A Spirited Look at an SOT Classic: Marjorie

It’s interesting how different doing something classic turns out to be. Case in point is Marjorie. She’s very much on the “Tradition” side of the Spirit of Tradition equation. While she’s entirely modern, her looks were driven almost completely by late-1930’s cruising yachts. Our client’s a great fan of L. Francis Herreshoff, who unlike his father Nat, rebelled against  fitting in—and this included into rating rules. Marjorie had to exude the feeling of his great cruising ketches like Ticonderoga and Bounty. But there would be no fussy clipper bows.

Thank you, dear client, for letting us off that foolish design hook!


Spirit of Tradition Ketch Marjorie Designed by Stephens Waring Yacht Design in MaineSo instead of long, lean and fine-ended, as much of our Spirit of Tradition work tends to be, we were able to riff on what a classic ocean cruiser
needs to be: See how Marjorie has a full deck line with voluptuous curves in bow and transom? See how her shape changes more than most boats. And how her low freeboard blends nicely into short overhangs and serious ends. That gives her looks a 3-D experience, as you row around her. And she has the the muscle to punch through a sea, not slice through a bay chop.

Unlike most of our boats, Marjorie is a ketch. We had a blast exploring the salty-looking idiom; her two masts open up opportunities for fun sails like the mizzen staysail; we can employ time-honored ways to make each sail small enough for easy handling. Yes, you do pay a penalty in windward work, but you are rewarded by easy times in the heavy stuff. Her owner loves to sail her to windward in thirty knots with just “jib and jigger”. Where she’s comfortable and fast. If nine knots upwind is fast. In crowded spots, like San Francisco Bay, he rubs it in by sipping bourbon-laced tea as the poor sloops around him bang along to windward with deep-reefed mains. partly rolled jibs and crew and wives hanging on for dear life.


Spirit of Tradition Ketch Marjorie designed by Stephens Waring Yacht Design in MaineThe surprise here is,
Marjorie is a total sleeper on the race course. On the 2015 Transpac Marjorie blasted across a 2200 mile leg in about 11 days, touching 18 knots  in the Molokai Channel! She cleaned up in her class, beating a state of the art J-46, boat-for-boat, by a day and a half! Whoa.

But Marjorie’s real mission is cruising. She’s equipped with all the amenities: watermaker, dual refrigeration, air conditioning, generator, and the whole off-shore comfort shooting match. She’s also got Kevlar imbedded in her substantial wood-epoxy hull layup that adds to her “bulletproof” properties and puncture-resistance to those unforeseen flotsam while at sea. All this while sporting tech-y foil-shaped composite centerboard and a modern sailing package of GMT carbon spars and North sails.

A Spirit of Tradition Yacht by Stephens Waring Yacht Design of Maine.

Marjorie has one of our favorite cozy interiors that is simple and easy to maintain.

All that high tech is hidden by Marjorie’s tasteful interior, done so L. Francis himself would be surprised how we can deliver such comfort: Plush bunks and settees, cozy salon, raised-panel bulkheads, mahogany doors and real oak countertops. She even has an old-school gimballing table. And in the ten years since her 2007 launching, her owner has completely refitted all systems; Marjorie is good-as-new.

All this is possibly very good news for the right interested party, as we’re hearing rumors she may be on the market soon. Word is a new, bigger better Marjorie may be in the works.

If Marjorie looks like someone you could welcome into your life, please give us a call. We’d be happy to explain why she’s a special boat. And how she will reward the right person with an authentic classic experience.