Del Viento(2) is a Sparkman and Stephens-designed Fuji 40. She is hull #4 of roughly 13 that were ever built, over the two-year period of 1978 and 1979. All Fuji 40s were constructed by Fuji Yacht Builders in Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan, on the Miura Peninsula at the mouth of Tokyo Bay. Her fiberglass hull is substantial and her makore cabinetry reflects exquisite craftsmanship.
When the broker drafted his listing, he called out her “fine S&S pedigree.” Olin J. Stephens (1908-2008) and Roderick Stephens, Jr. (1909-1995) showed a keen, early interest and aptitude for yacht design. At just 20- and 21-years-old, they partnered with the succesful yacht broker Drake Sparkman to open shop as naval architects and yacht designers in the months before the start of the Great Depression. In the years that immediately followed, their hull designs won prestigious yacht races and catapulted the young designers to fame in the worldwide sailing community. Over a 75-year period, they produced over 2,700 designs, nearly all of which exhibit admirable sailing characteristics.
With no information online about the sailing characteristics of the Fuji 40, and having had an opportunity to sail on our boat for only a couple hours in 10 knots, it was the S&S reputation that assured me she would do just fine.
Today, S&S lives on, primarily as a boutique designer of one-off mega yachts and such. They have a prestigious headquarters address on 5th Avenue in New York and do business around the world.
The black and white picture above and all of the following original Fuji 40 brochure pages were copied from the Fuji 40 website: www.fujiyachts.net/ The owner of that site credits Bob Wedge, the owner of the Fuji 40 Mirkwood. These images were reproduced with permission.
And best of all, check out this 1978 "new boat" review by Robert Perry. It was published in the September 1978 issue of Castoff magazine, a Seattle-based publication that is no longer around. We found a copy of this review among the paper aboard our boat. Until then, I could find no record of this online. See this post for info about this article. I will try and get a more legible copy up soon...
In our twenties, we traded our boat for a house and our freedom for careers. In our thirties, we lived the American dream. In our forties, we woke and traded our house for a boat and our careers for freedom. And here we are.
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