Brooklin, Maine, yacht design firm Stephens, Waring and White (SWW) has announced two new Spirit of Tradition designs: a high-performance 68-footer and a 38-foot day sailor/weekender. According to designer Robert Stephens, the 68-footer is being built for a longtime client who wants to combine the elements of classic racing performance in an elegant daysailor/cruiser.
“We’ve become recognized as experts in the genre of Spirit of Tradition yachts: long and lean, with delicate counters and spoon bows — but that’s by no means all we are about,” Stephens said. “This client has been very generous in urging us to bring some of our more edgy concepts to life.”
“The new 68 distills the essence of tradition,” said Stephens. While the hull’s profile plays on traditional forms with its nearly plumb stem, long counter, and tumblehome in the sections, traditional trim details like molded teak rail caps and elaborately crafted deck furniture are noticeable by their absence as the clients and designers sought a clean, refined look.
According to SWW’s Paul Waring, the rig reflects SWW’s experience combining cutting-edge aerodynamics with simplicity and ease of use — the stiff carbon spar is supported by strongly swept shrouds and spreaders, eliminating backstays and clearing the way for a large and efficient square-top mainsail. “While the efficiency gains are obvious,” said Waring, “the real beauty of this sail plan lies in its ability to automatically depower in puffy conditions, as the top twists off.” Launch is scheduled for June.
“She was designed to handle with ease the challenging waters of Buzzards Bay,” said Stephens, “with its notorious afternoon sou’wester and steep chop; she’ll be delightful to sail anywhere. We gave her a long waterline of 30 feet to consistently deliver high cruising speeds under both sail and power to combat the powerful tides of that region, while her short spoon bow and hollow waterline contribute restrained grace and good spray suppression.”
The carbon fiber rig is designed to work well whether short-handed or fully crewed. For simplicity and a clean foredeck, the roller furled headsail is self-tacking with the furler below deck. Below the waterline, the classic profile gives way to a modern fin-keel and high-aspect spade rudder. Although originally designed for cold-molded construction, the design is well suited to composite construction either as a custom yacht or as a production model.