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Design review: 2 concept boats and their missions

Robert Stephens (left) and Paul Waring are passionate designers who take pride in turning concepts into creations.This month, I’m looking at two design concepts from Stephens Waring Yacht Design in Belfast, Maine. They are just concepts at this point, and Paul Waring has taken the unusual step of offering them for critique, which shows intellectual inquiry, an open mind and more than a little courage. I wish more designers would do the same.

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Back to the drawing board: Design flaws I’ve noted

No boat is perfect, so consider a multitude of features when assessing safety and seaworthiness.Most boats have intelligent ideas worth noting, along with areas that need a little more thinking through. It’s rare to see a boat that gets it all right — or all wrong. My intent here is to provide some of the insight needed to distinguish what works and what could be better.

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An early look at the new Huckins Sportfisherman

The boat's length is 45 feet, 5 inches, and the beam is 13 feet, 9 inches.I ‘m a big fan of the quirky, minimalist look of a Huckins yacht. It’s a seagoing version of the Saab 900, the result of a no-nonsense and function-driven, though classically informed, philosophy. I like the way these boats stand out from everything else.

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The Quadraconic hull form

Frank Huckins’ granddaughter Cindy Purcell started working in the stockroom at Huckins Yachts in the 1970s, and today she and her husband, Buddy, own and run the company that made its early name with PT boats.

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The legendary Huckins PT boats

The first Huckins launched in 1928 — talk about a bad time to start a business — but the name achieved real prominence in the 1940s, when the company was contracted to produce two squadrons of PT boats for the U.S. Navy. Built of the carbon fiber of the day — triple-planked mahogany and plywood — these lightweight craft were part of the Navy’s gasoline-powered mosquito fleet of hit-and-run torpedo boats.

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