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Lyman-Morse 54

2008 December 1

Bluewater cruiser

Here is another beautiful custom cruising boat from Chuck Paine's office. It hurts to tell you this, but this boat will be the last Chuck Paine design I will review. Chuck has closed the doors to the office and put his shingle on the woodpile. I could speculate on the reasons but I'll just say that Chuck thinks he has other things to do with his time now. Chuck the yacht designer will now become Chuck the painter, artist and author. Damn! We are going to lose one of the very best yacht designers I have known. The good news is that the drawings you see here and many of the other "from the board of Chuck Paine." Drawings you have seen in the past were actually drawn by Ed Joy, Chuck's longtime No. 1 man. So in looking at this design keep in mind that it is primarily the work of Ed, with all drawings checked by Chuck. Hopefully we'll have some Ed Joy designs to review in the future.

This design is intended to be a fast cruising boat. It was designed for a San Francisco couple and it was built by Lyman-Morse. The hull lines are beautiful and show a midsection with some deadrise, with the deadrise angle staying pretty much constant to the transom. The bow sections are softly V-shaped and there is a tiny hint of hollow in the plan view of the DWL. The L/B is 3.52, D/L is 194 and draft is a healthy 7 feet, 6 inches. Most cambered transoms get their camber from a section of an arc, but this one takes the camber from a section of an ellipse, and that gives it a little more complexity to the shape. It looks good.

Chuck and I used to sit under the big tree in Dick Carter's front yard and eat our lunches together along with Yves Marie Tanton and Mark Lindsay. Chuck often would bring his latest woodworking project to whittle on while we ate. "What's that, Chuck?" "It's a drawer for a Roman campaign chest." Sometimes Chuck would just bring his chisels and sharpen them as we waited to return to work. We talked about boats mostly. With most conversations starting with, "When I have my own office …" I was taking home $157 a week and Chuck, having been with Carter longer, probably made a bit more, but even still, having our own design offices seemed a long way off. I'll never forget the day when we were hard at work and Dick walked in and said, "I can just feel the horsepower in here."

The clients worked with interior designer Jane Plachter-Vogel to develop this unique layout. There is a trim and attractive hard dodger with long seats. Below, the galley and starboard aft stateroom extend aft under these cockpit seats. The layout is very open and is only intended for one couple with an occasional guest. I have one major problem with this layout. There is no long, straight settee below that you could nap on. There are two chairs and a short settee around a small dining table to port but that would certainly not work for me. I want to stretch out. I want to have friends to dinner. "But Bob, I didn't design this boat for you." And there you have it; i.e. the nature of custom design. I'm certain that Lyman-Morse will work with Ed Joy to produce a layout to suit your needs if this design appeals to you.

The SA/D is on the low side by today's standards but given the boat will live on San Francisco Bay this makes a lot of sense. In 20 knots this 54-footer can sail without a reef. The mainsheet is rigged bridle style on top of the hard dodger. Halyards are led aft, through the dodger to banks of stoppers near the twin wheels. The helmsman can reach everything very easily. There are large line bins between the stoppers and the winches to collect the lines. As cruising cockpits go, this one is about as good as you can get. Those cockpit seats are long enough for me to nap on.

There is no doubt that the crew at Lyman-Morse did a fabulous job building this boat. They always do. For my money they are the best.

I will miss your work, Chuckles.

Good luck, Ed.

LOA 53'9"; LWL 46'11"; Beam 15'3"; Draft 7'6"; Displacement 44,900 lbs.; Ballast 17,000 lbs.; Sail area 1,337 sq. ft.; SA/D 16.93; D/L 194; L/B 3.52; Auxiliary Yanmar 110-hp; Fuel210 gals.; Water 145 gals.

Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding, 84 Knox St., Thomaston, ME 04861, (207) 354-6904, www.lymanmorse.com.

Design: Ed Joy Design, P.O. Box 1015 Camden, ME 04843, (207) 236-2166, www.edjoydesign.com

OBE: $2.5 million
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