Maestro 40

Alvah Simon reviews the Maestro 40 for the 2007 Cruising World Sailboat Show.

Maestro

In designing the Maestro 40, Eivind Still strove for a boat that was "easy to sail, comfortable, safe, fast, and modern in both lines and equipment." He achieved the "easy" by means of a fractional, self-tacking jib, with all sailing functions leading aft to the helm. The "comfortable" comes via a lineless social area in the cockpit, forward of the large wheel, and a modern yet simple two- or three-cabin interior of composite material with mahogany laminates.

"Safe" is assured by a hand-laid polyester laminate over a Divinycell core built in Finland to a typically high Baltic standard, and "fast" is a consequence of a flat, fine-lined hull with a long waterline, a D/L of 184, a radical fin keel with a lead bulb, a balanced spade rudder, and a power-packed 968 square feet of working sail area with an SA/D of 22.19. "Modern" gives us the stark, linear look and an array of the newest equipment available.

It's telling, however, that Still didn't specifically describe to what purpose these attributes should be put. After an inspection and test sail, I classify the Maestro 40 as a racy cruiser, not a racer/cruiser. The cockpit ergonomics leave little space for competitive crews to access the sheets, and by compressing all sailing functions so far aft, a traffic jam of clutches, winches, and lines occurs. This may be fine for a singlehander but not for a full crew. To reach its full potential, this high-performance hull, being "tweaky" by nature, may require better workspaces for more crew. As is, however, this Finnish creation is a stylish, fast, and fun machine.

Maestro 40 Specs

LOA: 39' 8"
LWL: 35' 5"
Beam: 12' 2"
Draft (shoal): 6' 3"
Sail Area: 878 sq. ft.
Displacement: 15,876 lb.
Water: 53 gal.
Fuel: 53 gal.
Engine: 40-hp. Volvo Penta
Designer: Eivind Still
Price: $450,000
Still Yachts Inc., (401) 846-0300, www.maestroboats.fi