Farr 40 vs Farr 400 & MC38 at Key West

We have tabulated elapsed times from the recently concluded, highly successful Quantum Key West Race Week to produce a Comparison Table (20k PDF) showing the relative performance of the Farr 40 against the new Farr 400 and McConaghy 38. The elapsed times are official from Premiere Racing who corrected them after we spotted an error in race 6. There were 10 races in winds ranging from 8 - 22 knots.

We have very accurate upwind and downwind times for races 6 though 9 and have also included a detailed leg-by-leg breakdown (12k PDF) of those races.

General observations were:

  • F40 is generally faster upwind vs F400 and MC38, particularly in any wave action
  • Downwind F40 is surprisingly competitive in up to 16 knots and over 20 knots wind speed. Between 16 and 20 knots the F400 and MC38 have an advantage, being considerably lighter
  • There is no doubt that on any reaching legs both the F400 and MC38 would be significantly faster
  • In upwind/downwind course racing the performance advantage was not as advertised by the F400 VPP
  • The big surprise was how competitive the F40 was in the 8 - 15 knot range 
  • It is of great interest to note that 15 years after the Farr 40 was launched, designers have not made significant speed breakthroughs, and it is reassuring for Farr 40 owners their boats are still highly competitive amongst the new breed of similar sized boats.