One thing that can be said about Camden, Maine-based marine architect Mark Fitzgerald is that he has never been afraid to think outside the box — or the hull for that matter. Fitzgerald, who worked for 21 years with Chuck Paine until Paine’s retirement, is well known for his sail and motor yacht designs including the Kanter Yachts-built, 65-foot aluminum pilothouse cutter Te Mana, and Adagio, a 72-foot long-range expedition yacht built in New Zealand.
True to his unrestricted creative spirit, Fitzgerald’s new F-28, debuted at the Maine Boatbuilders Show in Portland earlier this year and redefined the center console, hardtop power cruiser with a unique opening bow, rail to waterline hull door and an integrated radar antennae in the hardtop.
But the real news is his so-called “Zip Project.” As he confessed, “Well, you have to have an open mind (for it).” The new craft is a high-speed submersible to be built in Maine. Fitzgerald said that research on the design is now underway and draws on the expertise of two submersible designers in Florida and a marine propulsion specialist in the northeast.
This being Fitzgerald’s most radical design to date, he stressed the need for the boat building industry to embrace new technology and follow the lead of other vehicles from aircraft to snowmobiles that have radically changed over the last decade.