Coming or going, Windsock, launched by Morris Yachts earlier this month is an impressive sight. The company’s third M52 is unique because decks, cabin sides and cockpit are finished entirely in wood, with no gelcoat visible below the rails. STEVE MULLANE PHOTO

Morris Yachts launches striking third M52

MOUNT DESERT — It’s hard to remember if Morris Yachts ever launched a boat that wasn’t a pleasure to look at, but its latest creation is something really special.

Morris launched Windsock earlier this month, and while it’s the third M52 to come from the Trenton boatbuilder’s shop, it represents a first for the company. From the rail up, Windsock is finished completely of wood — teak decks and varnished teak coamings, cabin sides, skylight, Dorade boxes, cockpit and cockpit furniture.

“There’s no gel coat at all,” company owner Cuyler Morris said in a recent phone call.

Not a speck of gel coat is visible in Windsock’s spacious cockpit with its custom binnacle (left) and powerful winches. MORRIS YACHTS PHOTO

Not a speck of gel coat is visible in Windsock’s spacious cockpit with its custom binnacle (left) and powerful winches.

There’s plenty of varnished woodwork down below, too. The two-cabin layout, with an owner’s stateroom forward and a guest stateroom and second head and shower compartment at the foot of the companionway, is fitted with what Morris said was a custom U-shaped salon and a “bench” galley. It is finished “Herreshoff style,” with white bulkheads and wood trim. Instead of the “standard” varnished cherry trim and joinery, Windsock’s interior is finished in varnished butternut.

Designed by Sparkman & Stephens, the M52 is a big boat, but retains the sweeping sheer, long overhangs and low topsides of the company’s successful M36, M42 and M29 designs.

The M52 has an overall length of 52 feet 11 inches and a design waterline length of 38 feet, 2 inches. Beam is 14 feet even and the boat draws just a couple of inches under 6 feet with its standard bulb keel. A deep keel draws 6 feet 11 inches. Half-load displacement is 34,064 pounds.

Windsock, the name reflects her owner’s connections with the aviation industry, carries a carbon fiber, twin spreader mast and an electrically operated furling boom. Working sail area, including North Sails main and fractional, self-tacking, furling jib is 1,414 square feet.

Handling Windsock should be an easy job for a boat of its size. Jib and mainsail furlers and the large primary and secondary winches are all electrically operated. A 75-horsepower diesel Yanmar saildrive unit fitted with a three-blade folding propeller provides motive power.

Homeported in Newport, Cuyler Morris said Windsock is slated for “New England in the summer — Maine, Nantucket, the Cape and Islands — and the Bahamas in the winter.”

If her looks give any clue, Windsock will cruise comfortably and handsomely wherever she goes.

Stephen Rappaport

Stephen Rappaport

Waterfront Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Rappaport has lived in Maine for nearly 30 years. A lifelong sailor, he spends as much time as possible messing about in boats. [email protected]

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