When Ted Fontaine conceived the Friendship 40 he wanted it to be easy to use, of the highest quality, and “stop-in-your-tracks gorgeous.” All three are achieved by the builder, Austral Yachts in Whangarei, New Zealand. Incorporating elements from his larger yacht designs he created a cockpit that was larger and more comfortable for entertaining and lounging than was traditionally found on a 40-foot boat—a mark of a daysailer.
Adapted, too, from the bigger boats, the technologically advanced electro-hydraulic sail handling system of the Friendship 40 redefines ease-of-handling. The in-boom furling mainsail rises with the press of a button and is trimmed using foot buttons located at the base of the helm. The shallow draft wide-beam deep-centerboard hull form is a Fontaine trademark. The 40 converts from a shallow harbor-friendly 3’ 1” draft to a weatherly 9’ 2” by dropping the centerboard, which is never locked down. If it makes contact it will pivot up, avoiding any structural damage.
Her interior takes full advantage of the space afforded it, and each yacht’s interior (20 have been built) is built to the customer’s wishes. Features include custom settees, including plenty of storage space in teak lockers, a full head with shower, functional galley, and large double centerline berth in the forepeak make this an inviting weekend getaway.
The friendship 40 is a thing of beauty, even just sitting at the dock, proud of her lines. Raise her sails, put some wind in them and her lines become fluid, she comes alive, as if one with the water on which she sails, and it is there she is at her best.
LOA: 40’ 9”
LWL: 30’ 3”
Beam: 12’ 10’
Displ: 22,500 lbs.
Sail area, upwind: 920 sq.ft.
Power: Volvo 40-hp sail drive
Price: Available on request