Zen and the Art of Spirit of Tradition Pontoon Boats.

It can take effort to sense the silver lining in the dark cumulus clouds of the custom boat business. We work in a mature market, of a discretionary product, for a flat demographic that makes little sense to the next generation. Boats are like golf, but with waves and even crazier names for sh#t. But there’s at least one ray of hope in the thunder clouds of the yacht-making game: Pontoon boats. Yup, pontoon boats: Floating packages of giant aluminum hot dogs are the runaway winners in the slowly recovering global boat building market, at least according the Boat Building […]

Retro Golden Globe One-Design Racer Gets Lost In Design Time.

Hey, Don McIntyre! You’re the organizer of the Golden Globe 2018 single-handed round-the-world race. You know, the one where anybody can grab a select list of old fiberglass boats and go around the world non-stop, with not much more than a sextant. Is there a rule we missed that says the new one-design for your race has to be a slow boat to China and back? It’s not like we’re not big fans of the coming Golden Globe Race 2018. We flat out love how your GGR will send off a mixed fleet of about 30 professional and amateur sailors. […]

Marine Engineering 111: Why is my cockpit eh … a cockpit?

We all sit in them, we stand in them, haul lines in them, and have lunch in them. But do we know why a cockpit is what it is? In many boats, the answer is no. Cockpits seam to slouch in as pre-ordained stories. And that’s a shame, because roughly 7 out of the 10 of the design choices in a vessel involve the design and function of a cockpit. Cockpits expose the inner guts of a boat to the elements and bad luck. Soles that are too low can sink a vessel through downflooding. And it’s the cockpit that […]

Marine Engineering 106: How to Win a Super Yacht Regatta.

Talking about racing sailboats starts a competitive debate around here. On one hand, we’re still the boat-nerds dreaming of deconstructing a Vendee Globe or America’s Cup racing rule to unlock the hidden speed secrets that take the silver home. All designers dream of sailing glory. But on the other, experience has taught us that real raceboats are a bummer. The dumb things go out of date before they’re even built. And the boat you wind up having to sail is a beast: Rough. Wet. Dangerous. And that’s assuming you know how to sail fast. Most of us live through the […]

A Few Stairways to Heaven: What makes Anna’s interior go up … and down.

In this business, sometimes you spend two full months on a few sets of stairs. About half-way through the design of the 65-foot sloop Anna, currently coming together over at Lyman Morse Boatbuilders, we knew a unique focal point was emerging in this boat: The staircases. Designing any boat is a battle of inches. But with Anna we had to work in a graceful passage from the outer deck to the full interior of this yacht. Two seemingly simple sets of stairs were needed: One with just one riser, that led from the cockpit down to the raised salon. And […]

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 […]

Marine Engineering 105: Why My Boat Costs What It Costs?

Pricing dreams is the no-win gig in yacht design. No matter how hard we try, we never seem to be able to get away from the hard fact that the magic of enjoying a boat only displaces a fraction more than the frustration that comes with pricing that boat. It’s not rocket science as to why new boats are hard to cost out: The only thing posing more variables when building a yacht, is the owner’s evolving expectations in creating that yacht. Assisting clients in pricing their priorities is tricky. We have evolved two methods to get at an early approximation for […]

Marine Engineering 104: What keeps what’s inside my boat, inside my boat?

What is it with interiors? Those inner, untalked-about bits of boats that never seem to see the light of nautical-chat day. Does anybody, anywhere brag about the size of their cabin sole? Or compare the space-age materials in their staterooms or galleys? Has anybody ever said “High-performance head” on any boat in any century, ever? We doubt it.  “Interior denial” is a sort of sad fact of boat-design life. That’s too bad because what’s going on inside your boat is a driving factor for what’s going on outside your boat: How long she is; how beamy; how big the sails […]