Notes on The Economic Impact of Custom Boats.

With the launch of Anna — our new all-custom 65-foot daysiler, behind us, we’ve had a moment to consider not just the value of a new custom boat, but the value that custom boat creates. Because if you think about it, a custom-boat’s value is subjective and straightforward: How much did she cost to build? How much might a new buyer pay for her? What might it cost for potential owners to have a similar experience with another yacht? No matter how unique a custom boat, her value is basically a few numbers agreed on by consenting adults. But the […]

Giving Raised Decks A Higher Profile.

It’s been surprisingly rewarding to turn a naval designer’s warm eye on the vessels short-listed for the 2019 Classic Boat Awards, the global design award that celebrates excellence in classic and modern-classic yachts. Full disclosure: one of our recent boats, Anna was nominated in the Spirit of Tradition category. But the other nominations have design stories, as well. We’ve been cheerily struck by the preponderance of designs featuring raised deck configurations. No fewer than three out of eight short-listed in various power boat categories are full-fledged, throwback designs that feature a classic broken sheer, and an elevated foredeck. These vintage […]

Some Modern-Classic Classics: Elements of Spirit-of-Tradition Design in Three Traditional Vessels.

One of the nice perks of hosting a global conversation about Spirit-Of-Tradition vessels, is our Spirit-of-Tradition Registry. The Registry lists the boats that help define the modern-classic design narrative. It has grown to include roughly 30 vessels that thousands of readers have read or commented on. The Spirit-of-Tradition Registry has been a blast. But here’s the thing: We’ve been doing our part getting the word out on the Classic Boat Award, the world-wide prize for classic and Spirit-of-Tradition yachts, hosted by London-based Classic Boat magazine. As the name implies, most of the boats nominated are pure classic vessels. But even […]

The Spirit-of-Tradition Skipper: James Murphy.

With Anna recently nominated by Classic Boat as one of the top Spirit-of-Tradition vessels globally, in 2018, we began to wonder, of all our designs, why her.  So we figured, we should get in touch with the professional seaman who, along with wife-engineer Amy, is in charge of sailing this lovely boat: Captain James Murphy. Jim is unique among professional private captains. He has decades of experience in skippering modern-classic sailing boats both in Maine and the Caribbean. He has always preferred working in smaller, unique vessels like Anna, where he can share his passion for classic boats with their […]

What Does It Mean to Design a true “Spirit-of-Tradition” Yacht?

“What is Spirit-of-Tradition design?” When it comes to designing great boats, we’ve been asking ourselves questions like this for 25 years. Operating in any design idiom, it’s important to recognize a flow of ideas comes from somewhere. A “somewhere” that may be inspired by some historical precedent or a springboard off a unique lineage of elements or forms. Spirit-Of-Tradition design is like any other vernacular: Strong themes and elements merge into a cohesive piece of naval architecture; forming a vernacular where one can identify those integral cues from traditional and classic lineage and recognize how that interpretation is intrinsic within […]

The DNA of the SoT: Comparative Analysis Of Various Modern-Classic Designs.

What we love about working with the design themes found in Spirit-of-Tradition boats, is the genetics involved. True of any architectural style, one is not allowed to simply pull from thin air when finessing the Spirit-of-Tradition. Features like bow profiles and entries, sheer lines, and transom shapes are all beholden to a kind of vintage/classic DNA. Working in the Spirit-of-Tradition genre demands defining characteristics for each design, and treating them as a kind of naval amino acid. The art to it is organizing these base design proteins into a well-balanced vessel that sifts out the noise from other idioms and […]

Design Brief: The Botin 55.

It’s been an active Spirit-of-Tradition yacht building season here in Maine, with many builders launching many interesting boats. There’s a pair of modern-classic yacht tenders, just launched at Hodgdon’s in Boothbay Harbor, that look like they’ve somehow motored in from Venice’s Grand Canal. And then over at Front Street Shipyard in Belfast, there’s Sindbad, a classic Norwegian Trawler getting a 21st-century refit.  But what’s piqued the most interest in some sailing circles, is a controversial new 55-footer, currently coming together at Brooklin Boat Yard, in Brooklin Maine. This daysailer/racer is designed by Botin Partners, who work out of a sea town […]

The Ultimate Spirit-of-Tradition Day Racer: Summer 2019 Edition.

Ah, fall. Cold breezes, falling leaves and the prospect of Halloween ghosts and goblins. What better time to look ahead to the Summer of 2019. And our latest thinking for an enthusiastic client, on the perfect mid-sized, Spirit-of-Tradition sailing sloop. That is, a doodle we began years ago branded as the Signature 38. It’s been about a decade since we sketched up this classy speedster. But we found, after dusting off the drawings this past month, that there’s something about this sleek, swift alternative to mid-thirty-foot dayboats that endures. Probably that’s because when we sat down to draw her, it […]