img4996This design is the third collaboration of the Baltic Design Group Coalition and Judel/Vrolijk Design. The aim of this design, another one optimized for IMS, is to have "high racing potential without sacrificing any cruising comfort." This, of course, is every builder's dream, but it still leaves a lot of room for interpretation of "cruising comfort." Ironically Baltic's way of optimizing "with full end sections" is the opposite to Graham and Schlageter's way of paring away volume in the ends.

I think we are now in a formative stage with IMS. The beam waterline is narrow with a pronounced turn half way up the topsides. The general midsectional shape is very similar to an IOR boat with a flat bottom and relatively slack bilges. The inboard profile has some inflection in the canoe body run aft with a dimple where the old IOR AGS would occur. The D/L ratio is 191.

The Baltic 40 keel is a unique combination of fin and winglike bulb or bulbous wing. This will lower VCG and increase effective draft. Standard draft is already 7.15 feet, so this keel configuration should make the new 40 a very stiff boat. Note the curvature to both leading and trailing edges. The rudder is a high aspect ratio balanced spade showing the similar treatment to the edges but avoiding the elliptical tip so popular today. Every effort has been made to minimize the weight of the rudder.

Regular readers of my reviews are aware that I am Baltic fan. Baltic has taught us all a lesson or two in interior design. The new 40 has increased pressure on the layout to offer true cruising comfort. Unfortunately this pressure is manifested in the less than svelte deck of the new boat. We all like the low and sleek look of the old Baltics, I'm sure. The problem is to keep headroom and still come up with a sleek deck.

The new deck shows that full headroom has been carried through the boat into the V-berth area. It's not a clunky deck by any standard, but it does show Baltic's yielding to the market's desire for interior comfort. Note the long bridgedeck one step above the level of the cockpit seats. This buys volume in the aft cabin but in this case results in a manhole type of companionway with no drop boards. It's just a matter of taste and how you like to use your boat. The side decks are wide and there is a sculpted scoop forward of the mast for added security when working at the mast. The mainsheet traveler runs across the middle of the elevated bridgedeck.

When you look at this layout I think you have to stop a moment and consider how far we have come in 40-footer interiors. The advantages of the center cockpit layout have been eroded by the invention of this attractive Baltic aft cabin. It appears to have all the advantages of he center cockpit layout without the drawbacks.

In keeping with the healthy stability potential of this new design, Baltic has given the 40 an SA/D ratio of 20.55. The rig has triple spreaders and a babystay. The spar is stepped just forward of station 4.

While studying the sail plan, take the time to carefully look over the profile of the 40. The bow overhang is snubbed and the stern is drawn out in an attractive transom shape. We will never see an ugly boat come out of Baltic.

The 40 is built with epoxy resin and unidirectional roving. This saves approximately 50 percent over the weight of a polyester resin layup and at the same time, panel stiffness is increased 200 to 300 percent, according to the Baltic literature.

Once again Tor Hinders, the chief designer at Baltic, has teamed up with a good design team for the hull lines and rig and produced a benchmark yacht. Baltic's quality is right around the top in this industry.

Boat Specifications

Displacement14,990 lbs.
Ballast6,173 lbs.
Sail Area795 sq. ft.
Auxiliary Yanmar3HM 35F
Fuel33 gals.
Water50 gals.


SAILINGlogo-115This story originally appeared in Sailing Magazine, and is republished here by permission. Subscribe to Sailing.