BELFAST — The yacht design team of Robert Stephens and Paul Waring got some exciting news recently.
Classic Boat, a leading British magazine devoted to the sailing, restoration, maintenance and construction of elegant examples of the yachting tradition, announced last month that the Stephens & Waring-designed sloop Anna was a finalist for the Classic Boat of 2019 award in the Spirit of Tradition class.
Launched by Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding in Thomaston, Anna was shortlisted with eight other finalists from among a group including virtually all custom boats built around the world last year. The other boats selected include the 184-foot Aquarius, the 41-foot Sleipner and the 67-foot Sultana, each from the board of a prominent designer.
Although their office is now in Belfast, Stephens and Waring are both closely connected to the Blue Hill Peninsula.
Stephens worked as a junior designer at Brooklin Boat Yard under the tutelage of Joel White. He became the yard’s lead designer after White’s death.
Waring also began his serious boatbuilding career at Brooklin Boat Yard. He and Stephens joined forces in the design shop after White’s death. The team joined forces with yard owner Steve White, designed some of BBY’s best known yachts and eventually opened their own independent design office.
“We’re tremendously honored to be selected as finalists by Classic Boat, among such distinguished design houses worldwide,” Stephens said when the list was announced. “Anna was a truly special project, and we’re delighted to have her success recognized.”
Stephens is, to say the very least, delighted with Anna, which was “inspired by the yachts that came out of the Fife yard in Scotland in the early 20th century,” he said in a recent email.
“Anna resulted from her owners’ enthusiasm for classic design, informed over years of study and careful thought about what kind of sailboat would suit them best.” After years of discussions, the designers “began in earnest with the project that became Anna in the fall of 2015.
Built using the cold molding technique, Anna is big boat — 65 feet 6 inches long on deck with a waterline length of 47 feet 10 inches and a beam of 16 feet 10 inches. With a moderately long, shallow keel, she displaces 57,000 pounds and draws just 7 feet 6 inches, perfect for a boat conceived primarily as a daysailer “but with plenty of ability for short cruises and offshore deliveries.”
During the daysailing season, her paid crew of two lives ashore in a rented apartment, although there is crew berthing aboard for cruising.
“The owners figure it’s much less costly to rent an apartment than to own a much larger boat,” with permanent crew quarters, Stephens said.
Anna carries 2,040 square feet of working sail on a “tall and powerful sloop rig,” featuring a 95-foot carbon fiber mast and roller furling boom with North sails built from exotic para-aramid fibers and Kevlar and covered with Dacron taffeta to protection against chafing and the sun.
Unsurprisingly, Anna is “replete with systems,” Stephens said. Sail handing is controlled by electric winches and she has hydraulic roller-furling on the jib. She also is equipped with full air conditioning, lithium-ion batteries, a diesel-powered generator and a hydraulically operated drop-down boarding platform.
“All in the cause of genuine comfort for owners, guests and crew,” Stephens said.
Below, the boat is beautifully finished, and extremely comfortable, with upholstered settees in the raised deckhouse and capacious accommodations for the owners and their guests below.
“Anna’s owners were extremely involved in the design process,” Stephens said. “They really held designers and builders to a tremendously high standard. All details are just right, and the modern systems are well-concealed behind period joinery and hardware.”
Stephens credited Rockland-based designer Martha Coolidge with being “instrumental in our interpreting the owners’ wishes into a cohesive vision” for the boat’s interior.
While designed primarily for daysailing in the waters around her homeport, Bristol, R.I., or in Nova Scotia, where they have a summer house, Anna’s owners campaign her on the classic yacht racing circuit in Maine and southern New England.
“She fulfills her mission of luxury daysailing with aplomb and grace,” Stephens said.”
Last summer, she finished second in class at the Camden Classics, the Castine Classic Yacht Regatta and the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta. Her owners plan to be back in Maine this summer trying to improve on that record.