Class 40 Open Racing Yacht

NEWS UPDATE: May 2019, # 157 Cape Racing Yachts finishes on the podium in her first race.
Jorg Riechers and Cedric Chateau against considerable odds they gained a third place in the 2019  Normandy Channel Race, the debut event for the brand new Owen Clarke designed Cape 40, class number #157. After over five days at sea and match racing through the last night they crossed the finish line just over a minute ahead of Route du Rhum winner # 154. Fifth over the line a minute later, was her Lift 40 sistership, #150.  Read the full news item here.


Briefed initially by a South African owner to develop a new design for Trans-Atlantic racing and European waters, Owen Clarke Design have are very pleased indeed to announce the build of the second production Class 40 underway at Cape Racing Yachts of Cape Town, South Africa.

The detailed design is ongoing, however we can reveal that the lines delivered are for a powerful hull, for typical Transatlantic conditions, with low enough wetted surface area, that it would perform well in mid-range wind conditions, encountered in the Fastnet or Normandy Channel Race. The brief was to produce a polyvalant design that would be performant over a broad range of conditions. The hull design satisfies these varied needs and several deck/cockpit options will be available to owners. In order to to reflect the fact that the performance parameters (the conditions for which the boats are optimised) for this latest design and #143 which was only launched last year are completely different we've opted to call the new boat a generation #5 design. As such, the yard has chosen to market the boat as the Cape 50 5G and both five winch and four winch cockpit versions, as well as kit boats for completion elsewhere are available.

For more information go to our news folder
To make an enquiry contact racing


Generation 4 design; #143 Longbow - Owen Clarke Design are proud to announce the arrival of their latest Class 40 design, Longbow # 143, designed with Clay Oliver and built at Carbon Ocean Yachts, USA and launched in September 2015. This superbly detailed devlopment fast 40 iwas built in female production moulds and has completed sailing trials in Newport, Rhode Island. Optimised forthe  light to moderate conditions that are typically found on and off the New England coast, this radical design breaks away in many areas from the typical Class 40 designs found in Europe. Amongst its innovative features new to the class are a masthead rig, six ballast tanks (three per side) and her independent under-deck headsail sheeting system.

Longbow, is a new Owen Clarke Design custom Class 40 racing sailboat built by Carbon Ocean Yachts in the USA and recently launched in Newport RI.

Contact us regarding our custom and semi-custom Class 40s; find out which design would suit your requirements the best, learn  about the build options and discover more about our latest build and #143 by emailing us at:

 An album of design, sailing and build photographs for #143 Longbow can be found on the following Facebook page:


Owen Clarke Design have been involved with the development of Class 40's since the rule’s  inception back in 2005 and have now produced ten custom/semi–custom and five production boats, since 2006. As well as designing the class champion in 2008 our designs have won or placed on the podium in events such as: Class 40 Mondial/ISAF Worlds, Route du Rhum, Round Britain and Ireland Race, Normandy Channel Race, Atlantic Cup, Bermuda Race, Bermuda 1-2, Marblehead-Halifax and the Transat Jacques Vabres.
Unlike production Class 40s, whether the requirement is for an inshore or offshore racing program, OCD optimise the design to suit your requirements. Variable ballast positioning and sail configurations within the existing stock design can be adjusted to provide an optimum performance package for target events. Should the client have a specific race program in mind then a full custom design package with an R&D component is available and may suit a more refined approach.

Class 40 is intended to be a ‘broad church’ , while some sailors wish to race predominantly offshore others never complete a long distance event. It is a box rule that has produced yachts ideal in concept for the sponsored and corinthian sailor alike to sail short-handed in trans-oceanic races such as the Melbourne-Osaka, Route du Rhum, Round Britain and the AZAB. The concept of the class and the design is also to be capable of racing fully crewed (typically 3-5 persons) in classic events such as the Fastnet, Bermuda Race, as well as club racing and in regattas such as Spi Ouest and Cowes Week. The class has its own highly competitive ISAF Worlds and so excellent offshore and inshore sailing is available within the class without the expense and difficulty of finding and providing for a crew of ten, the number permitted on an IRC certificate for a 40’ boat.

LOA (m)                                                    12.19
DWL (m)                                                    11.64
Beam (m)                                                    4.50
Draft (m)                                                      3.00
Displacement (kg)                                       4500
Water ballast per side (l)                               750
Engine (hp)                                                    27
ISAF /OSR                        Cat 1 (Cat O Optional)
P (m)                                                          16.82
E (m)                                                            5.08
IG (m)                                                        15.74
J (m)                                                            5.83
LP (m)                                                          6.01
ISP (m)                                                      17.26 
SPL (m)                                                       7.86
As well as racing (and in most cases with their own division or starts) in established classics, Class 40’s now have dedicated races in both Europe and the USA and an example of the broad range of events and regattas available in any one season can be seen below.
Picture credit: RORC Arthur Daniel
The Class 40’s above are near sisterships Cinnamon Girl/Matouba and 40 Degrees 2, built at FSCD (UK) and Jaz Marine (South Africa) respectively. These boats were launched and sailing within days of each other in September 2009. The same month 40 Degrees won its very first regatta, the 2009 Mondial, the class’s Worlds (prior to being recognised by ISAF) and followed this up with a second in the 2010 Normandy Channel Race. New to the class, Joerg Riecher's meanwhile chartered Cinnamon Girl, renamed here MARE and in 2010/11 finishing fourth, just off the podium in his three class events.

Owen Clarke's second Class 40, Bolands Mill for UK mini sailor Ian Munslow was based on our first generation stock design and had a solid cast SG Iron keel fin which reflected where the class was at in the early years in terms of build cost/performance requirements.  Within months of being launched Munslow finished third in his first race, the 2006 Route du Rhum.

Following on from Bolands Mill and a run of production boats built in the UK, our first second generation design with a fabricated steel fin was the Jaz Marine built '40 Degrees' for Peter Harding. Her first outing, indeed regatta  after her launch in 2007 was the Class 40 Mondial/Worlds where she finished second in an extremely competitive fleet, going on to win the 2008 Class Championship before being sold into North America.

Sailing out of Rhode Island and renamed Cutlass, she and her near sister-ship Dragon have dominated the Class 40 scene in the USA between 2009 and 2011 winning the Bermuda Race, Bermuda 1-2, Marblehead-Halifax and the 2011 Atlantic Cup. When fully crewed in particular, Class 40’s are not particularly well rated under IRC which has been a constant battle with RORC since the class’s inception, but they can perform well under PHRF. In the US, Cutlass has won both the Bermuda 1-2 and Marblehead-Halifax overall at the same time as other 40’s have been well presented and spread among the fleet.

Every custom or semi-custom Class 40 that Owen Clarke design is detailed around the wishes and operational requirements of the client. As a first step up to the plate we offer a generic rig, deck, hull, foil, internal general arrangement and engineering package that can be adapted to suit each sailor. An example of this is shown above in the alternate bowsprit and headstay arrangements selected on 40 Degrees and Cinnamon Girl. Individual cockpit layouts also required different solutions to the steering, running backstay and sterns on each of these boats. Our Class 40s can be further optimised to the client’s target races and/or sailing calendar using our VPP and Router race modelling software.

OCD are continuously updating and conducting a tender process with other yards, sail-makers and spar builders worldwide and have a considerable amount of information and costings that allow our boats to be built anywhere in the world. For those sailors and owners who have not commissioned their own boat before we have produced a useful guide describing the design and build process with some frequently asked questions. It shows how an owner goes about commissioning a stock boat or having a custom boat designed – exactly the one you’ve been thinking of.

For a booklet and more information on the build/design process and/or to receive our 2016 brochure/pricing contact:

Details of used Class 40's in North America and Europe at :

Or call our UK office on: +44 1803 770495

For information on how and where you can charter a Class 40 go to: CLASS 40 CHARTER

For an explanation of the technology behind the design process go to: NAVAL ARCHITECTURE

For an insight into our engineering and detailed design work go to: ENGINEERING

To review our Class 40 page on Facebook go to:


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