Note: the design shown is undergoing some changes, but the overall layout is the same.
The Ex40 is for people who enjoy sailing. Ideal for a weekend, simple enough for a quick sail after work with scope for longer distances for those who do not need all the comforts of home. The best word to describe it is easy. Easy to build, sail and maintain.
Building takes about half the hours and a lot less material than a conventionally built boat, with almost none of the mess, grinding, sanding, secondary laminating and fitting of fiddly components.
It has a large, simple rig that can be handled by one person without electric winches and totally depowered on any point of sail, with no foredeck work, flogging sheets or expensive deck gear. There is no need to reduce sail at night, worry about uncontrolled gybes or getting in irons or struggle with jammed headsail furlers at 2 am. Unlike tacking, shunting does not require boat speed. Therefore, in strong winds, only enough sail is required to propel the boat. The white knuckle element of strong wind sailing is removed.
The cabin is snug: suitable for 2 people for extended periods, 4 people for a weekend, dining space for 6 people + two kids. The galley has space for a 2 burner cooker, sink and plenty of bench and storage space. The separate toilet can also be used as a sit down shower. Optionally, the toilet/shower can be in the leeward hull away from sleeping shipmates.
The deck is large: 3.5m x 5.5m/11′ x 18′. The cockpit has seating for 4 – 8 people, with all round vision including the sails. It is easy to rig a sun shade over this area if required.
The leeward hull is 0.65m/2’2″ wide, 1.25m/4’2″ high and 4.2m/14′ long between the beams. This can be left empty, used for storage, fitted with 1 or 2 single bunks or, with a pop top hatch, fitted with a toilet and shower.
The toy box is smaller than on the larger harrys, but serves as a storage space for the anchor chain. The winches are mounted on it to keep them close to the helmsman. Other storage is under the seats at the ends of the cockpit, in the tender and the lee hull.
The main sheets and halyards are lead to winches adjacent to the helmsman. The rudders can be bi directional so they do not need to be rotated. Shunting involves simply releasing the sheets and pulling the new ones in.
The 2 winches are used to hoist the sails and for the sheets. They double as anchor winches if required. In an emergency, the anchor can be dropped without leaving the helm. A cabin top extension can be added for shade and shelter if required.
The cockpit holds the anchor and chain system, removing the need for a chain locker or a heavy windlass. The anchor line is led from beam to beam before entering one of the two winches on the winch pod. As you pull in the line the chain is stored between the beams before it enters the winch, and the anchor sits on the roller. Alternatively, it can be pulled in over the beam and the chain and rode stored in the cockpit.
The unstayed rig is the only sensible rig for a cruiser. The main sails can be large enough to not require headsails, extras and all the cost, struggle and foredeck work they entail. The schooner configuration opens up the lee hull and allows for easier sail/helm balancing. Wishbone booms keep the sheet loads low. With 60 sq m of sail area and a bare weight of 800 kgs, the Ex40 has a high power to weight ratio in a rig which is very easily handled solo and will not need reefing until the breeze exceeds 20 knots.
Reefing is not the white knuckle, flogging sail experience it is on a conventional boat. The sheet is released, the sail sits head to wind, the reef is taken in and the sail sheeted on.
The booms are wishbones. These are above head height for safety reasons, are horizontal to minimise windage and have loops of string under them to catch the sail, which is easier than flaking and lazy jacks. The 1:1 sheets are lightly loaded as they are not supplying leech tension and are lead to the winches at the helm station via blocks on the beams. This ensures that, even if the boat is caught aback, the sails will weathercock, allowing plenty of time and no stress while the boat is steered back on course.
The halyards have a simple, fail safe lock on the mast at each reef point. The halyard can be thinner and the mast bending does not alter the halyard tension. Luff tension is provided with a simple block and tackle.
Tenders are usually too small and slow for anything other than ferrying part of the crew to the shore in calm seas. They are boarded sideways from the often pitching stern or over high topsides. An accident looking for a place to happen. The harry tender is 4.6m/ long x 1.6 wide with enough payload for a large outboard. It can be boarded via fold down steps or be partially lifted into it’s storage place on the bridge deck. In this position, it is stable and loading/unloading is safe and easy.
The stern can be lowered, allowing the outboard to be used to propel the boat, saving the weight, cost, maintenance and complexity of a separate engine and sled.
An easily deployed optional liftable electric thruster is located next to the helm, allowing for 360 degree thrust for close quarters maneuvering. Because of the oversize rudders and steerable outboard on the tender, this will rarely be used.
The EX40 is built using Intelligent Infusion. All components except the masts and rudders are built on a simple flat table to reduce build time and weight, and increase the quality of the product. Hulls, beams and booms are built in two halves and glued together in matched joints, ensuring strength and accuracy. The mould table does not require polishing or waxing. Spacers, core and fibreglass are accurately laid, then vacuum bagged. The foam is cut with a utility knife, the glass with scissors. There is no heavy lifting and no rush, the work can be spread over several weeks if required. Once the bag is sealed, resin is mixed and sucked into the laminate, resulting in a perfect resin/fibre ratio without the builder having to do any work. When cured, bulkheads are glued into landings in the infused hull halves which are then joined together. There is no cutting or grinding of cured laminate, filletting or wet laminating.
Everything is infused, ensuring a high quality laminate and saving hundreds of hours making and fitting doors, windows and hatches and local strengthening for fittings. The furniture is built from flat panels, then bent and glued in place. Bulkheads, shelf and stringer locations are included in the infusion, then glued in place without any need for fillets and tabbing, or the interminable sanding required to fair these in. It is all easy work, with plenty of time to check everything is correct.
Loa/length leeward hull: 12m/40′
Length windward hull: 8.2m/27′
Sailing Weight, ex tender: 800 kgs/1,760 lbs
Payload in Windward hull: 800 kgs/1,760 lbs.
Additional weight can be carried in the lee hull with a proportional decrease in performance.
Sail Area: 60 sq m/645 sq’
Draft rudders up: 200mm/8″
Draft rudders down: 1.1m/44″
Righting Moment: 6 tonne metres
Berths: 4 – 6. (Two double berths in the windward hull + 2 x small singles in the leeward hull)
Composite materials list for hulls, beams, masts, rudders and booms, ex wastage which varies from 0-10% depending on material and usage:
400 gsm double bias glass: 310 sq m
400 uni glass: 28 sq m
300 carbon uni: 89 kgs
Peel ply: 154 sq m
12mm H80 foam: 112 sq m
8mm H80 foam: 4 sq m
Infusion resin: 327 kgs
Glue and bog powder: 1 kg of each