Against All Odds Shelter Island Resort Can Expand

California dreamin’ is a way of life for millions of Americans who live at the junction of land and sea in Southern California. The dream becomes a little foggy if your dreamscape includes developing Southern California waterfront property. Developable land along this stretch of coastline is scarce at best. And going one step further, on Shelter Island in San Diego Bay, it’s non-existent.  Built upon an unimpressive mudbank formed by the San Diego River, Shelter Island emerged from the shallows as San Diego Bay was dredged for Naval purposes in World War II. Initial elevation? A whopping fourteen feet. In […]

Zemphira returns to the shed

We are always excited to tell you about our designs: whether in-build, getting refit, or living the life they were designed for. And so it was this spring we started telling you all about the thorough refit one of our favorite boats enjoyed last winter, in which we were deeply involved (Zemphira-(re)fit for a King). But as they do, stranger things happened which changed that story dramatically by creating another project and a new chapter in the life of Zemphira.  Mere hours after leaving the dock in Camden, Maine, on her maiden delivery voyage after the work was done,  the […]

The Complicated Life of the Modern Transom

Given the variety in styling, operational performance, and construction made possible by current design aesthetics and materials, the modern transom is often one of the more detailed elements of a yacht’s design. On Cirrus, the 68-foot, Spirit of Tradition sailing sloop in-build at James Betts Enterprises (click here for build photos) in Anacortes, Washington, we went for a fairly traditional looking transom to match her sweetly shaped haunches. In Cirrus’s case, however, looks most certainly are deceiving.  With the push of a button, or operations made manually, convertible transom designs are found on all manner of yachts. A transom with […]

Pressure Testing Zingara on the Race Course?

  What the Maine sailing season lacks in length it makes up for in fantastic experiences. Whether cruising or racing, the icy waters, semi-reliable sea breezes, exotic thunderstorms, and sure, even the fog, create an otherworldly environment for those lucky enough to spend time amid the unlimited islands, rivers, and thoroughfares stretching along the Maine coast. Arguably the best time for sailing in Maine is the end of July through mid-September and if you’re up for a bit of sport, two key events are the Camden Classics Cup (July 29-31, www.camdenclassicscup.com) and the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta (Aug. 7, www.erregatta.com). There […]

Rosie: A Sweet Spirit of Tradition Daysailer

When an owner’s dreams collide with superior design wonderful sailing boats result   The genesis of an excellent design is as varied as the number of designs we’ve created over the years. This design began when a long-time friend and client, with a lifetime of sailing and owning various craft approached us to re-imagine the Herreshoff Rozinante yawl. He owned two of the Rozinantes at one time or another but understood that in a new design he would be able to merge the looks he admired of L. Francis’s masterpiece with the modern performance realized in a 100 years of […]

Zemphira – (re)fit for a king

As designers of fine custom yachts we pour our knowledge, experience, creativity, and our love for the work into each project with which we are involved. Sometimes it’s a brand-new sailing yacht built to a style of sailing from a bygone era. Sometimes, it’s revisiting that design a decade or more after launch to review what is working well and even improve upon the original. Such is the case with Zemphira. Built as Goshawk in 2005, Zemphira will launch in the Spring of 2021 after a substantial re-fit, ready to take on all-comers in Classic Yacht Spirit of Tradition racing […]

Modern Wood Mast: A Photo Essay

If you’re a regular reader of our newsletter, you’re familiar with our work, our yachts and our Spirit of Tradition approach to design. You’ll have noticed that several times a year, we’re able to share with you our enthusiasm as proud owners take to the seas with our latest collaborations. Yachts that combine the very latest technology and engineering with the soul and aesthetic of the classic yacht era.  In August we did just that, sharing with you the launch of s/y Italmas, a collaboration with Michigan-based Van Dam Custom Boats. But Italmas was more than a Spirit of Tradition […]

Utilities on a Floating Home

The attraction of living on a floating home is easy to see: a life on the water, immersed in nature and the ability to enjoy both, right out the front door. The caveat for some homeowners interested in making the leap to an on-water residence may lie in the less romantic area of home utilities. At first glance it may seem that there has to be a trade-off. A house on the water must be a hassle, right? When it comes to electrical circuitry and plumbing systems…how can these possibly work seamlessly in a wet environment?  This month our exploration […]