Sayer SO 40 Fast Cruising Yacht

AU $179,000 Finance
40' - 12.19m
Cruising, Racing
Vessel Location
Fremantle WA Insurance
Launch Year
Hull Material
Fibreglass/GRP WRC, Epoxy, Kevlar and carbon reinforced

After former BOC round the world racer Mike Wignall lost his first Sayer designed yacht off Cape Horn due to a broken rudder blade, he approached Jon Sayer to design another boat to his exact requirements. Wignall and Sayer built the boat together, the result is the Sayer SO 40 ( Southern Ocean 40 ), a fast, light and extremely strong expedition and cruising yacht reinforced with Kevlar and carbon with a super strong all carbon rudder which Wignall named "Carmen".
This was the last boat that Jon Sayer built before he went into semi retirement and he described it as possibly his finest work. The construction process is detailed on Sayer's website, (sayerdesign ).
This boat has sailed to Cape Horn, through the Chilean channels and extensively cruised the Pacific including 3 crossings between Sydney and New Zealand and a trip to the southern Auckland Island group lying 465 Kms south of the south island of New Zealand at 50 degrees latitude in a 3 year continuous voyage, the details of which are shown in one of the photos. Wignall sold Carmen in 2018 at the age of 77 and retired to a farm in the hills surrounding Canberra.
Since then, the second owner has cruised the islands and coast of Southern Australia before sailing the boat to its current home in Fremantle.
Carmen is designed to be simple and strong with basic easily maintained electrical and mechanical systems. There are no linings, so all structure, plumbing and electrical wiring conduits are easily accessible. She was surveyed 3 months ago for insurance requirements and the surveyor could not find as much as a single hairline crack anywhere in the hull - a testament to the quality and construction methods used.
With a ballast ratio of 45% the SO 40 stands up to her sail well and a sail to displacement ratio of 24 ( in cruising trim ) ensures excellent light air performance which according to Wignall is very important as a high percentage of the winds encountered on the world cruising routes are below 15 knts. Wignall was also adamant that appendages so common on cruising boats of today such as wind generators, davits, solar and radar arches, are dangerous in strong winds and heavy seas and extremely deleterious to windward sailing performance resulting in inability to point high enough to claw off a lee shore or into oncoming waves and can end up with the yacht lying dangerously beam on to oncoming waves. The naval architect Eric Bretscher describes the different effects that design and displacement has on yachts in heavy seas and the effect of appendages in a series of articles in his excellent website: ( nordkyndesign ). The SO 40 exhibits similar design and performance characteristics to his Nordkyn yacht design and presents an interesting comparison to the technical minded sailor.

The SO 40 is a yacht that will take its crew anywhere in the world with a minimum of fuss. The sails are the main form of propulsion and the Monitor windvane will steer the boat most of the time. There is also a heavy duty Raymarine autopilot to steer the boat when required which uses very little power due to the balanced carbon rudder which requires no more than two fingers pressure to operate the tiller in virtually all conditions the yacht will encounter.
Maintenance is kept to a minimum due to the simple systems so that more time is spent sailing rather than waiting for parts and trades in foreign ports. Therefore the cost of upkeep on this yacht is very little compared to most cruising yachts with more complicated plumbing and electrical systems which become a burden to the owner and shackle the yacht to a marina requiring continuous maintenance.
The Sayer SO40 is not a production yacht built to a price, to maximise accommodation or interior space or to appeal to the public in general. It is a yacht for a shorthanded crew, built to the meticulous specification of a lifelong sailor who has participated in a BOC singlehanded round the world race and understands what is important to the longevity of the boat and crew in testing conditions.
The Sayer SO 40 handles like a big dinghy and will appeal to any sailor. Its low ongoing ownership costs and lack of complication make it appealing to any short handed crew contemplating a long distance cruise.
It is offered here at a fraction of its build price.

AU $179,000    Finance    Insurance
Vessel Name
Launch Year
40' - 12.19m
5400 kg lightship, 7000kg in cruising trim
Keel / Ballast
2460 kg Lead bulb
Vessel Location
Fremantle Wa
Western Australia
Jon Sayer
Jon Sayer / Mike Wignall
Hull Material
Fibreglass/GRP WRC, Epoxy, Kevlar and carbon reinforced
Decks Material
Vacuum Bagged endgrain balsa
Engine Make
Number Engines
Fuel Type
Engine Hours
Engine Hours (2nd Engine)
Fuel Consumption
2 litres per hour
Cruise Speed
6 knts
2 bladed folding propellor
120litres Keel tank, 80litres day tank - 200 total
400 litres by 2 x 200 stainless steel tanks
2.9m inflatable
3.5 HP Mercury 4 stroke
Sail cover, tiller cover, outboard cover
Open plan layout with quarter berths port and starboard as you come down the companionway steps. Forward of these to port is the galley with the nav station opposite to starboard. Then there is u shape settee with polished table which opens as double to port and a settee to starboard. Forward of the bulkhead is the toilet to port and a basin with cupboard under to starboard. Forward of this is a large area for storage of sails up to the watertight bulkhead. Forward of this is the self draining chain locker.
Open Plan.
Bathroom has door for privacy.
All lights are led including mast and navigational lights
4 berths total. Two quarter berths and 2 settee berths
Jabsco Manual toilet with basin with fresh water and cupboard under.
Stereo with two speakers
Refleks diesel Heater
Two burner gimballed Force 10 gas stove. Two bowl sink with cupboards under. Storage for pots, pans under stove. Storage for plates cups etc over stove. 3 drawer cupboard for cutlery. Hand pump fresh water and foot pump sea water to sink.
Large ice box with 100mm insulation. Will hold a block of ice for a week.
2 burner Force 10
Hot Water
Ground Tackle
Muir anchor winch with Rocna 30 Kg primary anchor with 75 metres 10mm chain plus 50 metre nylon rode
Secondary Anchors: 2 off 20 Kg Bruce anchors with 20 metres chain and nylon rode.
Extendable 1 metre stainless steel bowsprit operated from cockpit for asymmetrical spinnaker.
Safety Gear
Jack lines, flares ( in date), epirb. 2 x Watertight bulkheads
Bilge Pumps
Roving electric bilge pump with 10 metres hose
Life Raft
406 MHz to AMSA requirements
Life Jackets
2 x gas inflatable with tethers. 8 foam life vests
Flares to offshore requirements
Fire Protection
75 amp alternator off main engine charging both starting and house batteries.
2 / 80 amp solar panels set into deck
1/ 80 amp starting battery ( New Dec 2018)
2 / Century N70 102 amp house batteries. ( New Dec 2018)
DC to DC battery charger and MPPT solar regulator ( New 2019 )
Boat wired to accept lithium batteries on next battery replacement. Wiring all done 2019
Electronics / Navigation
Raymarine 150mm chartplotter with world Navionics charts.
Surface Pro computer with C map charts loaded
Raymarine Smart Pilot X-10 with type 1 tiller drive unit
Raymarine P 70 wind, depth & auto pilot gauges
Iridium phone in e dock station with external aerial and optimiser for email and weather downloads via Predictwind Offshore Weather
Vesper send / receive AIS
Electronic Radar reflector
Icom VHF radio
e-xpert battery monitor
Sail Inventory
Main - North Sails with 3 reefs operated from cockpit
Furling genoa on Reef Rite furler with pawl - Zoom Sails New Zealand
Hanked on spare Genoa - North - average condition.
No 4 jib - on Selden CX - 15 endless furler with 2:1 halyard
storm jib - on endless furler with 2:1 halyard
Asymetrical spinnaker - on Facnor top down furler
Mast / Rigging
Allyacht spars Queensland Aluminium mast and boom - very good condition.
All Dyform standing rigging - surveyed March 2020 for insurance. D2 and V2 and their inmast backing plates replaced 2020.
Deck Gear
Andersen two speed, self tailing Stainless winches. 2 x 52ST and 4 x 40ST on deck for sheets, 2 x 40 ST on coach house for halyards and reefing lines. 1 x 28ST on mast for spinnaker halyard. Total 9.
All working sail halyards and leach reefing lines run back to cockpit. Set up for short handed sailing.
Monitor wind vane with 2 blades and spare parts
Pro furl furler set on forestay for genoa.
Selden CX - 15 furler on 2:1 halyard for No 4 jib and storm jib.
Extendable bowsprit operated from cockpit
Boat has been set up professionally for short handed sailing with halyards and reefing lines running back to cockpit.
All standing and running rigging in as new condition.

Robert Whyte
City / Suburb

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