Interesting. Thank you.A 'forty-footer' means a boat that's forty-foot long. It measures forty feet.
A six-foot tall man might be called a 'six-footer'. The important thing to note is the use of the singular 'foot' in these idiomatic descriptive terms and nouns.
'. Now I see that Barque does too! This is worrying, but I have to do something else right now, despite my anxiety about speaking proper English.It's forty feet long.
That is the most likely meaning in this case, and that is how this sort of expression should usually be understood. However, boats - especially sailboats - are not always described logically. A twelve-meter boat, for example, does not measure 12 meters long. It is usually almost twice that long. It is a boat whose weights and measurements, when put into a formula that tries to equalize various factors that all affect speed, produces a result that is under 12m. (Such large boats are very expensive to design and operate, so these boats are seldom seen today. However, the America's Cup was contested in 12-meter boats for many years.) Similarly, six-meter sailboats, much less expensive and therefore a popular racing class in many parts of the world, usually measure 10-11m long.A 'forty-footer' means a boat that's forty-foot long. It measures forty feet...