Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik ZKG

McConaghy Ker 40 - the next 40-foot performance benchmark?

by John Curnow on 4 Mar 2011
Ker 40 IRC Race Yacht by McConaghy McConaghy Yachts
Without doubt, 40 feet, is the new everything, as racing yacht builders aim to serve this burgeoning market with better, faster and more exciting products.

The new, high-performance Ker 40 IRC Racing Yacht, manufactured by McConaghy Boats, is definitely one that people have been watching closely. Indeed, six owners have already put their money down, to ensure they are the first to have this lightweight, racing machine.

Rob Brown OAM, Australian sailing icon and McConaghy’s Sales General Manager, was very keen to explain the design ethos behind the vessel. ‘This boat is essentially a lot lighter than the cruiser-racers that have done well in the past. Jason Ker has taken a strategic approach in developing this design, by refining the improvements that have been achieved over and above his previous designs; namely, the Ker 46 and Ker 37.

Essentially, we have a boat that is 2500kgs (5,500lbs) lighter than a similar sized vessel. Overall, it will be more than competitive upwind in the 6-12 knot wind range and excel downwind, sailing well above its rating in the process.

Most importantly, as the wind gets stronger, the gains are more than significant both upwind and downwind!’

‘Its really like a 40ft version of the ever popular, IRC optimised TP52s we see dominating the results. Until recently, IRC has not favoured the sort of exciting performance that you get from a TP52, in the smaller 40ft range. Now that’s all about to change’, Rob went on to add by way of example.

The Ker 40 is not just a regatta or club racer. The first three owners are serious campaigners and they intend racing the boat very hard, competing in some of the world’s toughest playgrounds, like the Rolex Fastnet and Rolex Sydney to Hobart races.

A Ker design has already been an overall winner of Australia’s blue water classic and in another year, a different Ker vessel won its division, too.



This carefully considered approach is a mark of the man, Jason Ker, as well. Brown explains, ‘I spent a couple weeks with Jason last year, presenting the boat in various key yachting locations. In that time, you kind of get to know the guy and everything is very much calculated. However, there is also a real feel for what is hot and what is not. Jason is not one to bang his own drum, but you quickly realise this guy knows what he is on about. He is just one of those guys who is very focused on producing the best that he possibly can.’

‘We have really enjoyed working with him and it has been one of those experiences in life, where you just have a really good sense of security and comfort in knowing that this boat is going to be a good one!’

Of course, the many previous successes and the fact that the Ker 40 is an extension of the theory, assist with his ‘man of the moment’ status in IRC currently. Tonnere was the 46 footer that won the RORC Championship with a few races to spare and Jason’s little 37’, Peacemaker, showed that it could punch way above its weight in taking out the Chicago to Mackinac Island Race.

Light is certainly part of the equation, but it is Jason’s hull form and attention to detail in critical areas of lowering the rating, which sets this boat apart from the rest. The team truly believes that a new benchmark is being set and it will be realised very soon. They feel that the sum of the knowledge base is what will have the boat powering to wins everywhere. Firstly you have Jason’s smart design and then McConaghy’s mastery of choice of materials and build techniques, both of which have allowed for the maximum structural integrity. It is true that the Ker 40 is an out and out race boat, but the usability and fun did not get left on the dock in the process. In a lot of ways, they have been the main determinants in the specification.


Coming in at 4800kg, (10,780 lbs) the Ker 40 is going to be a lot lighter than say a Summit 40, which is more like 7000kg and much lighter than a Mediterranean production boat at say 8500-9000+kg. (18,700- 19800lbs).

The Ker 40 will rate at 1.197, which may be higher than some of those mentioned just now, but the designer, builder and soon-to-be-owners of the first boats are convinced she will sail above that number, which will make her a very competitive IRC package, indeed!

‘We wanted to get away from the predominant trend with the IRC rule of designing brand new boats with all this furniture onboard, just to get the rating points, when you never end up using it. The boat is going to be a fun boat to sail, but it is not extreme in any way. It is going to get up and go downwind, leaving the caravans to look on and wonder. I think it is a breath of fresh air and all of us at McConaghy are really excited to be associated with what we consider to be the new benchmark in IRC production yachts’, said Rob.

It is the form of the Ker 40 that is going to make her so successful. They will have a four-metre beam, but yet the waterline is narrow. This will give her form stability very early, by utilising the crew weight on the rail. What is unique about the hull is the distribution of volume. The boat is very powerful forward of the mast and has nice healed waterlines throughout. When the boat heels over, the wide beam does not bury the bow in a sea way or swell due to its powerful sections forward and narrow waterline beam. Ultimately, the windier it gets, the faster this boat will go.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
‘Jason put a lot of effort into getting this right and I believe it’s the secret of his successful designs. He would probably describe it in more scientific terms, but that is my take on what sets this boat apart from the crowd’ was how Rob added.

So what else form the central design parameters? The foils are not revolutionary, but they are not too skinny either, so more on the forgiving side and that helps to make the boat get lift earlier, especially coming out of the tacks. The keel is an iron fin with lead T-Bulb into an anodised alloy keel box system. The boat is supplied standard with a tiller steering system, or a McConaghy Dual Carbon Wheel option is available.

Down below, it is fairly rudimentary, but still in keeping with boat’s ISO Class A regulations and general IRC and ORC requirements. There are four pipe cots, a two-burner stove, sink and fully plumbed head for’ard of the mast, a navigation station and 30Hp Volvo Penta with sail drive, underneath.

Above deck, it’s all carbon fibre. The boat comes standard utilising an Asymmetrical spinnaker system with a detachable bow prodder. Hall Spars have built a nice rig, consisting of Hi Modulus carbon fibre autoclaved mast and carbon boom. There is a Symmetrical spinnaker system option, including carbon spinnaker pole and associated running rigging, if you so choose.

Harken head foil and deck hardware are standard equipment. There is a rigging upgrade option, including running rigging and also composite standing rigging of carbon fibre or PBO. Transverse jib tracks are standard and it includes a vertical adjustment system, all of which are easily operated from the trimming position. In terms of rig provider, the market was surveyed before the choice was made and Hall Spars have been contracted to supply the first 10 rigs for this boat, as they were seen to provide the customer with the best product and value for money.

Brown explains, ‘The price of the rigs was a major factor in getting the cost of the whole boat as low as possible. More importantly, one of the big factors with the choice of Hall Spars is firstly their name and performance. Secondly, Hall Spars have facilities in a number of key locations around the globe for ease of service.’

To help meet ISO CatA and ISAF Cat1 requirements, along with providing a strong, go-anywhere vessel, McConaghy used their world-renowned expertise with composites in many industries and settled on vacuum-formed, resin infused E-Glass foam sandwich construction. This gave them both the strength and lightness they are expected to supply.

‘It is just basically a really good building technique that we have found to be extremely effective without compromising performance. It compliments all the state of the art design and engineering work that has gone in to this boat. In the end, the bottom line is rewarded as well’, Brown explained.

The first boat is heading to the UK. Jonathan Goring is her proud owner and he recently visited the Zhuhai factory in China, where he was suitably impressed, not only with his new boat, but the magnificent facilities at McConaghy.

Due to hit the water in May, Jonathan’s comment says it all, ‘My visit to the factory to see hull No. 1, which is our new ride for the next few years, was a real eye opener! She is clearly built for speed and feels like an extremely powerful 40 footer. The cockpit is very well laid out, with all the deck gear in the right place and the hull lines are extraordinary. She's clearly built to plane! Importantly, the build quality is what one would expect from McConaghy; simply excellent.'

The next group of boats are heading to Singapore, Australia and UK, with a gaggle of interested parties from Japan, Europe and the USA just waiting to see how this new thoroughbred will perform. Given its bloodlines, the hull and rig cost of US$340,000 is exceptional and no doubt a further reason for potential owners to be reviewing this magnificent vessel. From that point, you add your specific choice of sail wardrobe and wherever you want to go with electronics.

Click here http://mcconaghyweb.com/newsite/ker for more information on the specifications, pricing or contact McConaghy Australia, 77 Bassett St, Mona Vale NSW 2103. Telephone +61 (0)2 9997 7722 or Fax +61 (0)2 9997 7772. Website http://www.mcconaghy-aus.com!

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]


[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]

NaiadMackay BoatsAncasta Ker 33 660x82

Related Articles

A Q&A with US Sailing’s Malcolm Page about the Sailing World Cup Miami
I spoke with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s Olympic chief, about the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami I talked with Malcolm Page (AUS), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 470 class and the chief of Olympic sailing at US Sailing, to get his pulse on the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami and discuss some recent coaching changes within the Olympic-sailing program.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
A Q&A with Shawn Macking about the StPYC’s Sailing Center and OD fleet
I talked with Shawn Macking, the StPYC’s waterfront director, to learn how the club is getting more people out sailing. I caught up with Shawn Macking, waterfront director of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, via email to learn more about the club’s Sailing Center, its hefty investment in a new fleet of ten J/70s, and how the StPYC is using this infrastructure to expose more people to the sport we all love.
Posted on 13 Feb
A Q&A with Karen Angle about the 2017 Conch Republic Cup race to Cuba
I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event. If you’re like me and have arrived at saturation with winter’s cold rain and snow, imagine racing to Cuba as part of a 13-day cross-cultural event that’s designed to lower barriers of entry at a time when some Americans see a need for taller walls. I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event and the adventures it affords.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
I talked with Anna Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing. Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women’s Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016