brooklin in the house

A little pimpin’ for ya…

When it comes to designing a custom racer/cruiser, there are a couple key considerations that drive the project: geography and performance. Next month, Brooklin Boat Yard in Brooklin, Maine, will begin construction of a custom 49-foot cold-molded racer/cruiser designed by Jim Taylor of Marblehead, Massachusetts. They were tasked with developing a boat for single- or double-handed sailing on New England coastal waters as well as competitive racing in a range of classes. The result is a 49-foot lightweight, performance-oriented sloop with a traditional aesthetic above the waterline and a modern underbody below. Here’s the thinking behind the design.

Geography: Sometimes a racecourse in the Northeast is more like an obstacle course. Lobster traps double as rudder traps or — worse — propeller snares. It’s not enough to just sail high of a buoy to avoid it. The clever fishermen have line strung across multiple traps underwater, which have buoys on either end. And we silly sailors head straight into their traps.

So a design for a new custom racer/cruiser for Northeast waters better take traps into consideration. This yacht’s underbody is as close to pot-proof as possible while maintaining her performance levels. Her keel’s leading edge is swept aft to shed both weeds and lobster pots. Her saildrive even features a folding prop to minimize the risk of fouling.

Performance: The new yacht is 49 feet overall with a waterline length of 35.1 feet and an 11.6-foot beam. Long overhangs increase the boat’s effective sailing length and stability with heel. This traditional feature is coupled with an underwater canoe body shape that’s rounded with low deadrise for less drag, especially in choppy water and during maneuvers. Her fin keel and spade rudder also reduce wetted area while lowering her vertical center of gravity for increased stability.

Designer Jim Taylor tried to give the yacht a meter boat feel. “She’ll have a user-friendly ‘groove’ even when downspeed or in sloppy sea conditions,” he said. The boat will be built in cold-molded wood, a style for which Brooklin Boatyard is well-known. She’ll carry a Hall carbon rig and Harken deck gear. Competition Composites Inc. in Canada will build her carbon rudder.