The Kiwi 40FC is indeed a cool boat, Farr yacht design can create fast Class 40s as well! When will the cruising version be available?
Aren┤t the newest class 40s quite similar though? One might think the difference in performance has more to do with the skipper than the boat, or what do you think Paulo?
When a top designer makes top racing boats to top crews, specially for ocean racing they maximize the boat performance to a given set of performances. If the crews are of equal value if the boat finds more time with the sailing conditions for which its performance are maximized it will win. However these are small differences and the crews has to be of equal value.
Riechers had won the race with a boat that is maximized for downwind "normal" transat conditions and I think that it has to do with having a very good boat but mostly with the fact that he is one of the best 40class skippers. The NZ designed boat with two rookies come second not only because it was well sailed (as most of the other boats) but because it is an overall better boat on other conditions than downwind with medium or strong wind.
As I said if those where the prevalent conditions I believe Mare and Riechers would still be the winners but on the second post we would not have the NZ designed boat but one of the French boats.
Mare is a beautiful boat and I would like to see a cruising version of that one. The boat even had a great view to the outside from the boat interior, one that permits you to keep an eye on what is happening around when you are on the interior.
That is a Sam Manuard boat. I have a big admiration for this guy. He is an ocean racer that also designs boats. He is good on both counts but specially designing boats. He is a passionate guy.
Regarding your boat and regarding the boats you are considering I think you would not lose your time having a conversation with him regarding your boat and your needs. Among the big French racing community they can get you a nice hull, mast and rigging not for much (considering weight, performance and quality) and they can point you to someone that can get you a practical interior at affordable price. I bet he would understand exactly what you want and would be able to design it.