.
But every boat has challenges as well as opportunities. There have been discussions about various elements of the boat but I thought it would be great to pull as many as possible into one spot.
For example: I am wondering, has anyone ever put a carbon rig on a 40.7 to reduce weight aloft and smooth out its motion through the water?
Given the location of the Main sheet, what designs have people come up with for a bimini that will shade the entire cockpit without interfering with the mainsail?
Which windlass are people using? And has anyone developed a foward strut for the anchor and chain?
Hoping there are guys out there with answers and experiences that can help all of us....
 

Kiwi Clipper

Member
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55
Really wondering if anyone has added a carbon rig. I agree stiffer. Some have said the boat hobby horses somewhat and less weight aloft could dampen that effect. "More lively" seems good, but if too lively, couldn't you calm it down by reducing sail area?
 

KC375

Super Anarchist
3,302
1,755
Northern Hemisphere
You might want a stiffer / more stable boat, especially as you won't have all that rail meat you would racing. So lots of potential advantages of a carbon mast but it will make for a faster not slower roll rate.

From someone more learned than I


Is Your Boat Stable?​



by Ted Brewer | Sailing Tips

a very stable vessel may be uncomfortable in a seaway, as it can develop a snap roll. Back in the “good old days,” when there were still coasting schooners carrying lumber from Maine to Boston and New York, it was not unusual for the skipper to hoist heavy weights to the mastheads on windless days in order to raise the center of gravity and slow the roll. This was particularly necessary if there was a leftover sea or swell from a storm offshore
 

GBsailor

New member
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ontario
just did mine this past year, Boat has tons of room, huge cockpit and it sails! great for a couple !
split bimini ( no dodger)
and single point mainsheet. ( may be over built )
I raised the gooseneck 3 inches and shortened the mainsail luff ( so i can stand under the forward bimini ( while sailing)
tides marine track
full batten main
lazy jacks and quick cover
put a 20 gallon holding tank. ( we are on the great lakes)
cabin fans
solar panels
300ah house batteries

20220909_141234.jpg


40.7 bimini.jpg
 

GBsailor

New member
7
1
ontario
i also put a rocna and lewmar HX1 windlass ( also got the special rocna anchor roller)
100 feet of 5/16 HTchain and 160 of 8 plaid anchor rode.
HX1 is not as expected,, lewmar has been of limited help.. next size up is double the HX1 $$
40.7 anchor.jpg
chain and 160 of 8 plaid anchor rode.
HX1 is not as expected,, lewmar has been of limited help..
 

bgytr

Super Anarchist
5,072
676
Might be wary of increasing stability too much on a 40.7. The 40.7 is the only watercraft of any type on which I've been seasick, and I've been a lifelong sailor (almost 60 years on boats and ships now). Was a merchant mariner on ships including riding tankers on the Alaska run in some really rough stuff.
The 40.7 can buck around like crazy in chop. Making it more stable may likely make the motions/accelerations worse. Of course tuning the natural periods of the motions to be out of phase with expected wave encounter frequencies is the way to go, but that would require some analysis to figure it out.
 

kinardly

Super Anarchist
Having ridden through a small gale in mine, bucked 25 kt headwinds against the current around Concepcion and Arguello and been launched across the cabin from galley to chart table a few times, I knew the boat‘s motion wasn’t going to change no matter what I did. Finally came to accept that, at my age, a lively, sensitive, easily powered up boat like that probably wasn’t a good fit for my wife and me and sold her last week. I already miss the crap out of her but I’m hoping to find something more sedate and still fun. As for Kiwi, more power to you. I would guess as you load stores, increase tankage (where, I dont know) and add some heavier ground tackle you will find the ride improving. I had the stock, horizontal Leroy Somer windlass in the anchor well and it worked well but that manufacturer is out of business. Being mostly a day sailer, I refused to leave the 20 kg Rocna and chain/rope rode on the bow unless actually cruising. I stowed them in a bag under a quarter berth. If you go with a Rocna on the bow with the stock bow roller, the point will contact the stem. I had to rotate it to the side as I brought it up to the roller and tied it in place with a big wire tie. Spare wire ties, safety wire and a pair of stainless pliers were stored in a bag at the back of the well so I could mouse the shackle. Hard to mount that anchor on a pitching foredeck but I usually did it at the dock and had a safety line attached to prevent dropping it over the side. If I were seriously cruising I’d consider a custom pulpit, open at the bow. Oh, if your boat is already wired by Beneteau, the breaker is located in the port cabin on the bulkhead just over the 12V switches and isn’t hot unless the engine is running. There’s a relay either at the oil pressure sending switch or the blower/ignition switch that prevents activation without the engine running. When cruising short handed, ditch the #1 Genoa and go with a blade. Plenty of power in that main. I never tried a cruising spinnaker but that would probably be essential. And a carbon fiber pole vs aluminum pays big dividends when bouncing around on the foredeck.
 

Kiwi Clipper

Member
85
55
Thanks, Kinardly and bgytr. Your comments are helpful, they also make me laugh a little but also bring me to my senses. I started sailing in lakes when I was seven...hopelessly hooked, but when I started going in the ocean, sea sick almost every time and on every boat. So I start each day with a scopalomine patch. In Hawaii the wind is usually 15-20 and often more. The waves travel 1000 miles before they get here, so always big. In those conditions we don't actually go below except to sleep or access food. Still, videos I have seen tell me that the South Pacific is much more calm and that would be delightful also. The ocean has so many evidences of life from the whales and dolphins to the turtles and flying fish. But nowadays I can't go unless I got a couple of younger guys to do the foredeck and other stuff that requires balance and more strength than I have.
Some people complain the 40.7 doesn't track very well, and others that it's too lively. Of course the shorter fore and aft the keel is, the easier it is to navigate waves upwind, but the less it will "track" especially reaching in big seas. You can control that quite a bit by reducing sail if it's too much. But for me, the waves transmit the rythm of the ocean and sailing in sync with their rythm is as close to heaven as I ever expect to get. You guys have reminded me to just suck it up and take my patches.
My Dad, not a sailor, used to say that happiness is not a destination, but a way of getting there ... I suspect that would never be as true as when sailing to Tahiti.
I am thinking about adding a hydrovane to provide a backup steering system in case anything happens to the rudder. What do you guys think?
 

Kiwi Clipper

Member
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55
Kinardly. Hope you can find your dream boat. I have been, still am, thinking also about a change...but thinking through the 40.7 as a cruiser first because of the things I love about the boat. I've been thinking a lot about why the boat as the reputation for being less stable. Unfortunately I think it's the things we love about her. For example I think the shortness of the keel fore and aft, the sharpness of the bow entry, and the fact she is so easily driven all make the boat faster and more responsive, but also contribute to its lack of tracking. We learned that surfing in 25 knots of breeze, and 8-10 foot seas, the rudder would cavitate too easily and we would round up from time to time. So I worked with the Farr office, made the rudder bigger and stronger so we always have traction. The more powerful rudder went a long way to calm the boat down. But the sharp entry still means that reaching in big seas, the boat will accelerate above hull speed to 10 and 11 knots. When it does and she heels over in a puff and a wave, she will round into the wind. But with the bigger rudder and active management of the helm wave by wave, we can keep the boat going straight and really fast. I think you could calm things down a lot also by throwing in a reef, but racing we did it by actively playing the mainsheet and traveler.
A friend has been having good luck with his Oceanis 373 and there is a 423 also about the same price used as the 40.7. They have bigger nicer interiors. Longer keels front to back, also shallower. Should make it track a little better but slower up wind. Half way in between is the Beneteau First 42s7.
Questions about your 40.7 comments: Why did you tell me where the breaker was, and its the breaker for what? I agree with you about anchor and chain. Under the back bunk. Thinking to find and install a better roller that projects out a foot or so from the bow. Agree the smaller jib is the right choice except in very light; Because of racing, I already have more than all the spinnakers I need and also a code zero and I have a carbon spin pole. Let us know how your boat search is going.
 

SV Tom Crean

Member
57
38
Ok here goes. I raced and then cruised my 40.7 many years agO. It worked as a cruising boat but only just as there as just too many compromises in the design to really make it work.

Here’s what I changed
- Furling genoa
- Sliders in the main luff instead of the rope
- lazy jacks and bag for the main
- anchor windlass and associated battery and big cables (it’s a 12 volt system)
- Eberspacher heating system and ducts
- Inverter and cabling

What didnt work so well
- No real Bimini but I didn’t look at extending it.
- small tanks (water and fuel)
- No real battery compartment
- Narrow entry forward which limits the size of the forward cabin.
- Very little storage down below (i did have the removable cockpit lockers which helps for boat gear)
- Mainsheet in the cockpit was a nightmare
- no cockpit table. Ok on wet days but if you like to eat outside it’s a problem
- It’s a lively, tippy boat. It’s got a big main and heels a lot before steadying. You need to almost sail with a reef in.
- Great upwind but needs to be driven hard when the wind/waves get up otherwise it falls off the win and pounds
- 2.4M(?) draft was a problem in some places
- dingy storage was deflate and tie to the coach roof

It’s a fast boat and eats up the passage miles which was good. Check the spectra line on the helm - it will go flat which is normal but check for wear and carry a spare.
 

shaggybaxter

Super Anarchist
4,534
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Australia
It took me a while before opting for an electric winch for main halyard on a 40'er. In hindsight I was so glad I did, it made family days as easy and enjoyable as crewed days. You could be underway in minutes without the wife and kids even stepping foot on deck.

An interesting bit of trivia I learnt on electric winches is the current increase comes from the winch turning slower (I always wondered how the winch current adjusted itself in line with load).
When you're tensioning the last foot or so of halyard you're pulling a lot of amps. I had a Harken 46.2, 12V horizontal for a 50m2 main and max load was about 180A. So big 0 awg cables from winch/es to bus bar/battery. Short runs are good as the cable weighs a fair bit and you have to go even bigger awg for longer runs. It's a shame electric winches are expensive, but its one of those areas where you can't find anywhere to skimp on money.

Regards your dodger, could you end it before the traveller? Would that still cover a lot of the cockpit?
 
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kinardly

Super Anarchist
Kiwi, it’s the stock location for the windlass breaker. If you have that prewired from Beneteau, the circuit isn’t active unless the engine is running. Just a heads up is all. If you don’t have that, don’t worry about it. I had the low friction sliders on the mast and a Dutchman furling system, used a 28V right angle drill with winch bit to crank up the main when single handing.( With the sliders it goes up easilyif you have a crew jumping the main at the mast.) I loved the boat, just got too old to cruise her is all. You keep going, you’re my hero. Post news of you travels, please.
 

GBsailor

New member
7
1
ontario
5 full length battens, tides marine track.. ,north sails quick cover/ lazy jacks.. I can pull it up 90% of the way the last 5 feet.. grind away...
best part is dowsing the sail.. slide right into the quick cover...super easy... (zipping it up... still working on that..)
 

Kiwi Clipper

Member
85
55
Wow. A lot of good ideas.
Take some time to digest. My Lewmar 45 electric winch arrived yesterday. Last week I put the cockpit lockers back in after 15 years in a container. Sounds like dodger before bimini. How many amp hours of battery did you guys carry? All ready this stuff is getting heavy...
 

shaggybaxter

Super Anarchist
4,534
2,576
Australia
Take some time to digest. My Lewmar 45 electric winch arrived yesterday. Last week I put the cockpit lockers back in after 15 years in a container. Sounds like dodger before bimini. How many amp hours of battery did you guys carry? All ready this stuff is getting heavy...
I ran 4 x 100Ah AGms. I maybe could have gotten away with 200Ah at a pinch, but other high current circuits (hydraulic pump for the keel, windlass and a hot water boiler) prompted the upgrade. I'm glad I did spec it up, 2 X 100Ah left no wriggle room if you dropped a cell.
 

kinardly

Super Anarchist
All I had was 2x70ah agms for house and a single for engine. Would have had to get creative to find space for more. Stock location is just forward of engine under the cabin sole. This was more than enough to operate the windlass and lighting needs (all cabin overhead lights are leds) but adding powered Genoa winches I’m sure would mean additional batteries, probably beneath quarter berths. A dedicated battery bank for the windlass below the vee berth might be a good idea but I‘d hate the thought of what weight up there would mean to performance in choppy conditions. Once all these compromises start impacting performance, well…
 




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