We just returned from a week on board a L40 in Tortola. The bows sit out of the water
when the water tanks
are empty. In one article by Morrelli, he said that it was by design, "more rocker" so that it would tack easier. Full water tanks
bring the bows down to the water. Adding a genset in the forward lockers will also make it sit lower in the bows.
I noticed some slapping while under way and investigated. It turned out to be wave tops hitting the turn of the chine. None of the waves hit the bridgedeck. This was in 12-15kn at 120 degrees apparent, 6.5-7kn SOG. Draft is 3'10", which is a bit much, but probably helps with tracking and upwind performance. We were able to sail upwind at 45-50 degrees apparent (the wind
instrument wasn't calibrated - one tack was 40 degrees and the other was 60 degrees).
We found that there is plenty of storage
. It would be nice to have a little more cockpit locker space. The lazarette holds the life raft, power cord, and hose, which takes up most of the space. There is space there for spare lines.
We were happy with the bimini
top clearance. There is a window in the sliding top over the helm station, allowing easy viewing of the sails
even when the sliding top is closed. It does take getting used to looking through the slot. But we find that's not much different than other cats we've seen. We like the winches at the helm station and that the rig is setup for a spinnaker
. Maneuvering was easy with the two engines. The 2-blade fixed props provide 6-6.5kn at 2200rpm. At WOT, they can push the boat to +7kn in reasonably flat water.
Almost all the panels
below are held up with industrial-strength velcro, so access is easy. The electrical
panel is clean and well documented in the owner's manual. Access to the engines is acceptable.
At +7kn, there is splashing around the dinghy davits
. We have seen other L40s with splash panels
between the dinghy davits
and are planning to add one.
We found that all the moving parts
needed lubrication. The boat had been in charter
all its life, originally with Moorings, then with another firm. CRC-656 and some light oil
fixed all that.
The cockpit layout worked well for us. The same level as the salon
and the walk-through to the back deck are a plus for us. Access to the foredeck is easy. The hard-top bimini
offered more safety
for handling the main and boom than a narrow walkway and a soft top.
The prior owner outfitted the bow lockers with pneumatic lifters and stopper lines to help control the hatch
covers. The Perko latches
don't often align well and I don't like that it isn't easy to tell which way is the locked position - we'll fix that.
One of our other criteria was to be able to do the ICW
- so a mast <65 ft. We measured 65 ft to the top of the VHF antenna
, so we ok at 63 ft if we let the whip spank the bridge. We'll still need to watch bridge clearance. I noticed one bridge at 62 ft clearance this fall on a trip down the ditch.
I agree that the boat is more for coastal cruising than blue-water, but it can certainly do blue water, as Changing Spots has demonstrated. We've all agreed that the L40 is a great boat for our use, which is primarily Chesapeake and coastal cruising.
In our search, we found that a 2004/2005 out of charter
goes for about $210K-$225K. There are others that go for a bit more. We saw one sale
in the US for a 3-cabin owners version for $299K. You may be able to get a lower price
for a boat in charter in the Leward Islands (e.g., St. Lucia), since it adds several days transit to get back to the US (assuming that's your intent). We worked with Phil Berman at The Multihull Company. He was helpful in helping identify the model and what boats were available and what the likely price
would be. We looked at 4-5 L40s as well as about 7-8 other boat models.
All that said, do your homework, decide what features are important to you, and find a boat that meets your criteria.