Keys to a Successful Hull Design

Our classic traditional appearance has its’ inspiration from the master works of L. Francis Herreshoff and although we did not coin the phrase “life is too short for an ugly boat”, we certainly agree with it. We want our boats to instill pride of ownership and to be strikingly distinctive when viewed near or far. Our detailed scroll work and pronounced clipper stem are period correct and have not been artistically compromised for production considerations.

Moderate displacement – While it would certainly cost less to build a lighter boat, a moderate displacement has many benefits not the least of which is its’ larger useable load capacity for things such as fuel, water and consumables. Over lighter displacement designs, it provides enhanced sea keeping with a softer and gentler motion. Of equal importance, it allows the structure to be adequately heavy for higher safety margins. Of course, you have to drag all this weight around with you so it is also important that the design encompasses all of the above without being so heavy that you give up performance unnecessarily.

Flared bow sections – in concert with the sheer, the flared sections forward deflect the spray and wave action away from the boat creating a drier deck in comparison to other designs. It also creates a wider fore deck while keeping the water line forward narrow which improves sea keeping and performance over other full bow designs.

Deep forefoot and narrow entry – This feature eliminates pounding in head seas as the boat’s natural tendency is to part through the wave as opposed to bouncing over it. It also allows for the proper and effective installation of a bow thruster which is a popular option for short handed docking.

Moderate Freeboard – While a low freeboard creates less windage and makes the vessel less venerable and safer for both the crew and the boat in severe sea states, high freeboard is the easiest way to get more interior volume. We take a moderate freeboard approach knowing our boats are more likely to be placed in “harm’s way” than the higher freeboard coastal cruisers.

Moderately wide transom and stern sections – While the attributes of a canoe or narrow transom are well known in severe weather they preclude opening transom boarding and dinghy davits. A wider transom allows for better sailing performance, in addition to increasing load carrying ability aft. While our stern sections certainly cannot be considered narrow, we also stay well short of the some of the excessively wide transoms you see on some modern designs. For our designs we feel the ability to carry a dinghy on davits and have storage for the outboard without adversely affecting the boat’s trim is an essential requirement.

Flat run aft – often referred to as the dead rise, it reflects the hulls shape from its deepest/widest point to the edge of the stern. Our designs feature a clean and relatively flat aft counter which improves sailing performance. And, in concert with our moderately wide transom, increases volume aft affording a larger cockpit and a wider aft stateroom.

Conventional Transom Design – Many modern designs use a reversed transom. This is where the hull extends well beyond the deck. While it does effectively increase the boat’s waterline length this feature is not without its drawbacks. Besides making the boat physically longer by including unusable length it also makes the stern of the boat far more vulnerable to accident or storm damage. A large percentage of sailboats lost in storms have damage to the exposed reverse transom to thank for the cause of the sinking.

Moderate Block Coefficient (BC) – This best describes how full a hull design is. Imagine a block of wood 40′ long, 12′ wide and 8′ high. If this were a boat it would have an extremely high BC. As you start carving the boat’s shape out of the block the BC becomes smaller. If you keep on carving until you finished up with a canoe – you would have a very small BC. Therefore, the BC is the relationship between the hull and the shavings on the ground. In terms of yacht design, a large BC would generate a large interior volume but would compromise sailing performance especially in heavy weather. A small BC would create a boat that sailed well but had no usable living space. While we appreciate the need for living space, we also appreciate that the boat should sail reasonably well and you can’t have both despite some of the testimonials you may read or hear from some of the owner of the more “plump” designs.