Valiant 40: Reshaping the Cruising Hull

Nearly 50 years later, globetrotters still prize Bob Perry’s iconic design.


The Valiant 40 has a long history. In 1972, Nathan Rothman decided to start a boatbuilding business and approached old friend Bob Perry to design the ultimate cruising yacht. At that time, Rothman and Perry were young, poor, relatively inexperienced and full of ideals. Perry accepted the offer without even asking to be paid right away.

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Darrell Nicholson
Darrell Nicholson is Director of Belvoir Media Group's marine division and the editor of Practical Sailor. A lifelong thalassophile, he grew up sailing everything from El Toro dinghies to classic Morgans on Miami's Biscayne Bay. In the early 90s, he left a newspaper job to sail an old gaff-rigged ketch across the Pacific and has been writing about boats and the sea ever since. His weekly blog Inside Practical Sailor offers an inside look at current research and gear tests at Practical Sailor, while his award-winning column,"Rhumb Lines," tracks boating trends and reflects upon the sailing life. He sails a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Yankee 30 out of St. Petersburg, Florida. You can reach him at


  1. I’m a valiant owner, she has kept be safe in many a Heavy sea she may not be the fastest boat on the water but she’ll keep you safe and sail anywhere, I’ve hit rocks doing 8 knots only real damage i did was pull the skeg of the rudder, there just great boats i could talk for ever about a valiant 40