A Conversation With James Betts Enterprises

Our firm is currently collaborating with the innovative James Betts Enterprises, Inc. on the beautiful Spirit-of-Tradition yacht, Cirrus.  We introduced you to JBE last month and since then, we’ve talked with them further about the process they go through when taking a boat from dream to reality.  Tell us what happens when a designer brings a client to you?   We approach every new potential project with a critical eye and an open mind. This allows us to understand the client’s dream, see the designer’s vision, and determine the logistics and feasibility of turning an idea into a tangible product. […]

Betts Boats, an Introduction

Just over 2 hours north of Seattle sits the small town of Anacortes, Washington, known as the “Gateway to the San Juan Islands.”  It is home to James Betts Enterprises, Inc.,  a family owned and operated boat building company specializing in custom racing and cruising yachts. With 40+ years in the business, JBE custom yachts have been raced in prestigious events around the globe including the America’s Cup, Admiral’s Cup, and Around Alone. Even more impressive is their commitment to making a custom yacht a viable option to a wider audience. Utilizing their “Integrated Project Delivery”  system, Betts has streamlined […]

An Interview with SEASE, an Italian Activewear Brand

Often we will come across something, at an event, through a conversation or in print, that piques our interest to the extent that it requires further investigation. When we heard that there was an Italian activewear line that creates foul weather gear that is as stylish and functional off the water as on, we were intrigued. We soon learned that SEASE, the name a combination of ‘sea’ and ‘ease’, is a brand that caters to the active lifestyle. Their premier lines are sailing, skiing and urban sportswear. SEASE co-owners and brothers, Franco Loro Piana and Giacomo Loro Piana graciously agreed […]

Where the Mountains Meet the Sea

The Camden Classics Cup, July 25-27, 2019 About 20 miles from our office sits the picturesque town of Camden, Maine. With the Camden Hills to the west and the Penobscot Bay to the east, Camden lives up to its reputation as the “Jewel of Maine.” It is an incredible place to sail and, with full cooperation from Mother Nature, it was the perfect location for the fourth annual Camden Classics Cup.   This newer regatta on the classics circuit has the distinction of being the first classic regatta of the season. As a result, it is a reunion of sorts. […]

Living the Dream: The Superyacht Cup, Palma, 2019

We know you think that the life of a yacht designer is nothing but head-down, nose-to-the-grindstone, bound to the computer screen while we deal with prismatic coefficients and righting arms. All true—but every now and then we get an opportunity that we just can’t pass up. This spring a long-time client who commissioned one of our favorite boats said, “Bob, wouldn’t it be great to get the guys back together for a ten-year reunion of Bequia’s build? And why don’t we do it at the Superyacht Cup, in Palma?” Well, okay, twist my arm.  To understand the excitement of participating […]

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 […]