Evolution of the Design
In case anyone is interested I thought I would detail briefly the design history. I had really wanted a custom boat, so I doodled on my home design software a rough, but scaled, sketch of a boat. What I had in mind was a Tartan 37, with it’s low freeboard and low cabin trunk, easy handling, good sailing ability, and affordability, but with the interior of my Lancer 36. In fact, the Tartan 37 was [is] such a great boat that the owners had gotten together and written and self published a book about how they loved their boats. I bought two copies and a set of plans from S&S. This was as close as I could get to what I wanted. One advantage of the Lancer style interior was there was no need to have standing headroom forward of the mast. I had planned on 3’3″ of freeboard, with standing headroom in the galley and head area, but with less as you moved forward. The dotted oval in my plan shows were there was 6’4″ headroom.
I then approached Bob with my drawings After he was through laughing at them he thought that there might be the basis for a pretty decent design, a reasonably high performance, easy to sail daysailor/weekender for exploring Puget Sound, and that there nothing in the new or used market that was quite what I wanted. He agreed to take the commission to design the new boat. Naturally I was delighted, since I had always admired all of his designs.
We did enough preliminary drawings to send out for a bid, which came back about 30% more than I was going to be able to pay. So I gave up and bought a 1978 Tartan 37 deep keel just as some moorage came up at Shilsole. Three months after I bought the boat, with the intention of making the boat like new again, with some important upgrades like a taller rig for the light air of Puget Sound, my financial position did another of it’s usual 180 degree spins and a custom boat became feasible again.
But the first exercise had convinced both Bob and I that for the money I was going to have to spend for the hull, deck, rigging and hardware that I should consider a more conventional interior.
The following pages tell the story of the evolution of the design of the perfect sailboat.
I want to end this page with one of my favorite passages from one of my very favorite books, one that I have almost worn out. “The Proper Yacht”, 2nd edition, by Arthur Beiser, one of the very best books on sailboats, their design and construction, ever written. The first edition is great too.
On page 115 he states “And to someone who has the money for a proper yacht but is frightened at the magnitude of the investment required, I can only agree with Jim McCurdy’s suggestion to consider ‘throwing financial responsibility to the winds” and grabbing your dream as it slips away into an even more unfriendly future. There are those who have acted in this fashion and discovered that their irresponsibility turned, in fact, into wisdom that produced a great reward in enjoyment of sailing.'”
Thank you, Mr. Beiser, for these words of encouragement. I have never forgotten them ever since I first read them 35 years ago.