1. 42′ Round Bottom Sharpie

    July 12, 2012 by Ross Weene

  2. Martin 66

    March 28, 2012 by Ross Weene

    After several preliminary layouts were drawn, comparing raised saloons, mid cockpits, aft cockpits, etc. (a total of 5 primary configurations) the one chosen has a full, well-lit saloon down below, with a hard dodger (with its own steering and engine controls) at the forward end of the cockpit. This arrangement allows the best of both worlds – comfortable and safe watch-keeping, excellent deck spaces with good visibility, and allows the off watch the full use of the saloon, which, unlike the raised saloon configurations, is all on one level!

     VERSATILITYRodger Martin Design - Martin 66 - Picture 1
    A hydraulic lifting keel allows access to shallow berths & anchorages, while giving the yacht great stability under sail when fully extended. Draft is reduced from 11 ft. (3.35 m.) to 6.5 ft. (1.98 m.) Stability meets EC requirements in an intermediate position at 8.75 ft. (2.67 m.) Twin rudders are shown so that they draw less than the keel in its shoalest position, thus avoiding the complexity of a rudder with a board in it. The deck arrangement also allows varied uses. Day sailing or racing, the boat can be steered from one of the wheels aft, while there is full engine and steering control within the hard dodger as well.

    We have worked for 20 years on Around-the-World racing boats and cruisers where the demand for seakindliness and seaworthiness are high priorities of the owners. We have learned to design high-performance hulls that have a comfortable motion, rarely slam, and are very dry on deck. These hulls have fine entries, great usable volume, sail more upright and track well.

    The Martin 66 is a lighter yacht than most other voyagers of her length, and has great usable volume and well-lit spaces. We have shown two ‘Owner’s’ layouts with either two double cabins, one at either end of the boat for privacy, with a guest or children’s cabin between them. The other layout has two cabins aft, one with a double berth; the other with one up-one down and an owner’s cabin forward.

    Arrangements with full crew-quarters are also available.

    One of the advantages of a contemporary, lighter yacht is that it takes less sail area to drive the hull; therefore contemporary cruising sail-handling systems can make the boat much easier to handle without a paid crew, even into this size. Roller-furling systems are well advanced for headsails, and either boom-furling or a cockpit-led reefing system with lazy-jacks and a catch-boom can be used for the mainsail.

    Our brief is to design a handsome yacht as a planned-for series of voyaging sailboats to be semi-custom built. We have given these yachts a signature appearance with a sweet sheer and clipper bow. It is planned to build these yachts in a variety of sizes. The design provides a platform with great volume, excellent behaviour, and great versatility to allow owners to get the best out of their sailing lives.


    Martin 66 Sailplan (.pdf)

    Martin 66 Composite Plan

  3. Quadrille

    March 6, 2012 by Ross Weene


    It is always a great opportunity to design a boat for an experienced owner who knows what he wants. Nick Brown and his family have owned several yachts, from the 73′ “Bolero” through Hinckleys and his last boat “Iona”, the first J-44.

    The requirements for “Quadrille” were that she be lighter, a little smaller, and yet as fast as current high-performance 44-footers, but with only 5′-9″ draft, as her owner spends much time in the Chesapeake.

    At first, a fully-ballasted dagger-keel was contemplated, but could not be accommodated within the required interior layout. The ultimate solution was to employ a Collins Tandem Keel with a small board in the aft foil as a “feeler” for Chesapeake mud. The board will be used only in shallow areas, and once raised would allow the skipper to get off, reducing draft by 12″.

    Other special features include a carbon-fibre mast, a retractable bowsprit for projecting big asymmetrical spinnakers, and a full-roached main. All these features give “Quadrille” a very good turn of speed.


    Eric Goetz Custom Sailboats built the boat to their usual high standards. Construction is E-glass and epoxy over a lightweight balsa core. Chainplates are composite, essentially a part of the hull, as Goetz does for Maxis and America’s Cup boats.


    The main shrouds are out at the full beam, reducing mast and rigging loads. The carbon spar weighs 275 lbs (125 kg) less than an aluminum spar of equivalent stiffness.


    The deck layout is a careful evolution of Nick Brown’s previous 44-footer. The bowsprit slides out through a composite “Bull’s-eye” built into the bow. It is on deck so as not to interfere with the Owner’s cabin forward.


    Down below, the arrangement is also an evolution of the Owner’s previous boat, with a double cabin aft to starboard, and a head to port. The huge cockpit locker is accessible through the head.

    The galley features a microwave outboard of the 3-burner stove, and has a special locker in the freezer to hold ice-cubes.

    The chart table to starboard has a very complete array of sophisticated navigation and communications equipment, a pet area of interest for the Owner.

    The saloon has water and fuel tanks below the berths, with a pilot berth to port and entertainment and storage areas to starboard. The table hides the hydraulic actuator for the “feeler” dagger-board.

    The Owner’s cabin is forward of the main bulkhead, and has a head en suite, with a bureau and hanging locker space to starboard.

    The 50hp Yanmar engine and all ancillary equipment is below the cockpit with service access from all sides.

    The interior is finished in white with doors, drawers and lockers of butternut with ash trim. Ceilings are butternut and the sole is walnut with maple splines. There are no tropical hardwoods on the boat. Handrails on deck are stainless steel.

    “Quadrille” is a highly-developed combination of cruising comfort and good performance.










    Quadrille Sailplan (click for .pdf)

    Quadrille Composite Plan (click for .pdf)


  4. Cetacea

    by Ross Weene


    “CETACEA” – 45′ CIRCUMNAVIGATOR for Geoffrey Palmer

    Geoffrey Palmer is a successful architect who gave up his practice to circumnavigate in his 41-ft Rhodes Reliant, “Windigo,” between 1986 and 1989, covering 35,000 miles.

    During that voyage, he pieced together the elements of his ideal circumnavigator. In 1991, he brought those ideas, in the form of a model and priority list, to us. We did the Naval Architecture, structure, rig, appendages, machinery layout and general engineering. The interior, systems and “styling” of “CETACEA” are of Geoffrey’s design. It has been a most enjoyable collaboration.


    This is a tropical cruising boat, so the cockpit is a large living area, comfortable for entertaining around a generous removable table under an awning, and is well-designed for offshore use.

    Drawings do not show how light and cool the interior looks as you enter the main companionway. The area as you enter the boat is raised over fuel tanks and batteries, with a 360 degree view through oval windows, a shape repeated in the saloon hull windows and throughout the boat. The interior is painted a cool white with a light grey sole and light varnished wood fiddles and facing boards.

    To port aft, in the raised area, is the head, with the galley forward of it. To starboard aft, there is a pipe berth, and forward of that a long navigation/draughting table (an architect’s detail).

    The saloon is forward and nine inches lower, with a big drop-side table and a pleasant view forward through twin curved ring-frames fore and aft of the mast, and a view to port and starboard through oval hull windows.

    There are 135 gallons of fresh water under both settees, and an 80-gallon diesel tank under the raised area below the companionway.

    There are sloped bookshelves outboard and “end-tables” built in forward of the settees.

    The Owner’s cabin is forward with a double berth to port and a 6′-6″ long dressing/work table to starboard, echoing the draughting table aft.

    Following our BOC boat practice, there is a watertight bulkhead forward of the Owner’s cabin, with a watertight door leading to the fore-peak, where “emergency” pipe-berths share space with the sail and chain stowage.

    The Yanmar 50hp engine is aft, under the companionway. Systems are simple, foot pumps for salt and fresh water, no refrigeration.

    There are large cockpit lockers aft, watertight to the rest of the boat, and a lazarette containing the life raft at the stern. The winch islands act as dorades for engine air supply and exhaust. The autopilot and steering systems are below the wheel, and a Monitor steering vane is fitted.


    Most of the mast and sail controls come back to winches and jammers on the cabin top each side of the companionway hatch, and inside the dodger. Deck hardware is by Antal.

    The rig, built by Metalmast, is a simple cutter, with Profurl furling on the headstay, and hanks on the innerstay. Chainplates are full width to reduce mast compression and rigging sizes, so the jib is non-overlapping. Mainsheet tackle is on top of the house to allow an awning, and keep the cockpit clear. Winches and windlass are by Lewmar.

    The hull and deck were built by Concordia Custom Yachts, and are made of biaxial and unidirectional E-glass over an Airex hull core and a Divinycell deck core, with vinylester resin. The rudder is an E-glass spade on a carbon-fiber stock.

    The interior and joiner work were built by the Owner.

    The end result is an harmonious, strong, buoyant home for world-wide voyaging.










    Cetacea Sailplan (click for .pdf)

    Cetacea Composite Plan (click for .pdf)


  5. Gray Wolf

    by Ross Weene


    The Design

    The objective of “Gray Wolf’s” design was to combine a classical appearance with thoroughly modern performance. As a custom design, she was developed for an experienced owner who has circumnavigated and raced trapeze dinghies.

    She benefits from this valuable input as well as our own experience designing BOC-type Open Class racers, fast, seaworthy cruisers, racing dinghies and America’s Cup work. “Gray Wolf’s” success is the result of a hard-won pedigree!

    Her combination of looks and performance has touched a nerve in sailors who felt they had to settle for old-fashioned performance in a classic-looking yacht. Fortunately, this is simply not the case! While “Gray Wolf” has some performance “additives,” her speed and seakindliness are simply the result of clean, modern design, unhindered by restrictive rating rules. Computers and Velocity Prediction Programs allowed us to run a systematic series of hull, rig and appendage variations to find the best combination for the boat’s displacement and purpose, much as we would do for a racing boat program. Twelve variations were run through the V.P.P. before the final hull was chosen.

    The resulting hull form is powerful with easy sections, a fine entry for penetrating waves and a broad, fair run aft.

    This computer work also allowed us to study her hull shape and flotation characteristics at various heeled sailing angles so that we could ensure she would feel balanced on the helm and track well. It is simply not possible to do this with hand drawn shapes, or with computers if you don’t know what to look for!

    Cockpit and interior space requirements were balanced against the aesthetics of her profile, sheer and freeboard to reach the best combination of form and function. Getting this balance ‘right’ separates an inspired design from one that might sail as well, but not give the owner the elements of pride and satisfaction that this design has provided. All these elements must evolve together for the design to be successful as a whole.


    “Gray Wolf’s” original brief was that she be built of wood, partly for ‘historic’ reasons, and because her owner wanted to race in the modern class of the classic-boat race series on the East Coast of the U.S.

    Steve Koopman, Naval Architect and Marine Engineer at Rodger Martin Yacht Designs, engineered eight 2′ X 2′ panels, designed to be the same weight, for testing by Gougeon Brothers. Seven of these panels were wood in various combinations, and one glass-composite panel was designed as a benchmark, as most of our experience is in this material.

    The panels were tested on Gougeon’s panel-testing machine and the 1″ strip-planked Western Red Cedar panel with light biased cloth running across the seams proved most efficient (i.e. strongest and stiffest for its weight) of the wood panels, second to the glass-composite panel.

    All frames, (on 3’6″ centers,) floors and longitudinals are laminated mahogany, resulting in a stiff, strong and attractive wooden structure. Carbon caps reinforce the keel-floors against grounding loads. Decking is plywood over closer-spaced wooden deckbeams. A fibreglass sump, integrated into the hull, supports the stainless steel keelfin, which is tipped by a low-drag lead bulb. The rudder is well aft and deep, with a carbon stock.

    “Gray Wolf” is thoroughly engineered and immensely strong.


    The arrangement plan shows a simple, spacious interior. In line with her use as a day racer and for short-handed racing, her interior is not filled with lockers that long term cruising would require. She is open from the companionway aft, with a quarter berth to starboard, and a big nav. table forward of that with a full setup of navigation and communications electronics. Opposite, to port, there is a good galley, open underneath where cruisers might put lockers and more drawers, but excellent for her current use, and with a big ice box aft. You can see the clear windows of the waterballast tanks outboard.

    A ring-frame separates the galley and nav. areas from the saloon which has wide comfortable settee/berths with fuel and water tankage beneath them. The 3-cylinder Yanmar saildrive is under the base of the drop-leaf table. A seat extends abaft the table, ideal for donning boots or talking to the cook or navigator. Batteries are forward of the engine in the same box, and access is excellent.

    The main mast-supporting bulkhead is forward of the settees, with an opening to the head to port. A short passage to starboard, with a big hanging locker outboard, leads to the comfortable forward berth. A ring-bulkhead separates this from the forepeak/anchor locker.

    The hull, where visible, is varnished. The rest of the interior is painted white with varnished trim on the ring-frames and bulkheads. The underside of the house is white-painted tongue-and-groove pine, and the house sides and sole are varnished. Cushions are dark green. A very pleasant, cool, airy interior.

    The layout on deck favours a long, spacious cockpit; as desirable for racing as it is for cruising, and wide unrestricted side decks, an advantage of the beam at deck and lack of side stays. The cockpit is 12 feet long and has seats wide and long enough to sleep on. A foot brace on the sole makes the wide cockpit comfortable at the low heel angles at which “Gray Wolf” sails. Coamings outboard make adequate backrests, but are low enough for sitting outboard, steering with a tiller-extension.

    Sail Plan

    An unstayed carbon rig was chosen for “Gray Wolf’s” original design as it was in keeping with the clean simplicity of the whole concept. The mast is stepped further aft in the boat than the typical ‘catboat’ use of the rig. While it is ‘unstayed,’ running backstays are used for tensioning the headstay, which, atypically, can fly 120% or 150% genoas. In very light airs, a big light drifter/reacher is flown (on its own furler) from the end of the bowsprit. An asymmetrical spinnaker is flown from the same point.

    The mainsail is large in proportion to the foretriangle, with roach unrestricted because there is no backstay. A long traveler is necessary to control the mainsail, and the natural bend of the mast automatically depowers the main in gusts. Reef lines and main halyard are run to the cockpit. This is a generous, handy rig.


     “Gray Wolf” is fast for her size. She should be; she has a clean, proven hull-form with powerful, easy sections, a big sailplan, low wetted surface and high ballast and form stability. These factors would make her fast even without waterballast, but that adds a further level of sail-carrying power. Without waterballast, she would simply be reefed earlier. This type of boat does not sail at high heel angles, and so is inherently more comfortable to sail than older, narrower and heavier boats. Power from the sails is easily transformed into forward motion because of low drag and efficient appendages. This is a modern boat and repays being sailed well. She articulates her needs clearly. If the helm loads up, you let the traveler down. If she feels over-pressed, you reef. The foretriangle is moderate, and for most conditions the 120% genoa is all you need; reefing and unreefing the main keeps her on her feet and sailing fast.

    Windward racing ability of the unstayed rig was an initial concern, so great effort was put into making the boat as weatherly as possible. As we had expected, we have to foot rather than point, but our speed made good to windward is as good as some larger, weatherly high-performance boats, though we achieve this sailing at about 30 degrees apparent wind angle to their 27 degrees in a given condition.

    Once we crack off the wind, the comparison is less kind! “Gray Wolf” has sailed at 12.6 knots in about 16 knots of wind on a spinnaker reach. At this point we start to race with boats 20 or 30 feet longer than us. It truly is fun! ( At least for “Gray Wolf.”)

    A design of this refinement takes an owner with vision, an understanding of boats and the ability to pay for the dream to be realised, both in design and construction.










    Gray Wolf Sailplan ( click for .pdf )

    Gray Wolf Composite Plan ( click for .pdf )

  6. Aerodyne 47

    March 5, 2012 by Ross Weene


    Strength, Comfort & Speed


    The new Aerodyne 47 follows the recent successful introduction of the Aerodyne 38. This heat-cured-epoxy cruising boat is an attempt to raise the standard of every aspect of cruising boats in this size range. We have tried to improve on the status quo in the following ways:

    1. The hull itself, is shaped for performance & seakindly motion, based on our experience with Round-The-World racing boats, & then the accommodations are comfortably fitted to the hull, rather than building a bargelike envelope around the accommodations.

    2. The structure of the boat is all heat-cured epoxy resin with high performance fibres; this high strength raceboat construction is considerably stronger than conventional polyester- or vinyl-ester production boat lay-ups.

    3. A true seagoing interior that does not compromise comfort, function & easy maintenance.


    The Aerodyne 47 is designed from the start with a priority on good sailing characteristics. The hull is fine forward to give a smooth ride, and the round-sectioned stern provides excellent tracking & steering characteristics at any sailing heel angle. The hull has a small waterplane (footprint) for low wetted surface (reduced drag) and the hull flares out to the broad beam to give excellent sailing stability. The combination of a fine, wave-piercing entry, a narrow waterplane and light weight make for a hull that is very easily driven under sail or power. These features are important, & are ignored or overlooked in many of the designs of other cruising boats. The Aerodyne 47 has a polar performance diagram that will please those who sail for its own rewards & pleasantly surprise those used to less refined cruising craft.

    The jib is self-tacking, so a shorthanded crew can tack just by turning the wheel or resetting the autopilot. A furling drifter or a gennaker can be set flying from the short bowsprit for enjoyable light air sailing. All sail & reefing controls come back to jammers & winches each side of the cockpit. Our experience with singlehanded racing boats will be apparent to anyone who experiences her ease of helm & sailhandling. The Aerodyne 47 as described here is sized to go through the Intracoastal Waterway bridges and draws only 6 feet (1.83m). She is also available with greater rig height & draft.

    Structural Integrity

    AT Marine has long experience in high-specification composite structures. This integrity was behind their decision to build all their boats with Epoxy resin, heat-cured for the best possible properties. This is the construction method chosen for the best custom yachts, and gives the Aerodyne 47 an extra margin of strength and durability. The structural epoxy framing system is specifically engineered to absorb and disperse keel-grounding loads and rigging loads as well as wave impacts. The full watertight bulkhead in the bow, 6.5 feet from the stem, is a further offshore safety feature. All bulkheads & most of the interior are cored for structural stability & light weight. There is no better composite structural system. An additional improvement in finish & weight savings is that all the Aerodyne boats are primed & painted with Awlgrip Marine paints. They have no gel coats or mat!

    Down Below

    The owner’s suite is forward, with easy, open, well lit spaces & huge storage. A ‘wall’ of hanging lockers & drawers on the starboard side joins a vanity, with a sink & lockers below. Large drawers below the berth have additional longer-term storage outboard. The cabin is set well aft of the bow, so enjoys a beamy part of the hull. The head and shower are forward of this, once again spacious & well lit.

    The main mast bulkhead divides the owner’s suite from the saloon. Once again, open use of space & natural light prevail. The settee to starboard has a slide-out centre section that forms an ottoman for relaxed conversation, facing the entertainment lockers behind the u-shaped seating area opposite. On both sides there are hull ports for outside views and excellent lockers fore and aft of the ports. A deep, full-sized nav. station/desk abuts the starboard settee, with a swivel-out seat facing instruments outboard & a full electrical panel on the bulkhead aft. A deep filing cabinet is built into the base of the settee, alongside the navigator’s left leg.

    On the opposite side the galley is full of well-thought-out features. A large work-surface area is surrounded by high fiddles. The centreline double sink is over the engine (on which more anon) and has good space around it for setting up plates & drinks. The athwartship counter is wide & houses a large locker and, outboard, a slide-out garbage bin which reveals a recycling bin when slid out further. Very handy. Fridge & freezer are outboard, with a convenient front-opening door to the fridge, as well as top access. Overhead lockers abound outboard, and lead aft to the microwave with extractor above a 3-burner Force 10 stove & oven. Perhaps the crowning feature of the galley is a dedicated pantry, full height, in the area alongside the companionway. This is high & wide enough to provide enormous storage, but kept shallow so that food items are not lost in the back & hard to retrieve. Once again, good light & ventilation. The galley itself is the ideal “C” shape. You’ll never use a “U” again!

    On the starboard side there is a handy head & shower, shared with the guest cabin, aft. This has a huge double berth, ventilated by hatches into the cockpit footwell & with a port in the hull and in the house-side. Hanging lockers and a bureau outboard are augmented by storage drawers under the berth and under the companionway, inboard.

    On the opposite side, abaft the galley pantry, a door leads into a workshop & storage area, also accessible by a hatch in the cockpit seat above. This area has a workbench outboard, at which one can work while standing in the cockpit locker. You might feel like a bit on a nana while so disposed, but you will be the envy of your fellow skippers. Inboard in the area below the cockpit footwell, there is storage for slide-out plastic bins, as well as a ‘pump-room’ at the forward end. There is additional storage behind the aft cabin & workshop bulkhead.

    The whole interior has an easy flow to it with carefully apportioned space for each area’s function & enjoyment.

    Engine & Systems

    A pleasant offspring of the diminished weight and wetted area is the reduced horsepower required to motor effectively. Only 32 shaft horsepower are required to move the fully loaded Aerodyne 47 at her near 9 knot hull speed. The modest fuel consumption of her non-turbo 56 horsepower Yanmar diesel engine gives range for long passages, while maintaining abundant reserve for accessories and powering hard in heavy seas and currents.

    The engine is fitted within the galley sink-island. All filters & maintenance items are in a locker at the forward end, and general engine access is superb, with doors on every side. Proper gasketing and insulation ensure quiet operation.

    Comfort aboard is improved by the use of modern electrical appliances. A double approach was taken toward this end; provide a great amount of available power and use it sparingly. The design incorporates four very capacious 8D house batteries; a 24 volt system to distribute it efficiently; and a huge 150 amp @24vDC alternator to replace it effectively. This allows power winches, windlass, autopilot, refrigeration and lighting as well as modest airconditioning and a washer dryer. The incorporation of the latest aerogel insulation technology and superior refrigeration equipment gives 2-3 day hold-over within normal recharge voltages. High efficiency fluorescent, halogen and LED lighting make light demands of the system. Many shipboard lifestyle compromises have thereby been avoided.

    On Deck

    Starting from the bow; a well-engineered bowsprit/anchoring system is well-integrated with the needs of the bow pulpit and the headstay furling. The base for the jib’s self-tacking boom is just aft of the furler & out of the way of the vertical-axis windlass. Two big, self-draining deck lockers give access to chain & rode on one side & to storage for a furling drifter &/or gennaker on the other. The lockers are divided by a structural longitudinal bulkhead.

    A built in toerail, an integral part of the deck design, surrounds the entire deck. The side decks are wide and clear as the chainplates are out at the hull for superior mast support with reduced compression and rigging loads. The house is low forward, & carefully blended into the deck. Hatches are numerous. The boat can be sailed without leaving the cockpit. Furling, reef lines, sheets for main & jib, and all other sail controls lead aft to the dodger on each side. they then run in special covered areas behind the cockpit seat backrests to a row of jammers & winches on each side. These winches are placed so as to be handy to the helmsman as well as anyone in the cockpit.

    The area under the hard dodger is long enough to allow sitting, facing aft, straight-legged within the available aft plastic curtains. An area on the port side, on the house top is made flat for laying out a chart. The middle of the 3-paneled front can be opened for ventilation. The top part of the pantry, accessible easily from the cockpit, holds an EPIRB & has a place for binoculars & other small items of use on deck. The port side cockpit locker gives access to the workshop/storage area below.

    The helm has comfortable seating all around. The slightly raised seat area each side of the wheel helps keep deck water away. Winches for the drifter or gennaker sheets are aft in this area, aft, and there are hatches immediately alongside the wheel which access a vented propane and outboard-fuel locker to starboard & a lazarette to port. The seat behind the helm contains the life raft, to port, and a section to starboard can be hinged back onto the remaining part of the seat to allow generous access to the swimming/boarding platform area. Dinghy access & egress is made easy. The deck & cockpit are well thought out, and will allow the boat to be adapted to use without the hard dodger (& with a folding soft dodger) with minor changes.


    The Aerodyne 47 represents a great effort to provide a very competent, contemporary cruising yacht of extremely high structural quality, great comfort & convenience, with excellent sailing qualities. The overall concept represents contributions by various highly experienced individuals in the fields of fast sailing, durable engineering & long-term cruising practice. The Aerodyne 47 is designed with materials & equipment chosen for their durability & longevity, to provide a lifetime of pride in ownership.

    Sailing Report

    The first Aerodyne 47, “Eagle’s Wings” was launched & sea-trialled in Cape Town in that wild coast’s notoriously rough conditions & was praised for her easy motion, speed & control stability. She was then sailed on her own bottom, to the U. S. East Coast to be delivered to her owners, Vic & Peggy DeMattia. She has since cruised the U. S. East Coast from Florida to Rhode Island & made her debut at the Newport Boat Show in September 2001. She has also been tested, reviewed & hailed for her success as a fast comfortable cruising boat by Blue Water Sailing, Cruising World & was chosen by Outside magazine for the annual ‘must have’ ‘O’ list! We have had a lot of interest in the Aerodyne 47, both in its standard form and as the Aerodyne 47 GT, the higher performance raceable version. Look out!











    Aerodyne 47 Sailplan

    Aerodyne 47 Composite Plan