A Stanley 38 built by John Williams Boat Co. in Hall Quarry. The crew there is at work on a new boat planned to look like this one above the waterline, but with a redesigned, streamlined hull capable of achieving speeds upward of 40 knots. ALISON LANGLEY PHOTObe

Williams building boat to meet “need for speed”

MOUNT DESERT — A new motor yacht designed to combine classic lobster yacht lines with the ability to reach higher speeds is in the early stages of design and construction at John Williams (JW) Boat Co. in Hall Quarry.

The customer who has commissioned the one-off project, JW Production Manager Bill Wright said, “wants to be able to zip around to different locations.”

The idea, Wright said, is that from the waterline up, the new boat will look much like the traditional Stanley 38 lobster yacht the company builds, but have a modern underbody designed to achieve speeds upward of 40 knots. The latest in propulsion units also is part of the equation.

“The top will be a molded Stanley 38 that we have here,” he said, “and the hull itself will be a one-off, brand new hull.”

Designer Doug Zurn of Marblehead, Mass., is working with the existing tooling to design the hull, Wright said. It will have a modified, or deep-V shape, similar to Sabre or Hinckley motor yacht hulls.

“Doug said that to reach 40 knots, we had to do something that was unconventional,” Wright said. “We approached him about other projects in the past and are excited to be working with him now.”

The Volvo IPS module utilizes forward-facing, counter-rotating propellers. IMAGE COURTESY OF VOLVO PENTA

The Volvo IPS module utilizes forward-facing, counter-rotating propellers.

The construction will be fiberglass over a form core.

“You lay up glass over the core, then flip it over and lay up” another layer of fiberglass,” Wright said. “The idea is you’ve got to keep the boat light, which is a departure for us.”

To achieve the speed and maneuverability desired, the team decided to use a Volvo IPS module drive system.

“They’re very efficient, fuel and power-wise,” Wright said. “They have forward-facing counter-rotating propellers. They’re in a pod, so they spin. The system has a joystick control as well as a wheel, but once you learn the joystick, you’ll probably use that.”

The drive system also has the ability to hold the vessel stationary automatically, keeping the boat in the same location regardless of current or wind, at the push of a button.

Hinckley offers this drive system as an option in some of its picnic boats and motor yachts instead of waterjets. Casco Bay yacht builder Sabre uses the IPS system, as does MJM Yachts, established by J/Boat founder Bob Johnstone and built at Boston Boat Works in Charlestown, Mass.

“We happen to have an MJM 40 that we store here that has the drives,” Wright said. Getting to know the system has been helpful in planning the JW Boat project.

The company is shooting for late summer 2016 with the new boat.

“Typical of our boats, it will have a molded fiberglass top, but we trim it out with wood,” Wright said. “But again, this time we have to be careful about weight.”

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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