A Pocket Guide to Making a Spirit-of-Tradition Design.

Let’s keep it short and simple, shall we? Here’s a tangible, brief example of a qualified new client that made the trip to coastal Maine, climbed the two steep flights of stairs to our third floor office and spent several months exploring the modern-classic marine idiom with us. The fellow grew up sailing classic one-design boats, but cut his adult marine teeth on modern production boats. Early conversations were all about the basics of what he wanted: Which boats moved him; what applications did he see for his boat; and where would he like to travel. The first boat we […]

What a Spirit-of-Tradition Yacht ISN’T!

One of the things we’ve learned in three-plus decades of designing custom boats, is how unusual each project can become. Custom boats are as individual as the people who own them. Yet, the key to a successful custom boat is all about having the right match to the right design. Often, what makes the custom boat work is realizing not what it is, but what it isn’t. For example, take some of those Spirit-of-Tradition designs; the SoT is not a fit for everyone, nor for every set of dreams and desires. At the heart, an SoT yacht provides state-of-the-art construction, […]

Learning to Speak SoT: A Discussion of Marine Design Vernaculars.

We’ve been operating in this industry for 30-plus years, and of that time we’ve enjoyed some 20 years in creating Spirit-of-Tradition yachts. This SoT thing is now a thing. And we’re lucky to have been involved on the frontlines since its inception. But, let’s make something distinctly clear about all design: There’s real-world use of boats, like racing in regattas in the U.S., Caribbean, and Europe. And then there is the design of intent and the creation of ideas, brought together by client and architect. These two points headline two different worlds, and the two worlds won’t always communicate in […]

The Spirit-of-Tradition Skipper: James Murphy.

With Anna recently nominated by Classic Boat as one of the top Spirit-of-Tradition vessels globally, in 2018, we began to wonder, of all our designs, why her.  So we figured, we should get in touch with the professional seaman who, along with wife-engineer Amy, is in charge of sailing this lovely boat: Captain James Murphy. Jim is unique among professional private captains. He has decades of experience in skippering modern-classic sailing boats both in Maine and the Caribbean. He has always preferred working in smaller, unique vessels like Anna, where he can share his passion for classic boats with their […]

Anna Shortlisted In Classic Boat Awards 2019: Online Voting Starts Now.

Jan. 24, 2019: Belfast, ME: Global yacht design and marine engineering firm Stephens Waring Yacht Design announced that its luxury daysailer Anna has been nominated as a finalist in the Spirit of Tradition category, in the Classic Boat Awards 2019. Handcrafted by Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding in Thomaston, ME, Anna was shortlisted with 8 other finalists, after a rigorous selection process that sought to include all the custom boats built globally in 2018. Finalists were peer-reviewed by a team lead by Rob Peake, editor of London, England-based Classic Boat magazine. “Congratulations on your nomination for the awards,” said Jack Shannon, Head of […]

The Ultimate Maine Cruising, Racing, Cruising, Racing-Racing, Cruising Guide

Maine as a racing and cruising destination? Who ever heard of such a thing. But at least for the summer 2018, it seems to be true. We’ve been taking a deep dive into the coming classic yacht-racing schedule, and wouldn’t you know it — with no particular organizing body involved — little old Mid-Coast Maine has become a must-do race and cruise stopover for late July and early August. If you have ever dreamed of making the trip Down East, here’s the perfect cruising, racing, cruising, racing-racing, cruising guide to Maine. The Camden Classics Cup: July 26 – 28. Maine is […]

The Regatta with a Great Story to Tell: The Corinthian Classic.

As this summer’s racing season gears up, and we consider the Mid-Coast Maine classic racing scene in another nearby post, an interesting naval design truth hit us: The biggest sailboat races almost go out of their way to deny their design legacies. Go look at the scratch sheets for the major events like the Newport Bermuda Race, the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, and the TransPac, and can you find many sailing homages to the past that built these fleets? Probably not. Certainly, most big regattas try to tell their stories in one form or another in race history […]

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 […]