1989 Valiant 40

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
$140,000 USD

So you would like to cruise S E Asia and the South Pacific Islands but you’re not looking forward to the long passages to get there. Problem solved. My Texas built Valiant 40 # 280 is in Pangkor, Malaysia, just south of Penang waiting for a new owner. Due to unforeseen problems I have reluctantly been forced to put my yacht up for sale. Don’t know the Valiant 40.… Google it and you will find it is one of the World’s best classic blue water yachts ever built. Designed by Robert Perry, it is a solidly built, very sea kindly and it will look after you when the going gets tough. It’s pretty as well!

When I bought New World in 2008 I had to spend $250 to fix a problem with a radio, that was it… and then I untied the lines and set off on a passage. The boat was in perfect, “ready to go” condition. Since then I have continued to maintain the boat to my exacting standards (I’m a Tool and Die maker, carpenter and mechanic) and consequently it is still ready to step aboard, cast the lines and is “ready to go”. You will not need to spend one cent more on it before you head out on a passage. Compare that to some other “bargain” yachts for sale.

Yes, there will be some modification and work that you will find to suit your own personal taste but be assured that mechanically she is as sound and as well equipped as she could be.

This particular Valiant was built specifically for off-shore cruising and for full time living aboard and therefore some modification were made when it was built. It has the standard ¼ berth aft of the galley along with 2 single berths in the main cabin complete with lee cloths. The port berth can be extended to become a double berth if needed. As for the V berth. This comprises of a single berth to starboard. On the port side of the V berth are 3 shelves which currently hold the complete sail inventory, spare lines and halyards, sun covers and other items that are not required on a daily basis. Aft of that is a locker that is currently being used to house most of the ships maintenance supplies.

The ships electrical power is supplied by the 549 amp/hr Gel cell house battery bank and the 400 watt solar panels are enough to maintain the batteries and keep them fully charged. In case of cloud cover the wind generator will pick up the slack and if all else fails… there’s the 4.5 Kv diesel generator.

The cabin table can be raised up which when locked in place secures and covers the “drinks” cabinet on the bulkhead. It can be lowered to form a single width “daily” use table or folded out to become a table for 6 for those “special” occasions. The interior is varnished wood and the ceiling is white laminate to brighten up the interior. All lockers are lined with cedar paneling and all lockers have automatic lights.

Like the old saying goes, you get what you pay for and in this case you get a lot. Because I had to return home relatively quickly, the boat has been left with just about everything you will need for living aboard and cruising. A fully equipped galley, more tools than you can deal with, including many power tools. So many spare parts that I can’t even begin to name them all including hard to find items in SE Asia like 316 stainless screws, quality caulking, glues and epoxies. Bed covers, linen, towels and many other items will be left on the boat. Of course you may well want to replace them but they are there so as to get you started or they can be given away to local people who may appreciate them if you wish.

Following is a description and list of most items on the boat…

Ships Registration Details Manufacturer: Valiant Yachts Designed by: Bob Perry Model: Valiant 40 (#280) Hull Number: YAY402801889 Year of Manufacture: 1989 Port of Registration: Vancouver, BC, Canada Vessel Name: New World

Ships Details Gross Tonnage: 9.85 Net Tonnage: 9.36 Yacht Rig: Cutter Hull Material: Fiberglass Length (Over All): 39ft 10 ¾” (12.13 m) Length (Water Line): 34’ (10.36 m) Beam: 12’ 4” (3.76) m) Draft: 6’ (1.83 m) Mast height 55 ft (16.8 m) Displacement: 22,500 lb (0,206 kg) Ballast: 7,700lb (3,493 kg)

Engine Make: Yanmar (4,600 hours) Model: 4JH4E Power: 54HP 40K/w Max power Speed: 8 Knots Fuel Consumption: 2.3 liters/Hr @ 2200 rpm

V Drive Make: Hurth Model: ZF150 V Drive Ratio: 2.13 : 1

Generator Make: Northern Lights Model: M643-4.5N Power: 4.5K/w Fuel Consumption 1.9 Lt/hr (at max load)

Inverter / Charger Make: Outback Power Systems Model: FX 2012MT Size: 2.0 kw Volts: 12 VDC - 120 VAC/60Hz Controller: MATE2M

Batteries House Batteries: 3 x 8G4D Gel = 549 amp/hr Main Engine Start: 1 x 8G4D Gel = 183 amp/hr Generator Start: 1 x Gel (House and Main Start batteries new in Jan 2016)

Dinghy Make: AB Inflatable (2014) Model: 10 VS Type: RIB Inflatable Capacity: 5 persons Length: 10 ft 3.0 meters

Outboard Make: Yamaha Model: 15 FMH (2 Stroke) Power: 15 HP (11 K/w)

Sail Inventory Foresail (Port Townsend Sails) Stay Sail (Port Townsend Sails) Main Sail (Port Townsend Sails) 2 reefs Asymmetrical Spinnaker Storm Stay sail Tri sail

Canvas Dodger Navy Blue Sunbrella Bimini Navy Blue Sunbrella Dodger to Bimini Cover Navy Blue Sunbrella Cockpit Weather panels Full surround Cockpit Sun Shades Full surround Aft Deck sun cover Stamoid Forward sun cover Vinyl

Tanks Fuel Tank Capacity 492 lts (130 us gal) Water Tank Capacity 454 lts (120 us gal) Holding Tank 38 lts (10 us gal)

Liferaft Make: Plastimo Model: Pacific (6 person) Date of Manufacture: 7th March 2008

Ground Equipment Windlass Lofrans Tigress Main Anchor Scottish CQR 60 lb Spare Anchor Danforth 35 lb Spare Anchor Danforth 25 lb Spare Anchor Swalick 60 lb

Other Equipment Webasto Forced Air Diesel Furness Wind Generator AIR-X 400 watt Solar Panels 2 x 200 watt (2014) Autopilot Alpha Marine 3000 Wind Vane Monitor Water maker Katadyn 160E

Electronics (Preferred navigation system has been the ITX computer running MaxSea software and CM93 charts). Mini ITX Computer ITX (12 volts) Eden 1.6 GHz Computer Monitor LG W1943SE Computer Monitor 12” Touch Screen AIS ACR Nauticast B AIS-300 Chart plotter Raymarine RL 70 CRC Plus Radar Display Raymarine RL 70 CRC Plus Radar Raymarine Pathfinder 2D 18” 2kw Speed Instrument Raymarine ST60 Wind Instrument Raymarine ST60 Depth Instrument Raymarine ST60 GPS ( RayMarine) Garmin Garmin 17X HVS GPS – 1 (Installed) Furuno Navigator GP-30 GPS – 2 ( ITX computer) Garmin GPS 18 GPS – 3 (Handheld) Garmin 76 CS SSB Radio Icom IC – M802 SSB Radio Tuner Icom AT 140 VHF Radio (Installed) Standard Horizon Matrix GX2000 VHF Radio extension Mic Standard Horizon RAM3 (CMP30) Radio/CD/IPod Player Sony CDX-GT55IPS

Safety Equipment EPIRB ACR Globalfix RLB – 35 Sea Anchor Para-Tech 18ft “Cape Horn Life Vests x 2 West Marine Sospenders 38A HRN Ditch bag ACR

Additional Equipment Printer/Fax/copier HP Officejet 6310 External Hard Drive W D My Book Essential Contains >600 movies) Power Inverter – 1 Xantrex Portawattz 300 Bicycle Giant Boulder, Alum & S/S Mountain Bike Sewing Machine Phaff, 240 volt Has a walking foot. Good for canvas.

Tools Hand Tools 5 toolboxes. Cordless Drill Bosch 18v Cordless Jigsaw Bosch 18v Cordless 90o Angle Drill Makita 9v Angle Grinder Makita (110v) 3” Angle Grinder Power Force (110v)3” Angle Grinder Ozigo (240v) 3” Electric Drill Sears (110v) ½” chuck MultiTool Fein (110v) Multi tool Sander Makita (240v) Orbital Sander Sears (110v) Orbital Sander Porter/Cable (110v) Orbital

Additional Spare Items Hitachi 80 Alternator, 2 blade fixed propeller, Fresh water pump, Reworked spare raw water pump for generator, Used Jabsco bilge pump. (Needs to be serviced), Spare Wind generator blades, Numerous repair kits, spares, and maintenance supplies. (Approximately 18 x 10 liter containers!)…. and much more!

Asking price: US$185K Now US$140,000!


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Robert Perry
Uniflite Inc.
Valiant Yachts
# Built


Length Overall
39 11 / 12.2 m
Waterline Length
33 11 / 10.4 m
12 4 / 3.8 m
6 0 / 1.8 m
22,500 lb / 10,206 kg
7,700 lb / 3,493 kg (Lead)

Rig and Sails

Reported Sail Area
810′² / 75.3 m²
Total Sail Area
808′² / 75.1 m²
Sail Area
343′² / 31.9 m²
45 0 / 13.7 m
15 3 / 4.7 m
Mast Height
Sail Area
465′² / 43.2 m²
50 3 / 15.3 m
18 6 / 5.6 m
Forestay Length
53 6 / 16.3 m

Auxilary Power

Fuel Type
Fuel Capacity
95 gal / 360 l
Engine Hours


Water Capacity
120 gal / 454 l
Holding Tank Capacity
15 gal / 57 l


Hull Speed
7.81 knots
Sail Area/Displacement
under powered
less stiff, less powerful
Comfort Ratio
moderate bluewater cruising boat
Capsize Screening
better suited for ocean passages


From BlueWaterBoats.org:

The Valiant 40 has perhaps influenced modern blue water cruiser design more than any other boat. Prior to the Valiant 40, cruising sailboats we synonymous with heavy and slow. The genius that designer Bob Perry brought in the Valiant 40 was to put a what was then a modern IOR racing shape under the waterline and match it with a cruising hull above. He built this concept into a boat with the look of a Scandinavian double ender and in doing so help further the American love for traditional double enders that exists to this day.

Winning multiple single handed ocean races, it quickly gain a reputation of being a fast and serious ocean going passage-maker. The boat is a regular circumnavigator, some claiming perhaps no other cruising boat has logged as many open ocean miles, and in 1997 the Valiant 40 was inducted into the American Sailboat Hall of fame. Quite an achievement for what was essentially a partnership of friends with a dream to build their ideal boat.


Sylvia Williams Dabney writes an entertaining first hand account retelling the story of how a collective of good friends including a then unknown assistant yacht designer called Bob Perry, energized by the boldness of youth, managed to dream, scheme, and build a legendary boat that changed the face of cruising boat design and has spanned a production run of 47 years thus far.

The driving force behind the Valiant 40 came between a friendship between Nathan Rothman and Perry, forged while working together in another company building ferro-cement yachts. Through the years they dreamt about building their own boat and “being their own bosses”, as Perry recalls in his book Yacht Design According to Perry. Rothman found financial backing and approached Perry for working drawings of a 40-footer. Valiant Yachts and the Valiant 40 was the result.

“The Valiant 40 became an instant success and we had eight boats on order by the time the first Valiant was launched. It is said that the Valiant 40/42 has been in non-stop production longer than any comparable yacht, a true testimony to its timeless design.” – Sylvia Williams Dabney

The company accelerated quickly and their boats became a hot item for cruising boat customers in the 1970s. By 1978, Dabney recalls selling 50 boats a year from their range of three boats, the  Valiant 32, Esprit 37, and Valiant 40.

The most infamous episode to taint the reputation of the Valiant 40 came sometime around 1976 when Uniflite who built the boats for Valiant changed to a questionable resin called Hetron which resulted in severe blistering on the hulls of the boats above and below the waterline. It was commonly thought the fire retardant in the new resin was the culprit but yacht surveyor Jack Horner writes “Later research has shown that a combination of sizing used on fiberglass strands chemically reacts with the fire retardant resins resulting in the blisters.”

Ownership of the venture passed hands to Sam Dick Industries and then to Uniflite, who declared bankruptcy in 1984 shortly after Valiant owners won a class action lawsuit over the blistering episode. The Valiant operation was picked up by Rich Worstell, a Texas based Valiant dealer, who after building a few boats in Washington eventually moved production to Texas, under the new leadership the blistering problem was permanently solved in 1984 by switching to isophthalic resin.

In 1992, with some degree of consultation with the Valiant 40 owner community, the design evolved into the Valiant 42 which is essentially the same boat with further refinements. The rig has been tweaked with an addition of a 2ft bowsprit and the keel has evolved. Manufacturing was adapted to offer multiple berthing configurations, and the traditional offset entry into the companionway now has an optional center entry. Thus the Valiant 42 was introduced as a low volume semi-custom built boat.

In all, exactly 200 Valiant 40s have been built. Production of the Valiant 42 ceased in January of 2011 due to an economic downturn, we know 70 had been built up to 2010.

Boat Configuration

One look at the Valiant 40 and there’s no mistaking it was conceived to cross oceans. There’s a proud bow, with a fine entry, a beautiful sheerline, and what was considered a long LWL for its time. The cabin truck looks distinctly boxy without even a hint of a rake. Further back is a cockpit that is suitably non-spacious for blue water operations and there’s a handsome canoe stern to round the look off.

Hidden under the waterline the traditional Scandinavian look gives way to something that’s much more modern. A fin cruising keel with a skeg hung rudder and an underbelly that’s designed to minimize wetted surface area.

The rig is of cutter configuration and, with a mast located quite far back. It supports a relatively short boom and mainsail that’s smaller than the norm making it easier to handle. Early boats had sheeting control lines attached to the end of the boom. This tended to increase weather-helm and also proved to be a dangerous nuisance before later models moved to a mid-boom sheeting system.


The Valiant 40 has a very strong and thick hull made from hand laid fiberglass. The fiberglass deck has a balsa core. The hull-deck join is described as being robust and forms a box section with the molded in bulwark, which is through bolted and covered with a teak caprail.

The ballast is externally cast lead and is bolted onto the keel stub. This was later revised to make it less expensive to build and also resulted in a lower center of gravity. The last revision improved the foil shape. Interestingly, the skeg protecting the rudder is not part of the hull molding, instead it is constructed separately in steel and encased in fiberglass before fastening to the hull.

Rather than the usual one piece interior pan lining favored by most production designs, the Valiant 40 interior is traditionally built by fiberglassing bulkheads and interior fixtures directly to the hull giving excellent access to check on hull and deck leaks.

Under Sail

Under sail, balanced and well mannered in all sea conditions are the types of comments you’ll hear from Valiant 40 owners.

Mark Schrader writes in Cruising World Magazine, Oct 1997, “In over 30,000 miles of singlehanded sailing I never needed to worry about the integrity of my 40; it handled an amazing and sometimes overwhelming variety of conditions. Rumbling along on a deep reach with a big following sea is something to experience from the Valiant’s safe cockpit.”

Although not particularly close-winded by modern standards, the Valiant 40 tracks well to weather and there is just enough flare in the bow to keep the low freeboard boat relatively dry. Expect consistent 150 mile days without requiring a lot of exertion or discomfort, more if the breeze is fresh.

John Kretschmer, author and boat delivery captain who has logged over 200,000 miles reports on delivering a Valiant 40 from West Indes to Massachusetts, “The winds were fresh on the first leg and we reeled off consecutive 160-mile days on a beam reach. We ran into a gale in the Gulf Stream on the second leg. I was impressed with the Valiant’s easy motion as we gradually shortened sail until we were down to a double-reefed main and the staysail. I was forced to hand steer for days, but the helm was balanced and I was able to tie it off when I needed a break. The sailing characteristics are the prime reason for buying a used Valiant 40.”

Buyers Notes

Blisters developed on nearly all Valiant 40s built between 1976-1981 with hull numbers 120-249, hull numbers 250-266 are less blister prone, the switch to isophthalic resin came in 1984 and hulls 267 onwards are Texas built.

Many boats have had blister repairs with varying degrees of success, some reappearing after only two years while others have not had the problem resurface after ten. It’s generally agreed that the outer layer of GRP needs be peeled and replaced to permanently fix the problem. Warmer climates have reported to have a detrimental impact so be wary of buying a seemingly blister free boat that has lived entirely in higher latitudes that have not yet made for tropical waters.

Looking beyond the blistering woes, there are a few other common areas to check for in older Valiant 40s. John Kretschmer writes, “The aluminum water and fuel tanks have not aged well and may need to be replaced. The chainplates on early boats were on the light side and should be upgraded. Occasional delamination in the subdeck is a problem, particularly around the chainplates, but this of course is common on any old boat with a balsa or plywood core.” He recommends checking the standing rigging and replacing any of the original fittings and notes on boats that had optional rod rigging its worth getting in a rigger to inspect the terminal end.

Buyers willing to deal with blisters can find real bargains on the market, particularly ones built between 1976-1981. The earliest boats being less blister prone can often fetch higher prices and the Texas-built Valiant 40s are much more expensive. As of 2010 the asking prices are in the approximate range of:

Valiant 40, 1973-1975 $80k-$110k USD (hulls #101-119)
Valiant 40, 1976-1981 $60k-$110k USD (hulls #120-249, most blister prone)
Valiant 40, 1981-1984 $100k-$175k USD (hulls #250-266)
Valiant 40, 1985-1992 $140k-$280k USD (Texas built hulls #267-300)
Valiant 42, 1992-2010 $250k-$600k USD

Links, References and Further Reading

» Boats.com, feature on the Valiant 40 “A Legend in its Own Time”
» Buying a Used Valiant 40, review by John Kretschmer, Apr 1999
» The Birth of the Valiant, article by Sylvia Williams Dabney, Oct 1998
» BoatUS, review by Jack Horner
» Valiant Owners Yahoo Group, information, photos, records, and more
» Cruising World Magazine, boat review by Mark Schrader, Oct 1997
» Valiant Sailboats, company website



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