News

The Scuttlebutt on the Camden Classics Cup

One of the upsides of sponsoring the Camden Classics Cup is we get to cozy up to the scratch sheet for this year’s racing. Entries are still coming, but so far there will be some distinguished Spirit-of-Tradition yachts, with great backstories, out there on crystal blue Penobscot Bay. Since any time is a good time to jaw about these lovely boats, here’s a couple of favorite designs you can expect to see racing on July 27th. Marie J: This Tiffany Jayne 34 was the cold-molded wood prototype for a successful fiberglass production run of this boat, designed by Paul Kotzebue, […]

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 The dumb things go out of date before they’re even built.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 […]

A Little Runabout with a Big Design Story.

It’s not the first time a big-time boat design came in a small package. Smaller craft, like this 20 foot Spiboot, brought the future back to the 1960’s in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. But we can’t think of a time when a damn-good boat showed up in a really small package. Like 3 feet small.  But that’s what happened last week. We got a very polite note from one Mariusz Szymazek. Who taught himself engineering and design to come up with “Swallow” the 1.2 meter (!) runabout.  This clearly seriously talented maker lives in the UK and designs and makes his […]

On Making a 50-knot Electric Speedboat:

It’s been a long and winding electric road. We first got involved in using batteries to drive a boat on our hybrid Zogo back in 2009. Still — almost ten years later — the electric revolution is still “just over the horizon.” We continue to consult for practical cross-platform propulsion systems in our client’s boats. We have a custom lobster boat coming that will feature just such a system. We’re following the hybrid power wave in European harbors. And we keep tinkering with ideas to see if the calculus of electrons in boats is changing. So we wanted to see […]

Rolling in the Design Luxury of Rolls-Royce.

Who knows how we get invited to shindigs this big and fancy: But … we’re delighted to be among the select few luxury companies to be profiled in Strive for Perfection, a commemorative book celebrating the Rolls-Royce Owners Club’s Annual Meet. That’s right, that Rolls-Royce: The essentially semi-custom luxury automotive brand that has defined the high-end in rolling personal transport since 1906. The owner’s club invited us out to their annual confab for Rolls owners. This year, they are meeting in French Lick, Indiana. We will be among a select group of owners of those iconic Rolls-Royce and Bentley vehicles. […]

Starting Up the Debate on Motor Yachts.

Sailboats are fighting off a hard leeward marketing shore, these days. In any given year, something like ten motor-powered craft are sold for every one sailboat. Powerboats have become such a powerful marketplace force in the boating industry, that many of the world’s best boatbuilders no longer bother with sailboats. The Hinckley Company, which essentially pioneered the high-end production sailing yacht with classics like the Pilot 35 and Bermuda 40, still advertises its lovely Bermuda 50. But that doesn’t mean there’s one ready for a customer to buy. Read the fine print: This boat is a custom-built boat, just like […]

Paul Waring on “Alternative Boating Facts”

I’m an engineer. I live to reduce things down to basics. I love to break complex components into smaller pieces that make them easier to explain. Last week, we compared the price of different boats by measuring the cost of each pound of those boats. What did that simple price-to-displacement tool teach us? That comparing the price of boats is almost never apples-to-apples. The Bad News On Shopping for Luxury Goods. Comparing custom-made high-end products is tricky. The quality of the build and the cost of the labor are factors. Timeline and schedule also play a role. if you’re looking […]