Outlier, the 55-foot Botin Partners-designed racer moments after launching early this month at Brooklin Boatyard. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY STEPHEN RAPPAPORT

Outlier a modern racer drawing on tradition

BROOKLIN — Nineteenth century newspaper editor Horace Greely is credited with advising young men in search of fame and fortune to “Go West!”

Nowadays, the advice to a man who already has the fortune but wants the fame that comes with winning prestigious sailing races would likely be “Go North and go to Brooklin Boat Yard.”

That’s the formula Silicon Valley venture capitalist Harvey Jones followed when it came time to build Outlier, his new 55-foot Spirit of Tradition racer designed by the Spanish naval architects Botin Partners and launched on the tide into Center Harbor at the beginning of June.

Jones is an experienced sailor who has raced successfully out of Nantucket on the classic yacht circuit aboard the W-46 Class yacht Mustang, drawn by former Brooklin Boat Yard designer Robert Stephens and launched by Rockport Marine in 2001.

When it came time to build a new boat designed to his particular vision, Jones chose Botin Partners — which has an extensive portfolio of successful racing boat designs to its credit.

For Botin, Brooklin Boat Yard was an obvious choice to build the new boat. In 2017, BBY launched the designer’s 73-foot Tora. Built of wood, carbon fiber, foam and epoxy composites, the boat has a hull shape and sailplan similar to modern racing boats but with interior accommodations and amenities that allow her owner to cruise the oceans in comfort and speed.

That’s not the plan for Outlier.

“My goal was a modern race boat that was truly in the spirit of tradition,” Jones said as his new boat hung from the Travelift slings before launching. His “vision” for the boat was to build a boat “a lot different from wooden boats built today,” an outlier, but one that was “street legal for the Spirit of Tradition” with real wooden decks, single rudder and single backstay” for the boat’s towering carbon fiber mast.

While the boat has yet to race officially, it only left Center Harbor in the middle of last week, early betting would have to be that Botin and BBY have achieved Jones’s goal

Outlier was completed over 10 months, with a lightweight, cold-molded wood hull and deck and a carbon-reinforced keel structure that supports the boat’s deep keel fin and lead bulb fabricated, BBY owner Steve White said at the launching, in Canada.

An “international project,” according to White, the Spanish-designed Outlier is rigged with a three-spreader carbon mast and boom built by Hall Spars in Holland. The rig flies about 1,645 square feet of North Sails 3Di sails and is supported by carbon standing rigging supplied by Future Fibers/Rig Pro, like Hall Spars a part of the North Technology Group, and carries a Reckman furler for the jib.

Built primarily for nearshore racing in New England and the Caribbean, Outlier’s look above the waterline is decidedly traditional, with a roomy cockpit, closed transom and classic housetop. Below decks, the accommodations are classic, and simple. The lightweight interior is built with paneled vertical grain white oak and an English brown oak cabin sole and finished in satin sheen varnish with white-painted deck frames. Rails and stiles on the louvered cabinet doors are cored with honeycomb material that reduces their weight by about 30 percent compared with solid wood.

Beneath a large, opening skylight hatch, a spacious main salon amidships connects with a simple galley that contrasts with the spacious navigations station equipped with a full suite of Brooks & Gatehouse electronics. An aft quarter berth provides sleeping accommodations underway. The forward cabin has four bunks for crew plus a full head.

With her slippery shape, Outlier isn’t likely to spend much time under power but, when needed, a 75-horsepower diesel Volvo Saildrive equipped with a Gori feathering three-blade feathering propeller will push the boat along.

Outlier has a length on deck of 55 feet, a waterline length of 51 feet 6 inches, a beam of 14 feet and draws 9 feet 10 inches. With her 11,050-pound lead keel bulb, the boat displaces approximately 32,000 pounds.

As his boat sat alongside the BBY float after her launching, Jones said he planned to race Outlier in the Opera Cup in Nantucket and in Newport this summer and hoped to come back to Maine to sail in the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta at the beginning of August.

“I’ve never done it,” he said, “but several of my crew have.”

Outlier should give Jones a terrific first go at that classic yacht racing course.

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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