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If it ain't broke, make it 21st century

F. Todd Warner, an authority on classic wooden powerboats who owns the original POSH, approached designer Bill Prince roughly two years ago about building a 21st century version of his 1937 classic.

POSH incorporates the latest technology, including a custom touch-screen helm, a concealed waterproof televison and an aft cockpit that converts to a spa.

“I am starting my 40th year specializing in the restoration, sales, service, design and construction of vintage boats and vintage boat design,” says Warner, CEO of Mahogany Bay and RetroModerne Yacht Design in Mound, Minn.

Warner, by the way, says he has owned more than 1,000 classic boats. In fact, he also owns Guy Lombardo’s 44-foot Tempo. “He is a walking, talking encyclopedia of classic boats,” Prince says.

Warner acquired the original John Hacker-designed POSH in 2005. His company has restored the yacht, and she has been on display at major boat shows. “I am starting my ninth season with POSH,” he says. “After a thousand boats, [POSH] is the one that rings all the bells and lights, all the fires, and gets all the juices flowing again. That gets harder to do when you have had so many boats to play with.”

Warner is enthused about the attention POSH has brought to the slender-hull design. He has driven his classic 600 nautical miles on the east coast of Florida. “I am out there in 4- to 5-foot waves in my long, skinny boat, and it’s amazing how well it performs in these big chops,” Warner says. “You get out in something long and skinny that slides through the water and doesn’t pound, and it is a great experience. A lot of people don’t understand — these old hull designs have some merit to them.”

Prince, who was featured in a May 2013 Q&A in Soundings, has many projects under development, including a 75-foot aluminum catamaran, the new 45-foot Huckins sportfisherman, a 70-knot carbon-fiber sport yacht for a Kuwaiti client and aluminum patrol boats built by Metal Shark in Louisiana. Even so, Prince considers POSH among the most notable yachts he’s designed in his 20-year career.

The new POSH is still in the engineering phase, but Warner and Prince are in discussions with “one of the world’s foremost yacht builders to launch the project,” Prince says. They expect construction to begin late this summer, with completion in the summer of 2015.

“The project certainly has captured everyone’s imagination,” Warner says. “It’s a way to take the past and pass it on to the next generations.”

See related article:

- POSH: much more than a replica of a masterpiece

June 2014 issue