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 […]

Cuomo’s Steampunk Picnic Boat.

Even governors, it seems, have electric tug boat dreams. Two years ago, we began work on an early-stage, cross-platform electric propulsion project for the Maine State fishing fleet. Details are still hush-hush. We can’t spill the beans on our electric lobster boat just yet. But our discretion has not stopped us from tracking alternative powerplants in other boats since. One of the most intriguing — and frustrating — is the 2014 electric repowering of this classic 1928 canal tug, pictured above, by New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Cuomo […]

The Zumwalt Class Lobster Boat

An interesting early look at a new “transmission-less” propulsion option crept out of Europe earlier this year. Netherlands-based Hybrid Power Systems announced a variable-speed, saltwater-cooled diesel generator that might open new powering options to smaller craft. The full specs are hazy. But from what we can see, this one motor could power not only batteries, but all the power systems on a small boat. Meaning, that pesky central prop shaft, that runs from the back of the engine through the hull, and to the propeller would be gone. Instead, a quiet, all-electric coil would drive the boat. And that’s a […]

World’s Best Engineered Kaiser Roll

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” — Jesse Owens Mizzen masts are not born. They’re made. And not wasting a lot of time — and money — in making these small spars ready for the job of civilizing a big, powerful modern sailing yacht takes major boat-nerd TaiChi. In fact, the mizzen engineering ‘round here can get cut so fine that the results earn nicknames — like this “Kaiser Roll,” fabricated stainless mizzen mast collar for the 90-foot sailing yawl Bequia. This […]