Looks matter, and VanDutch knows how to deliver. But the 40 also has a good hull which promises high performance in complete safety
by Niccolò Volpati
It is difficult to find waves on a lake, not least because when there are any, the weather conditions suggest staying in port. Anyhow, I found a typical summer Sunday on Lake Garda. Not much wind, at most a bit of breeze, and the water was flat. But like all Sundays in the summertime, there was no lack of boats. And so I took the helm of the VD 40 and started to go across the bow waves.
The hull behaved well, even at high speed: the V-bow cut through them and we were soon back at the same trim. I felt we were slightly stern heavy, perhaps we could have used some interceptors. But when accelerating the boat levelled out and stayed parallel to the water, and the visibility over the bow was not affected. At 2200 rpm we were doing 18 knots and started planning, while at 3000 the GPS showed around 30 knots. I got to top speed, 38.8 knots, at 3640 rpm and the feeling you get at the helm between 30 and 38 knots is indeed very positive.
The boat is stable, the hull holds the water well, and that feeling doesn’t change when I turn as tightly as possible. In the engine room, there are two 380-horsepower Volvo D6s with stern drives. That is the standard, while as an optional you still get a pair of D6s which develop 440 hp each. I think the standard power specification is more than enough. There is no lack of speed. The spread between minimum planing and top speed is over 20 knots, which is a wide choice for cruising, whether considering the requirements of the helmsman or weather conditions. What is more, it does not use much fuel, coming in at between three and four liters per mile at any cruising speed, and I would not expect the pair of 440s to increase that very much.
The hull has been slightly modified from the original design. The new one is 25 centimeters longer, and the sides and the deckhouse have also gained the same amount. There are two benefits from this, which come without affecting performance or weighing down the lines: there is greater protection from spray in the cockpit and better headroom below decks. The deck stays dry, not least because of the windscreen that goes up to the middle of the cockpit. You appreciate that when turning tightly on a wave because it stops the water from getting to the passengers sitting on the sofas. The layout is true to the concept of a day boat. There is a three-person sun pad in the stern and an L-shaped sofa that can comfortably seat six people. In the middle, the table also includes one of the fridges. They have not held back on the cooling devices: there are two fridges and also an ice maker.
The steering position is to starboard and works well ergonomically. The wheel and throttle are to hand, and they are the right distance from the sofa for the skipper and mate. Space has been found for a further two seats behind the pilot’s sofa, and they connect with the living area in the cockpit. On the console, two 12-inch Garmin displays can supply all the information needed when underway, as well as maps and engine data. And these two plotters mean you also have complete control of the onboard automated systems, air conditioning, and entertainment. The distinctive feature of the VD 40, as in all of the other models made by the yard, is a completely clear deckhouse. It does not feature a sun pad, nor a guard rail or grab handles to get there easily. You can access it when the boat is moored in port, or at anchor, but the area is not set up for anything, precisely so as not to interfere with the overall look of the boat. The only thing on it is two hatches, which help ventilate and bring natural light down to the interior. The interior is set up like a day boat with a galley and linear sofa, as well as a head in a separate room. But there are no provisions for a bed. And that is perhaps the choice that I found slightly puzzling because I would have expected there to be a choice of layouts for day trips and one for short or medium-range trips for two people.
The boat always comes with diesel Volvo Penta engines with stern drives. The choice buyers have is over how much power to install. Two 380 horsepower D6s come as standard, while as an optional you get the same engines, but in the 440 hp version.
Cantiere del Pardo
Via Fratelli Lumière, 34
I-47122 Forlì (FC)
T. +39 0543 782404
Mulder Design (naval architect, interior and exterior design)
LOA 12.48m • Maximum beam 3.42m • Draft 0.90m • Light mass displacement 10,600 kg • Fuel tank volume 850 l • Water tank volume 170 l
2xVolvo Penta D6 380 • Outlet mechanical power 280 kW (380 hp) • 4 Stroke • 6 in-line cylinders • Compression ratio 1.69:1 • Swept volume 5.5 l • Maximal rotational speed 3500/min • Dry weight 770 kg
Starting from 635.000€ (Excl. VAT) powered with 2 Volvo Penta D6-380/DPI Stern Drive (Diesel) engines (December 2022)
(VanDutch 40, a lifestyle boat – Barchemagazine.com – December 2022)