The Complicated Life of the Modern Transom

Given the variety in styling, operational performance, and construction made possible by current design aesthetics and materials, the modern transom is often one of the more detailed elements of a yacht’s design. On Cirrus, the 68-foot, Spirit of Tradition sailing sloop in-build at James Betts Enterprises (click here for build photos) in Anacortes, Washington, we went for a fairly traditional looking transom to match her sweetly shaped haunches. In Cirrus’s case, however, looks most certainly are deceiving.  With the push of a button, or operations made manually, convertible transom designs are found on all manner of yachts. A transom with […]

Maine racing provides a fantastic test bed for varied hull shapes

Racing in Maine’s varied mid-summer weather and tides rewards a variety of boat types and hull shapes. Why do certain designs work better than others in specific conditions? Read on. The classic racing season in Maine is short and sweet. Until a few years ago, classic and Spirit of Tradition boats had to pack it all into three days, Thursday through Saturday of the first weekend in August—the Castine Classic, a race from Castine to Camden, the Camden-Brooklin “feeder” race, and the venerable Eggemoggin Reach Regatta. A few years ago, the Camden Classics Cup joined the party with two more […]

Zingara rigged and ready to go

In a previous post (stephenswaring.com/bob-and-paul-set-sail-with-zingara) we announced that Zingara was purchased by Stephens Waring principals Bob and Paul and will be cruising and racing in Maine this summer under the stewardship of the pair at times and either of them with their families at other times. We signed off that piece with a “watch this space” announcement so fellow watchers here we are.  You’d think that being owned by such knowledgeable sailors with immense industry experience, Zingara’s spring launch would pass without a hitch. Right. As most snow-belt boat owners know, spring launching is a dance of the wicked with […]

Zemphira – (re)fit for a king

As designers of fine custom yachts we pour our knowledge, experience, creativity, and our love for the work into each project with which we are involved. Sometimes it’s a brand-new sailing yacht built to a style of sailing from a bygone era. Sometimes, it’s revisiting that design a decade or more after launch to review what is working well and even improve upon the original. Such is the case with Zemphira. Built as Goshawk in 2005, Zemphira will launch in the Spring of 2021 after a substantial re-fit, ready to take on all-comers in Classic Yacht Spirit of Tradition racing […]

Bob and Paul Set Sail with Zingara

We have some exciting news to share: Bob and Paul have been reunited with an old friend – s/y Zingara. And like any new boat owners, they couldn’t be more excited! We thought we’d share this re-acquaintance story with readers, giving a little background on Zingara herself, what makes her unique, and why those characteristics are as relevant to the sailing Bob and Paul want to do today as they were when Zingara was first conceived more than 30 years ago.  Bob and Paul, let’s start with an obvious question – after an unexpected year and an even more unconventional […]

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 […]

Pleione

The build of Pleione is a story of how the Spirit-of-Tradition genre feeds into narratives of modern racing embodied by sailboats built to a meter rule. In this case, the all-world International Rule, started all the way back the dawn of the 20th Century. These so-called 8-Meter boats have stayed at the cutting edge of the design world ever since, innovating by keeping what’s new logic mixed with old guidelines. Designer Jim Taylor was careful to incorporate the Spirit-of-Tradition themes in Pleione from the 1930’s iterations of the International Rule: She’s long and narrow and flashes gaudy overhangs at stem […]

Race Horse

Race Horse was built as part of the W-Class effort to establish level high performance racing for the Spirit of Tradition narrative. She may have been finished in 2010, as she’s part of the modern W-37 Sport Classique class. But the influences come squarely out of turn-of-the-century work boats. The sheer and layout is a direct lift from sandbaggers and sloop racers of that era. And Race Horse extends the SoT narrative into a plumb transom and stem, carbon rig, rudder and sophisticated joinery. A nice touch is the comfortable, upholstered cockpit couches that can be removed and stowed ashore […]