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Currently in Design - Captain Rob's 95' Ketch

I get some unusual design commissions but this is the first time another yacht designer has asked me to design a boat for him. Rob Leighton, I call him Captain Rob, is an accomplished yacht designer and builder. We met on Facebook. Rob was interested in the designs I did for Ta Chaio in Taiwan, the CT 48, 54, 56 and 65. I also had some preliminary drawings for a Ct 85 but it was never built. Rob liked the romantic character of the “clipper” style ketches. Rob lives in the Philippines but is originally from the area where I now live. He is a retired Boeing composites engineer. He contacted me and said he was going to be in my area and wanted to stop by my office. Rob showed up at my beach shack one morning and we had a nice chat for about half and hour then he said, “How do we start?” He was serious. Rob had my attention.

Rob wanted an 85’ for work with his company Isla Aid doing mission work in the outer islands of the Phillipines and Micronesia. They work with sailing youth camps. Do emergency response work ferrying doctors and construction teams to remote areas hit by natural disasters. The boat will also do some chartering. Rob has a 58’er now for this work but it has proven too small. He wanted an 85’ boat with enough room to carry 14, crew and guests. I drew preliminary drawings for an 85’er. The layout was working fine. We even had a “clinic” room for minor surgical procedures. But the profile was not working, too much house for too little hull. Rob called and said, “Let’s make it 90’LOD.” I said, “Let’s make it 95’ LOD.” Rob said “Fine.”

The displacement is 185,019 lbs. for a D/L of 178. The L/B is 4.06 a bit on the narrow side. Draft is 9’. The keel fin will be integral with the hull and ballast will be internal lead. The rudder is a partially balanced type on half a skeg. Deadrise is moderate and increases towards the stern so I can have a shapely transom with just a kiss of hollow near the bottom. I used a bit of tumblehome aft in keeping with this style of boat. Despite the utilitarian nature of the work this boat will do I wanted a boat that will be fun and rewarding to sail. Rob has a lot of offshore miles on him and does understand the difference.
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As you would expect the interior layout is complex. Rob wants the ability to sleep 14 with paid crew forward and captain’s stateroom aft. Let’s start in the pilot house. In the pilot house you have an inside steering station to port, wet locker and seat aft f that and nav station aft of that. T starboard is a 10.5’ long raised dinette. Raising the dinette opens up volume below the dinette for the passageway to the aft accommodations and the engine room along with various pantry lockers, freezer and refer units for a large crew. Going aft there is the “clinic” room to port which can double as another stateroom. Access to the engine room is from the passage way aft. There is full, standing headroom in the engine room. To starboard is the utility area with washer and dryer and lockers. Just aft of the utility area is a head for anybody to access. Aft of this is the generous owner’s stateroom with head to port with large shower stall. To starboard there is a vanity. There are port and starboard hanging lockers and an almost centerline queen size berth. Going back to the pilot house you step down going forward into the galley/ saloon area. To port there is a 10.5’ U shaped dinette. Aft of that is a spacious, sunken galley with a lot of counter space. To starboard there is a deep settee and liquor cabinet. There are pilot berths port and starboard. Going forward there are mirror image staterooms with stacked berths and hanging lockers. The lower berth can work as a snug double berth. Each stateroom has its own head and shower stall. For3ward of this is the paid crew area with head, hanging lockers and and V berths. There is direct access to the deck from the crew area. It’s tight forward but it will work. There is a large focsle forward of the water tight bulkhead. I have a lot of hours into that layout. I’d wake up at 2am with the “What if I moved……?” Or wake up at 4:30, I like an early start, and find an email from Rob, “What if you moved…..?” In challenging times like this work is a great diversion.

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The deck plan is very straight forward. There are high bulwarks and a step in the deck just aft of the pilot house. There is no “cockpit well”. The cockpit sole is the deck. There is a large fixed table with bins just aft of the mizzen. Rob has a big, antique ships wheel he wants to use. I imagine the cockpit will be a popular place for dining. Primary and secondary winches are aft of the cockpit. I have hatches over every living area. There are lazarette hatches p&s aft and a fold down transom boarding platform.

The rig will have carbon fiber masts. Not sure yet what we will do for reefing the main and mizzen. Probably be Park Avenue style booms and lazy jacks. Sheeting for main, mizzen and self tacking staysail will be hydraulic Cariboni cylinders mounted inside the booms and mast. Using the Cariboni system will really clean up the deck. The SA/D is 17.66.

The plan at this point is for Rob to build the boat in the Philipines, doing much of the engineering himself. That’s an ambitious project. I’ll provide what design support I can aided by my pals Jody Culbert III for 3D modeling and Tim O’Connell for deck and rig details. I look forward to seeing this boat finished.

Bob P.

Currently in Design - A Carbon Power Cruiser

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I have a friend who likes long and skinny boats. He has one of my custom long and skinny sailboats now but he thinks it might be time to do a powerboat.

This will be an all carbon fiber build at the Jim Betts yard where they are building my carbon fiber cutters. The idea is for a highly efficient boat for cruising the PNW. We have chosen a 150 HP Volvo diesel with a variable pitch prop, probably a Hundested, to optimize performance. The goal is a top speed of 14 knot and a 12 knot cruise speed with an abundant range. The tender will be the PT nester 12’ dinghy. Accommodations are for two couples and every effort has been made to keep this boat very simple. Note the mini flying bridge for better visibility docking and maneuvering in close quarters.

I am more excited about this project than any I have done for a long time. It’s stimulating to do something very new.
We are still in the formative stages of this design and many changes will certainly come. I’ll keep you up to speed as it progresses.

Bob P.

Currently in Design - Quail

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My friend Keith has a lovely boat now. It’s a Hinckley 42, QUILL. Keith loves his boat. But Keith was getting the urge to do a custom boat. Not because he needed a new boat but because he wanted the experience of doing a boat that would reflect a unique image of his approach to life on the water. To me that’s what custom designs are all about. There are lots of nice new and used boats out there that will do the job just fine. But, a custom boat can be wrapped around the personality and experiences of the client to project a unique and very personal image. The owner may have a picture in his head of exactly how he sees himself under sail. It’s my job to bring that mental image to life. I am pretty confident that I am very good at that job.
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First off the new Quail had some pragmatic considerations that were not options. There was a nearby bridge that limited our “air draft”. There was Chesapeake Bay with its shallow water that limited our draft. With rig height limited by the bridge boat size also was limited. I could not simply put a big boat under a small rig. I chose an LOA of 46.2’ with a DWL of 39.72’ and that’s substantially more waterline than Keith has on his Present QUILL. Beam was kept on the low side at 12.6’ and displacement is moderate at a bit over 25,000 lbs..

The challenge with this design was to make it conform to the pragmatic conditions imposed by the area of operation while making sure that performance would be better than the current Hinckley. At the same time Keith wanted a boat in the Hinckley style. It was clear after looking at the newest offering by Hinckley that they were moving off in a very different styling direction. This did not suit Keith. Keith wanted a boat with a NE aesthetic, i.e. a boat with ties to traditional American yacht styling. Of course this had to be done while elevating the performance to today’s standards. I chose a short overhang bow, not quite plumb but almost and modest overhang aft. I really like the look of this boat with its low freeboard and delicate but functional ends.

As far as the deck and interior layout was concerned I had it easy. My job was to make subtle improvements to exactly what Keith currently owns. That was easy. I’m a whizz at interior layouts. On deck I incorporated a fold down transom gate much like the one on JAKATAN to give easy access to the dinghy. The rest of the deck is very straight forward.
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I think this is one of the nicest looking boats I have ever designed. I enlisted the extensive help of my pal Jody Culbert III. Jody is the master of the 3D modeling process. Jody takes my 2D acad drawings and turns them into virtual photographs of the finished yacht. This is extremely helpful to the client who is not totally comfortable reading 2D drawings. We can massage shapes and spaces until the client sees exactly what he wants. Jody can read my mind and knows almost exactly how I like shape issues resolved. I truly love working with Jody. He makes me look good.

So now we sit and wait for Keith to finish his major residence remodeling job and hopefully after that his thoughts will turn back to QUAIL and we can get this project underway.
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Currently in Design - Pacific Seacraft South Sea 61

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