2010 March 2

Custom daysailer

This is a very exciting boat. In high school when I missed the school bus I would walk the three miles home and often I played a game where I worked on design details for the ultimate singlehander. Back in the 1960s it was always a variant of the reigning 12-Meter with movable ballast and all self-tacking features; money no object of course. I think Scoot, designed by Nelson/Marek, comes very close to what I had in mind, just better. Scoot was designed for Dale Phelon of Nantucket as a "push-button" daysailer and originally called the Nantucket 55.

With a D/L of 54.68 and an L/B of 4.97 you can consider Scoot light and narrow. The sectional shape shows slabby topsides, a flat bottom and a firm turn to the bilge. The half-angle of entry is 14 degrees. The keel is a lifting type fin and bulb. The fin was machined from a solid billet of steel by Mayville Tool and Die, then gun bored so the walls of the fin worked as the walls of the hydraulic cylinders that raise and lower the keel. The twin rudders are modest in size and canted at 19 degrees. With the leeward rudder always buried the planform of the rudders can be reduced. Greg Stewart of N/M says they are still playing with toe-in angle of the individual rudders and at this stage they are parallel to centerline.

There really is no interior to talk about. If you need a nap there is a place to sleep. If you need a head it's there. If you need to prepare a meal you can fish a tuna fish sandwich out of one of the coolers in the cockpit. This design is all business.

The deck plan features a long cockpit with space forward for guests where the "cooler box" is located. All lines are led under the deck to two winches at the helm stations. There are twin companionways flanking the keel trunk. The starboard helm is connected to the port rudder and vice versa with the two rudders connected with a rod. An interesting feature of this design is that there is no deck camber. The decks are dead flat. There is a low bulwark forward that tapers to nothing adjacent to the helm stations.

The rig has no backstay. The spreaders are swept 28 degrees. The SA/D is 35.55 and the mainsail is on a Leisure Furl carbon boom. The jib club is all carbon and uses a 10-inch diameter bearing at the deck and a slightly smaller lower bearing. The spars are built by Hall Spars. With a jib club there is only one jib sheet, and jib sheet and mainsheet are both controlled by Harken reverse-purchase hydraulic systems. All lines run under the deck aft to emerge at the helm stations. Buttons control the mainsheet, jib sheet, cockpit winches, vang, keel lift, jib club outhaul and furling main boom. Power for this elaborate hydraulic system is provided by two 8D batteries. These have enough power to run the hydraulics for a typical three-hour daysail and there is a Fischer Panda 24-volt gen-set should you need to recharge the batteries while sailing. Looking at the sailplan, the low freeboard, svelte deck bubble and sweeping, gentle sheer make this a very beautiful yacht.

Perhaps the key to the success of this new N/M design is the team effort that went into its conception and execution. A group was assembled that included the builder, New England Boatworks, Hall Spars, North Sails, Harken, High Modulus for construction details, the owner, Mr. Phelon, and of course Nelson/Marek. Each part of the team was fully involved beginning with the preliminary design phase. Construction by New England Boatworks to High Modulus specs uses pre-preg carbon/epoxy/honeycomb core, vacuum-bagged throughout.

Sea trials have shown that Scoot more than meets the expectations of the entire team. Perhaps the most telling comment is from the owner: "Everyone who has seen the boat goes 'Wow.'" It's been a while since we had a N/M boat to review but I think the wait has been worth it.

Congrats, Bruce and Greg!

LOA 54'8"; LWL 54'; Beam 11'; Draft 8' (keel up), 12' (keel down); Displacement 19,580 lbs.; Ballast 11,000 lbs.; Sail area 1,512 sq. ft.; SA/D 35.55; D/L 54.68; L/B 4.97; Auxiliary Yanmanr 3YM30C 30-hp; Fuel 25 gals.

Designer: Nelson/Marek Yacht Design, 2820 Canon St., San Diego, CA 92106, (619) 224-6347,

Builder: New England Boatworks, 1 Lagoon Rd., Portsmouth, RI 02871, (401) 683-4000,

OBE: $1.8 million
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