As promised, here is Greg Stewart’s report on the new N/M 55 Scoot…
In the summer of 2008 Mr. Dale Phelon of Nantucket determined he wanted to move up to a larger day-sailor for sailing off Nantucket. Unable to find a production boat that suited his layout and performance requirements he contacted New England Boatworks (NEB) to discuss a custom day-sailor. After a few phone conversations with NEB, Phelon met with NEB in person to outline his requirements and to learn about the custom boat process. During this meeting Phelon stated “none of the day-sailors I have looked are day-sailors” and “they do not look like they were designed with performance in mind”. He also explained that “if I do a custom boat it will be designed and built in America.” Phelon was impressed with NEB and decided to take the next step and talk with some American designers. At about the same time Nelson/Marek’s Greg Stewart was in Newport for a regatta and met with Phelon and NEB’s Tom Rich. Phelon elaborated on his requirements, Stewart explained the custom design process, and the group discussed the meeting notes from the earlier Phelon-NEB meeting in detail. Shortly after this meeting, the same night in fact, Phelon called Rich and said “let’s do the boat” we discussed today!
Fast forward 13 months.
SCOOT was launched 13 months after the commission was granted to Nelson/Maerk Yacht Design by Dale Phelon. I was able to attend her Sea Trials and her stunning good looks and quality of workmanship by New England Boat Works were immediately apparent dockside the first time I saw her in the water dockside. It struck me that the graphic design and colors by Mac Designs accomplish the client’s goal to have a boat that was "clean" and "business like" but also gave the impression "do not mess with me" all the while exuding speed. The "Silver" and "White" forward suggests the former while the "Burgundy-Red" aft suggests the latter! Beyond the graphics, the clean minimal on deck hardware layout was also satisfying.
On the water SCOOT fulfills her name sake with exhilarating performance and on her Sea Trials she proved to be extremely fast on all points sail with very well-balanced sailing characteristics. On her very first sail in 10 knots of wind and flat water while steering I had to look back to get an idea of just how fast the boat was moving since she was so clean and quiet through the water. Upwind the combination of her narrow hull form and low cg make her like to sail with 20-25 degrees of heel just lifting the weather rudder and deeply submerging the leeward rudder providing full control and a very light feel. She sails with cracked sheets at speeds greater than the windspeed in up to 10 knots of breeze. Broad reaching the Club Boom significantly deepens the Apparent Wind Angle she can sail since as the jib sheet is eased, and the club boom swings outboard, the leech tension is maintained while the camber increases. Under power she made a comfortable 8 knots. Look for the SCOOT in Nantucket next summer. Loads more pics here.