What Does It Mean to Design a true “Spirit-of-Tradition” Yacht?

“What is Spirit-of-Tradition design?” When it comes to designing great boats, we’ve been asking ourselves questions like this for 25 years. Operating in any design idiom, it’s important to recognize a flow of ideas comes from somewhere. A “somewhere” that may be inspired by some historical precedent or a springboard off a unique lineage of elements or forms. Spirit-Of-Tradition design is like any other vernacular: Strong themes and elements merge into a cohesive piece of naval architecture; forming a vernacular where one can identify those integral cues from traditional and classic lineage and recognize how that interpretation is intrinsic within […]

The DNA of the SoT: Comparative Analysis Of Various Modern-Classic Designs.

What we love about working with the design themes found in Spirit-of-Tradition boats, is the genetics involved. True of any architectural style, one is not allowed to simply pull from thin air when finessing the Spirit-of-Tradition. Features like bow profiles and entries, sheer lines, and transom shapes are all beholden to a kind of vintage/classic DNA. Working in the Spirit-of-Tradition genre demands defining characteristics for each design, and treating them as a kind of naval amino acid. The art to it is organizing these base design proteins into a well-balanced vessel that sifts out the noise from other idioms and […]

The Ultimate Spirit-of-Tradition Day Racer: Summer 2019 Edition.

Ah, fall. Cold breezes, falling leaves and the prospect of Halloween ghosts and goblins. What better time to look ahead to the Summer of 2019. And our latest thinking for an enthusiastic client, on the perfect mid-sized, Spirit-of-Tradition sailing sloop. That is, a doodle we began years ago branded as the Signature 38. It’s been about a decade since we sketched up this classy speedster. But we found, after dusting off the drawings this past month, that there’s something about this sleek, swift alternative to mid-thirty-foot dayboats that endures. Probably that’s because when we sat down to draw her, it […]

A Fresh Design! Announcing a 57-foot All-Custom, Composite Express-Cruiser for C.W. Hood Yachts.

BELFAST, MAINE: Stephens Waring Yacht Design reveals an exciting new design for a 57-foot Express-Classic, with C.W. Hood Yachts, of Marblehead, Mass. Construction of major components for this custom motor yacht will begin this fall at Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding, in Thomaston, Maine. The vessel is expected to be finished at C.W. Hood’s construction facility in Marblehead, MA. for a 2020 delivery. “This client originally came to us with a 26-foot repower and refit project,” says Chris Hood, founder C.W. Hood Yachts. “Inspired by the style and performance of our earlier designs, the conversation turned to a larger custom yacht. With a […]

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 […]

The Cal “4040”

Listen up, all you Cal 40 owners and racers: We have nothing but deep love and true respect for all you do, and what you represent. But, we have two serious marine design words for you all: “It’s time.” Over the past several months, we have been tinkering with several questions for cruisers/racers for the California, Oregon and Washington coasts. Not everyone realizes how a fertile the waters of the western U.S. have been for yacht innovation. But everything from America’s Cup boats to Bill Lee’s ultra-light TransPac racing sleds have flourished in these open waters that are lucky enough […]