Review of Valiant Yachts


By Amanda Noon

April 30, 2019

The Valiant 40 is an iconic ocean going sailboat designed by Robert H. Perry in 1973. The Valiant 40 was inducted into the Sailboat Hall of Fame in 2015 for its incredible contribution to sailing. The Valiant Yachts company built the boats in Texas after purchasing the mold and design from Uniflight Inc. in 1984. Valiant sailboats were in continuous production for 35 years, making them one of the longest running boat building companies in America - which is quite amazing and yet it is easy to see why.

In 1973 when a very young Bob Perry designed the Valiant 40 he was way ahead of his time. Back then the ocean going sailboats were all super heavy, full keel, ketches and cutters, solid ocean cruisers. Only the intrepid sailors ventured across oceans with their sextants. Bob’s Valiant 40 design was a radical departure with its long “modified” fin keel drawing 6 feet, an equally deep full-skeg mounted rudder, and its relatively light displacement at 23,500 lbs. With moderate beam of 12’9” and waterline length of 34’ she is smallish in today’s standards. The Valiant did sport a buoyant rounded transom that harkens to the Nordic sailing vessels that crossed oceans long ago quite successfully. In the beginning the Valiant 40 was understood to be a fast “light” well constructed ocean capable sailboat and to be a bit racy. From 1973 to 1992 Valiant built 200 Valiant 40s. Notably the young adventurous single-hand ocean sailors of the 80s were attracted to the Valiant for good reason. More about that later…

By design, the Valiant provides safe and predictable sailing with a sleek hull shape for speed, some flare in the bow for a dry deck, that long cruising fin keel for stability, the skeg rudder for safety and maneuverability, and buoyant aft sections for load carrying capacity and ultimately an increased water line. That long fin keel and deep skeg rudder enable the Valiant to literally sail herself. She tracks straight and true easily steered by a wind vane steering system or autopilot, or one finger on the wheel. All the design elements combined give the Valiant speed, stability, comfort and security. These are not just words, these are principles of offshore sailing. The Valiant is a true cutter rig by design with the mast well aft which supports a divided sail plan. The mast placement and the rig provide a manageable sail plan, with so many options for just the right amount of sail in any condition and any point of sail. This makes sailing safe, easy and comfortable. Ideal for a cruising couple or single-hand sailor. And she also sails like mad especially with the wind on the quarter!

In 1983, Francis Stokes aboard his Valiant 40 Moonshine placed second in the first BOC around the world race under all five great capes. He even stopped to rescue another racer and drop him off in Sydney. Separately in 1983 Mark Schrader became the first American to complete his own nonstop round the world solo voyage on his Valiant 40 Resourceful. In the 1986 BOC ‘Round the World Race, Schrader sailed a Valiant 47 named LoneStar nonstop around the world to place second in his class! These accolades cemented the legend of the Valiant as a serious, capable offshore voyager that could be single-handed around the world or easily sailed by a couple. Valiant Yachts built and sold 200 Valiant 40s!

In 1992 Valiant Yachts introduced the Valiant 42 built from the same mold as the Valiant 40. The Valiant 42 is a slightly more modern boat with the deck retooled to eliminate the wood trim and add the coveted stainless steel masterpiece of a bow sprit which increased the sail area slightly. The mast height was increased a little and a little more ballast added, and the interior redesigned, but it’s the same hull and the same really great boat. There were 86 Valiant 42s built I believe including our Valiant 42 Mahalo #181 in 2008.

Sadly the Valiant Company stopped building new Valiant in 2011 as the costs of building one jumped to the mid 300’s. The factory still supports the community of Valiant owners. For 30 years of production in Texas the same skilled craftsman built the boats by hand taking great pride in creating a Texas style overbuilt robust sailing vessel. The Valiant is built to the demands of the ocean, not the demands of the market. Come visit us and we’ll show you what is meant by that.

For this brilliant design that has stood the test of time we have to thank our Robert H.  Perry! He designed the first “performance cruiser” 45 years ago! The Valiant remains one of the most desired ocean sailing boats ever. Happily for us regular people, the prices of the Valiant 42 is now affordable and we have a couple for sale in Annapolis.  The Valiant 40s are old and still amazingly capable if you find a nice one, and we just happen to have one in Annapolis. It is also good to know they built about 16 Valiant 50 and we have two available right now. So many sailing couples, and solo sailors choose Valiant for all the right reasons. Valiant people have voyaged far with their Valiant; they’ve often sailed around the world, and sometimes twice! Many more Valiant owners have sailed their Valiant on long passages, short-handed or solo. There is not a Valiant owner out there who is not totally in love with their boat, and why not; the Valiant is the tough and strong and easy to sail and maintain. She’s fun to sail, and the first time you get in rough conditions you fall in love and realize that your boat will take care of you. It’s a good feeling.

We owned a Valiant 40 for many years and when we became the Valiant Dealer Annapolis MD in 2008 we purchased our new 2008 Valiant 42 “Mahalo”. We now cruise in the Pacific NorthWest. We love and appreciate our Valiant. Since 2008, we’ve sold 60 Valiant's, mostly 42s and some 40s, 37s, 39, a number of 47s and quite a number of V50s! We almost always have a couple Valiant available in Annapolis in brokerage. If you want to learn more about Valiant Yachts please reach us at David Walters Yachts.

Bernie Jakits bernie@davidwaltersyachts.com  443-742-1792

Kate Christensen kate@davidwaltersyachts.com 410-919-7521

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