Isobel Open To The Public in Newport.

This 75-foot fun machine will be open to the public, Wednesday June 7th. RSVP to the left.

One of our favorite boats is about to get the red-carpet treatment in one of our favorite locations for boats: On Wednesday June 7th, the lovely 75-foot sloop  will be open to the public at the ridiculously-perfect Sail Newport yacht facility, just across the bay from America’s yachting mecca: Newport, RI. It’s all too perfect to miss. One of us, Bob Stephens, gets to deliver the boat himself from Camden, Maine. And he’ll be on-board, and on hand, to answer all your questions on Wednesday.

To keep things organized either give Tripp Estabrook, at or (401) 474-4322, a shout and he’ll set up time for Bob to show you off some of Isobel’s best-kept secrets. Or, better yet give Bob a call to the office at (207) 338-6636 or drop a note to, to RSVP for the event.

Here’s an advance peek at Isobel’s hidden wonders:

All-carbon bowsprit, without a bobstay:

The all-carbon sprit and custom anchor well make Isobel easy to sail and cruise.

We’ve talked about Isobel’s all-composite chainplates, in the past. But equally cool, and important for performance, is her all-carbon bowsprit. The news here is, no bobstay. This 40,000-pound boat is rigged pretty much like a Melges 24. Whoa! The trick is the seriously-light heavily engineered sprit-trusses that anchor the forestay up forward of the bow. It all lets Isobel carry a convenient, roller-furling Code Zero reacher and asymmetrical spinnaker with almost no weight penalty forward. That means reduced pitching in heavy weather. It’s kick-ass, and it’s all what you have to have when the wind pipes up.


Not only a great foredeck, but a great “anchor well-deck.”

A serious, 75-pound plow anchor is what you want — until it has to come off the bottom, get cleaned, stowed and squared away for action. Why not then, create a specific spot in the pointy end of the boat, to safely and easily manage all the tackle, chains and mess of that big ole’ hunk of iron. Isobel agrees. So, right aft of the spiffy all-carbon bowsprit, she features a secure and handy recessed “anchor well-deck” where ground tackle can be managed at one’s leisure. Since we do our own anchoring around here, we sorely miss Isobel’s anchor well-deck on boats that don’t have one. All boats should.


Her pilot house is an all-carbon composite mainsheet bridge.

So much boat-nerdery went into this pilot house, we can’t even say. But it all makes Isobel fast and fun.

Loads coagulate in strange places in boats this big and fast. One of the spookiest, on Isobel, is her pilot house. Because here is where the ginormous 2,000 square foot sail needs to be sheeted to the rest of the hull. Since that’s also right where people do most of their living on this boat, some serious boat-nerdery was required. Laminated carbon, load carrying trusses, 3-D load analysis, we threw the tech kitchen sink at this structure. It’s not like anybody starts out drawing boat with a state-of-the-art pilot house. But that’s what Isobel told us she needed. And Isobel gets what she asks for.


A Multi-stage cockpit.

Speaking of sensible living, Isobel’s cockpit is where the ergonomic magic happens. But not everyone actually agrees on what “that magic” is. For some, her cockpit is a finely tuned, ergonomically brilliant racing layout. For others, it’s luxury lounging in the sun with hors d’oevres and cocktails. For still others, it’s sitting out of the sun with a cool breeze ruffling your hair while you yell at the crew to sail faster. We channeled all these competing desires while designing the continuum of comfort that’s Isobel’s cockpit: Twin wheels, a central mainsail control pod, and great sight-lines from and the elevated sail management space. You can step forward and down a step to luxuriate in the lounging cockpit on plush upholstered sofas. Tuck into the forward corner sheltered by an overhang from sun and drizzle. Or, slide into the pilothouse, drop the sturdy watertight drop-windows, and enjoy your sailing with protection — and a view.

Where you get to be is what seals the deal with Isobel.


One more thing, don’t forget. Isobel is pretty.