SoT Registry

The Zeelander Z44

We firmly believe that everybody deserves a little Dr. Evil in their lives. So we love the Zeelander Z44, the flashy mini-superyacht from the Netherlands’ Zeelander Yachts. This 44-footer was a puzzle to most American reviewers — and customers probably — when it came to these shores earlier this decade.  And why not. There is so much “new” here: The Bugatti Blue hull. The Rolls Royce windshields. The slide-back sunshade straight from the Societe Des Bains, on Monte Carlo Beach in Monaco. The Z44 is all flash and bad-boy vibe. We love it. But behind the glitz, the Zeelander Z44 […]

Shelter Island Runabout

The Spirit-of-Tradition DNA gets more streamlined when modern-classic design principles are concentrated into smaller  runabouts. One of our favorite examples of big design themes in a smaller package is the 38-foot Shelter Island Runabout built by CH Marine, of — you guessed it — Shelter Island, New York. Designed by the talented Doug Zurn, the 38 crams a lot of advanced technology into a trim traditional design. The hull is a high-quality hybrid build of Kevlar and E-Glass, vacuum bagged around a light and stiff Corecell core. The  hull is then carefully engineered to swap out complex laminates for solid wood […]


Of all the intriguing vessels drawn by leading European designer Andre Hoek, there’s something about Weatherly that endures. Drawn back in 2002, this 65-foot sloop captures most of what moves the Spirit-of-Tradition plotlines in Europe. She features a traditional, full-volume hull shaped out of a graceful sheer and significant overhangs fore and aft. Her waterline is just 45 feet! Weatherly also hits all the right modern-classic design references: Retro deck structures, open spaces fore and aft and a traditional, yet modern, ergonomic cockpit. The high-tech epoxied mahogany, rod rigging and bulb keel are all where they need to be. But […]


Launched in 2007, after a first-class build at Maine’s Brooklin Boat Yard, Anna is designer Sparkman & Stephens take on the Spirit-of-Tradition idiom. This 56-foot composite wood cruising sloop is based almost entirely on the classic racer Stormy Weather — the boat that Olin Stephens reportedly said was his favorite design. Stephens affections for his 53-footer were not mis-assigned: Stormy Weather won the Fastnet Race way back in 1935, when she was first built. And then, after a long and successful career, she took home the annual RORC Freddie Morgan Trophy for best classic racing yacht in 2015! That kind […]


Unless a boat wants to get seriously large — and seriously costly, usually the Spirit-of-Tradition narrative is better told with more-modest sloops, yawls, and the occasional ketch.  That does not mean that the modern-classic schooner does not exist. It’s just that you need to poke around a bit to find the schooner-ish themes of beefy “main sail” back where most mizzens are; and the smaller “foremast” where most mainsails are updated with today’s tools. One of our favorite such modern-classic schooners was made just around the corner in Brooklin Maine, by Brion Rieff. He built Experience from a Neils Helleburg 2007 […]


Considering how lovely she is, it’s surprising how little documentation exists for Sophie. But according to reports by those close to the build of this Bruce King design, the 91-footer has quite a backstory: She was originally launched in 1991 for Jan Stenbeck, the Swedish media magnet and America’s Cup campaign backer. The boat was named after one of his daughters, as an ode to the original America’s Cup J-Boats. Sophie rapidly became a big project. She traveled to three different builders: Renaissance Yachts in Thomaston, Maine, Wayfarer Marine in Camden, and finally to Derecktor’s in Georgetown. But despite the convoluted build […]

Morris 52: Windsock II

Designers Sparkman & Stephens said it themselves about Windsock II: “Teak is definitely the theme of this sailing yacht.” America’s design legends were not lying. This 52-foot Spirit-of-Tradition stalwart is a veritable wedding cake of this lavish tropical hardwood. Layer upon layer of teak is found under foot, in the cockpit and throughout the boat. There’s high-gloss, quarter-sawn passages of the stuff in the cockpit coamings and furniture. More muted finishes of the wood are found in the side decks, afterdeck, and the foredeck. Heck, every surface we could see above the sheer is sheathed with either elegantly bare or […]