Photobombing the Vendee Globe.

Might it be time for a Vendee Globe Cruiser’s class? All this time spent watching this latest Vendee Globe round-the-world race has got our Spirit of Tradition designer mind tingling: Might there be a way to channel the spirit of the original around-alone sailors of the Sunday Times Golden Globe race of 1969? If you recall, nine competitors started and only one finished, Robin Knox-Johnston. Could we update his original 32’ wooden double-ended ketch Suhaili with today’s highly-tuned racing machines? Let’s do a mini design brief for the Vendee Globe racers and find out. For the last few iterations, to better manage the risk and […]

Exposing Anna: Showing off 65 Feet of Truth and Beauty.

With the holiday season upon us, we want to clue the world in on what we are thankful for: Family, friends, and the beautiful 65-foot Anna that is coming to life on the framing floor at Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding. Last week, we got a serious holiday treat. We stopped down to see how she was coming together, answer questions, and explain to the craftsman who actually build our boats what we were after. We took some pictures and some notes. And put them all together into a holiday designer’s photo album for Anna. What we hope — knock on cold-molded, hand-laid mahogany — will be […]

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 […]

Top Ten Most Beautiful Classic Yachts.  

The biggest. The fastest. The most expensive. That’s all child’s play when it comes to boating. Get the numbers. Put ’em in a table. And then it’s Excel’s job to do the rest. Depressingly, you’d be surprised how much of modern yacht design is ruled by those cruel, simple masters. Ever notice how many boats try merely to be really big, really fast and really pricey? It’s a lot. It’s too many. But beauty? Pure luxuriant pleasure that somehow emanates out of hulls and sails and engines? Oh boy, that’s trickier stuff. What makes that boat more beautiful than this […]

Giving Thanks for Gemini.

We’re going to let you in on a little secret of big-time yacht design: We come up with big-time ideas, we almost never come up with scary ideas. That’s the client’s job.  Most of the time, by the time a customer comes to us, he or she is pure yachting inspiration: Their perfect yacht will go this fast. It will travel this far. It will be this big. And cost that much. Our part of the game is to corral those broad strokes into a sequence of details that keeps the devil at bay. We have a lot of fun […]

By the numbers: The Ultimate “Ditch Cruiser.”

Every fall,  East Coast cruisers get ready for their annual migration down the Intracoastal Waterway to points south.  Inside barrier islands the passage is calm and often beautiful and serene.  The ICW provides much-needed shelter from the stormy waters and winds found offshore. Winslow Homer’s The Gulf Stream is all the pictorial evidence anybody needs for just how nasty conditions can get “outside.” But an ICW passage isn’t for every boat. There are constraints.  Much of “The Ditch,” as it is often called, is shallow. It’s dredged and the nicest anchorages along the way are restricted to shoal-draft boats. But […]

A Stern Lesson: Or How to End The Perfect Boat.

Boatbuilding is an alluring kind of democracy: Design a specific yacht for a specific person, and that single soul is king and sovereign. Create the same boat for two people, maybe a married couple, and there’s voting, and committees, and deals cut in smoke-filled boat yards.  Take our 66-foot Anna, currently under construction at Lyman Morse Boatbuilding, in Thomaston, ME. The sloop is our client-couple’s chance to breathe life into their long-held dream of melding a classic yacht a la turn-of-the-century genius William Fife III above the waterline, with sleek, modern shapes below and 21st-century luxury within. To accommodate the […]

Waterworld Comes to J/World

American production boats got heavy this month. Newport, Rhode Island-based J/Boat announced the J-121. (Say “Jay One, two, one.” and you’ll be all the rage.) This 40-footer appears to be another step in a long line of powered-up, day and weekend racers from this serious production boat yard. Save for one tiny — seriously heavy — feature. Water ballast. For the first time, as far as we are aware, a major boat maker is placing a potential 400 kilograms (or about 820 pounds) of pump-able water weight in tanks near the sides of the boat. We will be digging deeper […]