F) Voyages

G) History

    The design for the IW40 was originally commissioned 1973 for South Hants Marine yard in England, but then transferred to the IW Yacht Yard on the island of Orust on the west coast of Sweden in 1974 (named after its owner Iwar Åkesson). That yard had previously built the halftonner IW31 also by S&S, as well as some motor launches and speed boats. As usual with Sparkman & Stephens, there was serious quality control by the designers during the building of the first hull and the setup of the production. The quality and strength of the IW40 are of very high standards. The first hull won the major Swedish Gotland Runt race, and achieved some brief notoriety. But it seems that by hull no. 35 or so, the yard had to close (1980), perhaps having invested too much in the production of this yacht, large by Swedish standards and of exceptional strength (the yard premises were taken over by Najad). A new IW yard produces small motor yachts.
    The mast was lengthened 1.5m at some point in the production, as it suited the usual racing and cruising in protected waters. On Firefly however, we find that we do perfectly well with the original rig, mainsail and only a 85% working jib.
    The keel mold was also modified at some point, as the trim was found to be a little stern heavy. We assume that is because Scandinavian owners rarely fitted them with bow anchors. However, Firefly is balanced with the original keel and full anchoring equipment (we removed some internal lead ballast in the forward bilge).
    It was only by special permission by S&S that the original owner was allowed to buy the hull and deck, with all the major structural parts already in place. He then finished the interior himself using the factory pre-fabricated wood furnishings, though redesigning the layout to accommodate his family of 6 children. (The 2 small upper bunks in the saloon were later transformed into book shelves and closets by the second and present owners.) Around 1985, he was able to buy the last unfinished IW40 hull, which he later completed with the standard layout (but plus the extra aft entrance).
    Hull no. 6 was never officially named during the first 10 years by the original owner, but only sometimes referred to as "Performance", after the name of his own dinghy building company. Therefore it was deemed safe to name her "Firefly" in 1986.
    Her first 10 years were spent cruising and racing within Scandinavia and every 6 winter months she was hauled and under cover, and therefore aged relatively little. Since 1987, she has been hauled and under cover for varying periods every year or so, otherwise used full time while cruising from Sweden to England, Spain, France, Morocco, The Canaries, Senegal, French Guyana, Venezuela, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda and the east coast of north America from Florida to Nova Scotia in Canada.
    Most other IW40's are in Scandinavia, with perhaps a few in the Med. and at least one more having been to the Caribbean.


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A) Summary
Page 2 B) Specifications
C) Equipment
D) Description
Page 4 E) Layout & Photos
Page 5 F) Voyages
G) History (here)

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