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, of the Pacific northwest. He drew this boat back in 1979, as a cool, svelte double-ended pure daysailer. What we like today is how she can accommodate a hardy crew for weekending or overnight racing. And how she’s built to the highest spec by C&B Marine, in Santa Cruz, California. This boat was at the heart of West-Coast ultralight boatbuilding scene back in the ’70’s. She’s been homeported in Nantucket for years, though her focus has shifted to the Maine coast recently. Check out more photos here.
Senshin & Mystery:
This year, two Center Harbor 31’s will shape up to race. Our mentor Joel White designed them back in 1995. And our sweat and love are in both of these boats. Bob worked as a junior designer with Joel on this boat, while Paul tag-teamed as build managers with Bob on the series at Brooklin Boat Yard. 7 total boats were built over a period of about 8 years, from 1995 to 2003. All were well-loved by their owners. When one comes up for sale it doesn’t last long. These boats hold on to their value. 6 are sloops with sleek carbon rigs; CH31 #1 is a ketch, with shoal draft, deep cockpit, a snug cruising sail plan, and is still in the family of her original owner. Joel White was inspired by LF Herreshoff’s Quiet Tune, but White employed modern underwater appendages and a sleek cold-molded hull. For those of us who like their sailing small and pure, it’s tough to beat these wee sweethearts.
Vortex: A favorite! We’ve easily sailed a thousand miles on this boat with owner and builder Steve White. She’s a Swede 55, a design originally penned by famed Scandinavian design god Knud Reimers in 1975, late in his career, as a production boat. About 20 were molded in fiberglass, and Vortex is the only wooden one made. Cold-molded in 1990, she features a couple of tweaks suggested by Reimers: a deeper keel and a taller rig. Plus she is SKINNY — 10 feet wide on 52 feet long overall — yet likes a breeze. She also doesn’t hate dragging her spinnaker skirt in the water on a power reach. If you want a look at some good memories, we’re pretty sure that’s Mr. Stephens trimming the kite on these breezier shots. That’s Mr. Waring in the cockpit in the gray shirt. Ah, those were the days.
Obviously, there are more stories to tell about these legends. Some can’t be printed here. We are happy to spill those beans — off the record, of course — at the bar, after racing.