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Three Maine boatyards contribute to Sou’wester 53 yacht

Nov 1, 2018
Rendering of the Sou’wester 53 currently under construction in Southwest Harbor.

Rendering of the Sou’wester 53 currently under construction in Southwest Harbor.

Courtesy Hinckley Yachts

Three Maine boatyards are partnering on a modern new sloop designed by Bill Tripp.

The Sou’wester 53 has a modern pilothouse and composite hull built by Hinckley Yachts of Southwest Harbor. Brooklin Boat Yard of Brooklin will perform custom interior work. Front Street Shipyard of Belfast is building the deck and a 360-degree pilothouse using E-glass and epoxy resin with a foam core.

Much like the Surfari 50 built for Jimmy Buffett, the Sou’-wester 53 has a single-level pilothouse that also functions as an indoor-outdoor living space. The helm station, complete with joystick controls, can be closed off via a closing glass door.

The customer is an unnamed New England-based owner with an interest in cruising, according to a news release. Hull No. 1 is scheduled to launch in June 2019.

“I looked to design a boat that honored the tradition of Phil Rhodes’ great pilothouse boats,” designer Bill Tripp said in a statement. “The Sou’wester 53 is a new, classic American-style pilothouse boat that brings the outside in with a helm station and 360-degree wrap-around sightlines from inside the pilothouse.”

The accommodations plan.

Courtesy Hinckley Yachts

The new yacht is intended primarily for cruising, but it should also hold its own in point-to-point racing thanks to a modern hull form and runnerless fractional rig with swept spreaders. The design is intended to be owner-operated, with a self-tacking jib and roller-furling boom for easier sail-handling.

“The Sou’wester 53 offers many comforts, but there are a few in particular you will rarely find on other yachts — the comfort of longevity, enduring quality and timeless beauty,” said Peter O’Connell, president and CEO of Hinckley Yachts.

Steve White, president of Brooklin Boat Yard, said, “The bespoke interior will be elegantly finished to the owner’s high standards and particular specifications.”

Hull construction began in August at Hinckley Yachts. Once complete, the vessel will move to Brooklin Boat Yard for the interior build-out and launching.

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