Class 40 Open Racing Yacht Design

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 thirteen custom/semi–custom and five production boats, since 2006. 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. In the 2019 season our most recent design and the first to be raced by a professional duo, #157, Cape Racing Yachts finished third in the 2019 Normandy Channel Race, second in the La 40 Malouine in St Malo and a close run sixth in a very demanding and record breaking Transat Jacques Vabres. She is the second boat to have been built by South African builders, Cape Racing Yachts, the first being Hydra, #149.

Longbow # 143, designed with Clay Oliver was built at Carbon Ocean Yachts, USA and launched in September 2015. This superbly detailed development fast 40 footer was built in female production moulds and launched in Newport, Rhode Island where there is an active 40 class. Optimised for the light to moderate conditions that are typically found on and off the New England coast, this radical design broke away in many areas from the typical Class 40 designs found in Europe. Amongst its innovative features new to the class were a masthead rig and six ballast tanks (three per side). She also sported an independent under-deck headsail sheeting system, for faster trimming in inshore regattas. An album of design, sailing and build photographs for #143 Longbow can be found on the following Facebook page

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.

Class 40 is intended to be a ‘broad church’, although with the exception of Owen Clarke boats, all of the recent designs have not surprisingly been Franco centric, developed for the pro/semi-pro French sailor and optimised solely for trans-oceanic races, the Route du Rhum in particular. While our boats have appeared on the podium of both the Rhum and the TJV and most of our clients wish to race predominantly offshore, others never complete a long-distance event. Hence, the development of a series of polyvalent designs for amateur/club sailors have become somewhat of a niche for us in recent years. Class 40 is a box rule that has produced boats that are capable of racing fully crewed (typically 3-5 persons) in classic events such as the Fastnet, Bermuda Race, as well as short-handed in races such as the AZAB, TJV and Atlantic Cup. The class has its own highly competitive Worlds and so excellent offshore and inshore sailing is available within the class without the expense and difficulty of finding, training with and providing for a large crew.

As of 2020, OCD are working on a sixth generation scow bow design and we are continuously updating and conducting a tender process with yards, sail-makers and spar builders worldwide. We 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.

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

For the largest global selection of pre-owned class 40s visit:

Or call our UK office on: +44 1803 770495

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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