The Scuttlebutt on the Camden Classics Cup

One of the upsides of sponsoring the Camden Classics Cup is we get to cozy up to the scratch sheet for this year’s racing. Entries are still coming, but so far there will be some distinguished Spirit-of-Tradition yachts, with great backstories, out there on crystal blue Penobscot Bay. Since any time is a good time to jaw about these lovely boats, here’s a couple of favorite designs you can expect to see racing on July 27th. Marie J: This Tiffany Jayne 34 was the cold-molded wood prototype for a successful fiberglass production run of this boat, designed by Paul Kotzebue, […]

Tour Isobel For Free on June 7th in Newport.

One of our favorite boats is about to get the red-carpet treatment in one of our favorite locations for boats: On Wednesday June 7th, the lovely 75-foot sloop  will be open to the public at the ridiculously-perfect Sail Newport yacht facility, just across the bay from America’s yachting mecca: Newport, RI. It’s all too perfect to miss. One of us, Bob Stephens, gets to deliver the boat himself from Camden, Maine. And he’ll be on-board, and on hand, to answer all your questions on Wednesday. To keep things organized either give Tripp Estabrook, at Testabrook@lymanmorse.com or (401) 474-4322, a shout […]

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 […]

Finding the Value of the Non-Traditional.

One of the strangest unintended consequences of designing a Spirit of Tradition yacht — or any custom yacht for that matter — is figuring what they’re worth to their second owner. Own a production Morris 52 or J-44, and it’s easy enough to find its price. There’s a good-sized fleet. And good chance that somebody has paid for a similar model boat, with similar features. Go find that price. But to price the custom boats we create, valuing them is not easy. There are few similar reference points. Each boat is unique. We build them to last for 100 years. And […]

Top Ten “Spirit of Tradition” Yachts for 2017.

And so it begins: 2017 will be the year the Spirit of Tradition story finally gets set down on paper. We cannot explain why the world has not bothered to document what went down design-wise in Mid-coast Maine over the past 20 years. How the talented — and the flawed — mixed traditional classic yachts with modern materials. And how these pioneers pushed back the barriers for performance and design. And changed boating, for better or worse. It’s a story that will take a while to tell. Probably, well into 2018. But this is the year we are on it, […]

Das GunBoat: A Look At One Smart Carbon Cat.

One of the early production Gunboat 55’s, VaiVai, is for sale. And our designer two-cents is, this cat is the steal of this glamorous, all-carbon multi-hull litter. VaiVai is one of what owners and brokers close to this fast-growing fleet estimate is about 20 Gunboats in various states of completion around the globe. These G-boats are mostly floating maids in waiting, as the assets of Gunboat International, VaiVai’s original maker, work their way through North Carolina Eastern Bankruptcy Court. For the record, major branding and tools were sold in May of 2016 to France-based Grand Large Yachting, which now claims management of the physical production […]

Isobel: The 75-foot, 8-Inch Smile Machine.

As a semi-regular feature, we thought we’d look back at some exciting boats from our past, talk about how they came to be, discuss why we love them so. And maybe, sometimes, help them find good new homes. Isobel is one of our favorites. She the fruit of a long relationship: the fourth boat we designed for the same client over 10-years.  As such, she is not just one boat. But evolution of several, with changes and refinement in tastes and style.   For the record the boats, in order are: Lena, a long-ended, light and skinny 47-foot daysailer; Goshawk, a […]