BROOKLIN — Great boats are always the product of successful collaboration.
A talented designer first conjures up the lines of a fast, seaworthy vessel. With many boats built using advanced techniques and space-age materials, engineers of one discipline or another help develop the specifications for the vessel, its gear and complicated mechanical and other systems.
Finally, skilled boatbuilders will turn a computer image and tables of specifications into a life-size, three-dimensional vessel.
If all goes as planned, coming soon (perhaps 18 months or so) to the waters of Downeast Maine, will be an elegant new sailing yacht that represents a collaboration among three of the most prominent names in contemporary American yachting: Hinckley, the Brooklin Boat Yard and yacht designer Bill Tripp.
Sometime around the end of this month, BBY owner Steve White said, an unfinished hull will be trucked from Trenton to Brooklin, where work will begin on finishing the first ever, brand new, Tripp-designed Hinckley Sou’wester 53 sloops. The deck structure will be fabricated by Front Street Shipyard in Belfast and delivered to Brooklin in a few months.
Best known for the cold-molded wooden boats it builds, BBY will be working with a hull built using entirely different materials.
According to Hinckley, the Sou’wester 53’s hull construction combines an inner layer of carbon fiber cloth with an outer layer of Kevlar. Unlike the process used in most fiberglass hulls, the cloth for the hull and its interior structural grid is laid up in the mold dry and then infused with epoxy to form a single strong, chemically bonded structure.
Naval architect Bill Tripp III, designer of Hinckley’s Bermuda 50 and son of the designer of the company’s iconic Bermuda 40, said the new design, a “classic American-style pilothouse boat,” was drawn “with cruising in mind” and not to go racing, “her modern carbon hull form and runner-less fractional rig with swept spreaders will guarantee that she will be fast,” yet easily sailed by an owner without a paid professional crew.
The Sou’wester 53 underbody features the latest in keel stem and bulb shape and a draft of 8 feet 3 inches “will provide for lively performance” while still allowing the boat to visit many harbors often inaccessible to yachts of her size.
Weight savings in the hull structure will allow BBY to craft the signature teak woodworking accents that are Hinckley hallmarks and provide the luxury on deck and below that Hinckley owners expect.
The new boat features a pilothouse with standing headroom, a full galley and an inside helm station.
Forward and two steps down are a guest cabin with queen-size berth and separate head, and the master stateroom with a queen-size centerline berth and a private head.
Although the Sou’wester 53 will have ample power for when the wind is uncooperative, the boat is meant to provide a lively sailing experience notwithstanding its 30,000 pound displacement.
The spar package will feature a three spreader, carbon fiber mast, supported by Nitronic 50 rod rigging, from Offshore Spars of Michigan.
This boat will be equipped with a carbon fiber boom with electric mainsail furling. Tripp designed a rig with a roller furling, self-tacking jib for ease of handling.
The new Hinckley (Brinckley?) Sou’wester 53 has an overall length of 52 feet 4 inches, a beam of 14 feet 3 inches and can carry 100 gallons of diesel fuel and 188 gallons of fresh water.