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 […]

A Fresh Design! Announcing a 57-foot All-Custom, Composite Express-Cruiser for C.W. Hood Yachts.

BELFAST, MAINE: Stephens Waring Yacht Design reveals an exciting new design for a 57-foot Express-Classic, with C.W. Hood Yachts, of Marblehead, Mass. Construction of major components for this custom motor yacht will begin this fall at Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding, in Thomaston, Maine. The vessel is expected to be finished at C.W. Hood’s construction facility in Marblehead, MA. for a 2020 delivery. “This client originally came to us with a 26-foot repower and refit project,” says Chris Hood, founder C.W. Hood Yachts. “Inspired by the style and performance of our earlier designs, the conversation turned to a larger custom yacht. With a […]

Cal 4040 or Solo: You Decide.

Thinking aloud about a Cal 40 reboot turned out to be more “interesting” than we ever imagined. In our last articles, we chatted idly over what we’d thought would be about keeping C. William Lapworth’s legendary pac-racing Cal 40 relevant to today’s materials and techniques. And, oh boy, what a hit. We’re no stranger to strong opinions and hot-bar arguments with this wacky and wonderful sailing tribe of ours. But we were caught out when this Cal 4040 piece instantly became our most popular story, ever. (It never hurts when our friends over at the all-mighty Sailing Anarchy copied and linked […]

On A Great Mac-Race SoT Racer.

It might be mid-April, but that hasn’t stopped thousands of fresh water sailors from booking up their July-21st weekend. That’s when the Chicago-Mac race — or more precisely, the “Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac”  — fires off for 2018. And true to form, this year’s 333-mile granddaddy of all freshwater distance races will see a full flush of raceboats shaping up at the starting line. So far, we counted 292 vessels in the 2018 scratch sheet. Wednesday night ’round-the-can racing, the Mac is not. Of course, to our twisted-boat design sense of fun, a more rigorous all-around boat test […]

Anna’s SUV Secret.

Anna has happened. After years in the making, our brand-new, all-custom 66-footer slid into the seas in Thomaston, Maine, finally ready to carry the hopes and dreams of yachting’s greatest miracle — the paying customer. But christenings come with their gentle bummers. All the wonderful ideas and yard craftsmanship that get built over and hidden. No owner or sailor will ever see the engineering of the keel, the construction of the inner mast, or what makes the staterooms tight and dry. So why not, with Anna so new to this world, talk through one of the more interesting inner secrets […]