Skip to main content

Maestro 40

If you strolled the docks at the major East Coast sailboat shows last fall and thought you were seeing a higher-than-average number of good-looking new designs from Scandinavian builders, you were. Among the ranks of that swelling Nordic fleet was a mid-size performance cruiser called the Maestro 40, created by one of the true deans of Northern European naval architects, Eivind Still. The
HR-0307-BG-MaestroLead

If you strolled the docks at the major East Coast sailboat shows last fall and thought you were seeing a higher-than-average number of good-looking new designs from Scandinavian builders, you were. Among the ranks of that swelling Nordic fleet was a mid-size performance cruiser called the Maestro 40, created by one of the true deans of Northern European naval architects, Eivind Still. The Finnish designer has always favored fast hull shapes, and the Maestro, built in his homeland, certainly looked purposeful last October tugging at its dock lines during the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland. I was eager for a ride.

Several days later, I got my wish. The short trip from the downtown waterfront out into Chesapeake Bay provided the opportunity to check out the Maestro under power. With its 39-horsepower Volvo diesel spinning the standard three-bladed folding propeller (on a saildrive mount), the boat made 6.1 knots at 1,800 rpm; 6.4 at 2,000; and a very slippery 7.6 when maxed out in “make-tracks” mode at 2,500 rpm. It was also quite maneuverable, completing a 360-degree turn in a little less than a boatlength. However, when we got out into the overcast bay, where a weak northeasterly breeze was topping out at less than 5 knots, the prospects for a lively sail seemed dim.

It’s never particularly inspiring to test a sailboat in light airs, but it can be surprisingly revealing. This was the case as we hoisted the main, unfurled the jib, and came hard on the wind (such as it was). At a true-wind angle of 35 degrees in 3.8 knots of apparent wind, the Maestro’s speed over the ground was 1.7 knots. In almost any other instance, that figure would hardly be cause for celebration. But we were surrounded by a slew of similarly sized boats that were positively parked, while we enjoyed steerage and movement and progress—slight but steady—across the proverbial painted sea. All things considered, I was impressed.

The Maestro 40 is very well set up for tweaking and trimming, with a big, workable cockpit and top-shelf hardware, including the Harken traveler right at the foot of the steering pedestal. Harken adjustable sheet leads, Andersen winches, and a dozen Lewmar rope clutches to handle the mainsheet, reefing lines, and so on, are stationed an arm’s length away to port and starboard of the helmsman’s 60-inch recessed destroyer wheel. These lines are led aft through a clever arrangement just beneath the standard teak deck, which keeps clutter to a minimum. The boat we sailed was equipped with an optional carbon rig from Offshore Spars that, like the standard Selden aluminum section, is a 19/20 fractional setup with aft-sweeping spreaders.

As the wind “piped up” to just over 5 knots, our boatspeed rose accordingly. We cracked off a bit, eased the main, and suddenly were making 3.5 knots. The Maestro 40 has a flat, fair entry that gives way to full, generous U-shaped sections that are carried well aft, all of which suggests a hull form that should reach very well. And, indeed, when the breeze came on a tad more, to 9 knots, we bore off and easily set the boat’s cruising asymmetric chute and were rewarded with a solid 6 knots over the bottom. Nice.

Down below, as is generally the case with boats built in Scandinavia, the layout is conservative and traditional. There’s a good-sized double cabin forward with a generous V-berth and lots of storage in shelves and lockers. The main saloon features long, opposing settees that would double under way as excellent seaberths; the leecloths are already installed.

You can order a Maestro 40 in a one-aft-cabin or two-aft-cabin configuration, both of which have the galley to port and the single head to starboard. In the former layout, the boat has a large double cabin to port, and the space that would be devoted to a second cabin is instead used as a giant locker, accessible beneath the starboard cockpit seat. This version also has a larger head than the model with twin aft cabins. A cruising couple would probably prefer the one-aft-cabin option for the extra storage and roomier head compartment. Growing families or sailors contemplating some offshore racing, both of which may need to accommodate larger crews, might prefer the two-aft-cabin layout. Maestro has done a good job of addressing both scenarios.

Conclusion

The Maestro 40 is a versatile boat that will serve its owners well as a quick coastal cruiser with good club-racing capability and the strength to tackle the occasional offshore foray or race, though its light-to-moderate displacement will likely provide a lively motion that some sailors may find a tad too sporty when off soundings in a seaway.

Boat Review

Price: $370,000, base boat; $425,000, sailaway version with light options; $450,000, fully tricked-out model (FOB East Coast)

Importer/builder: Maestro Yachts USA, Newport, RI; www.maestroboats.fi, 401-846-5531

Designer: Eivind Still

Construction: The Divinycell core used in the hull and deck is sandwiched between a vacuum-infused skin of fiberglass and isoplastic polyester resin. Reinforcing carbon fiber is employed in the stringers supporting the keel. Interior components like bulkheads, cabinets, and doors are also cored to save weight and are finished with a combination of fiberglass and wood veneers.

Pros: Light yet solidly built, fast, and great fun to sail across a wide range of conditions. A lifting-keel version is also available for shoal-water cruisers.

Cons: The keel-stepped spar, which intersects the central dining table in the main saloon, is not ideally located for dining or socializing. Likewise, the on-deck chartplotter screen, at knee level aft of the steering pedestal, could be better placed.

LOA 39’9”

LWL 35’9”

Beam 12’2”

Draft (shoal/deep) 6’2”/7’2”

Displacement 15,432 lbs

Ballast5,952 lbs

Sail Area (main and 110% jib)1,010 sq ft

Power Volvo 39-hp diesel with saildrive

Tankage Fuel/water/waste 53/53/25 gal

Electrical
(2) 130-Ah gel service batteries

(1) 80-Ah starting battery

Displacement-Length ratio155

Sail Area-Displacement ratio26.1

Ballast ratio38%

Related

East-River-Rapids

Escape from New York Part 1

I was never supposed to take my boat through New York City. After getting sucked backward through the Cape Cod Canal on my way south from Maine, when the speed of the current exceeded the maximum speed of my little electric auxiliary, I wanted nothing to do with Hell Gate and ...read more

LEAD-Celeste-in-the-Tuamotu

A Watermaker Upgrade

As a classic-boat sailor, I’ve long held that simpler is the better. I still think this is true: a simpler boat is cheaper, she has less gadgets to break down and there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing you’re able to handle a bit of discomfort. Thus, for a long time, I sailed ...read more

01-LEAD-IDECsport_180919_032

Sailing Speed Records

Although the 1903 defender of the America’s Cup, Reliance, was deemed a “racing freak”—the boat pushed design rules to their limit and couldn’t be beaten, at least in very specific conditions—designer Nat Herreshoff was nonetheless onto something. A century later, purpose-built ...read more

BVIFeetup

Chartering with Non-sailors

Three tips on managing the madness First-time charterers and first-time sailors aren’t at all the same thing. One group may struggle with beginner chartering issues, like sailing a multihull, catching a mooring or dealing with base personnel. For the other group, though, ...read more

AdobeStock_455372159

A Gulf Stream Crossing at Night

Even the dome of light glowing above the city behind us had disappeared as if swallowed in a gulp by Noah’s whale. The moon was absent. Not a star twinkled overhead. The night was so dark we could have been floating in a pot of black ink. The only artificial lights to be seen ...read more

00-Lead-549215sJL2uLEa

Summer Sailing Programs

Every year, countless parents find themselves navigating the do’s and don’ts of enrolling their children in a summer learn-to-sail program for the first time. While the prospect of getting your kid on the water is exciting, as a sailing camp program director, there are a lot of ...read more

ntm

Notice to Mariners: U.S.A! U.S.A! (Well, sorta…)

Some thoughts on a couple of recent developments on the U.S. racing scene that are more than a little at odds. To start with, congratulations to the US Sailing Team (USST) and its outstanding showing at the 53rd French Olympic Week regatta in Hyeres, France, with not one but ...read more

01-LEAD-11-Katrina-Zoe-Norbom-850_9438

The 52 Super Series

The 52 Super Series is widely considered one of the top circuits in the world for monohulls, and in this era of rapid change, the TP52—or TransPacific 52—has managed to stay the series’ boat of choice for 10 years. Not only that, but as the class marks its 20th anniversary the ...read more