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Echoes of Stormy Weather

Modern 56-foot yacht will have the sheer, tumblehome and transom of the famous S & S design

The New York design firm Sparkman & Stephens has mined its storied past for the creation of a cruising yacht, now under construction at Maine’s Brooklin Boat Yard.

The 56-foot, cold-molded Anna borrows from one of S&S’ most famous designs, Stormy Weather, which sprang from the boards of the company in the mid-1930s under the eye of S&S co-founder Olin J. Stephens II.

“With some notable exceptions, Anna is a scaled-up version of Stormy Weather,” says S&S chief naval architect Greg Matzat. “We’ve maintained most of the aesthetic elements of the older boat — her sheer line, her tumblehome, the shape of her house, the configuration of her cockpit, her overhangs and transom — and placed them on a modern, efficient underbody.”

In her day, Stormy Weather represented the latest thinking in racing yacht technology. In 1935, a year after her launch, she won both the trans-Atlantic race and the Fastnet with Olin’s brother Rod at the helm. She was an evolution of Stephens’ seminal Dorade. Stephens has identified Stormy Weather as one of his favorite designs.

Anna’s owner wanted a modern yacht with contemporary sailing characteristics, but one with the aesthetics of a classic. Her hull is a cold-molded combination of mahogany, western red cedar and Port Orford (Oregon) cedar. She uses WEST SYSTEM epoxy in her construction, which minimizes weight while maintaining the look and feel of a wooden boat. Unlike Stormy Weather’s wine-glass-shaped hull, which has a full keel and attached rudder, Anna has a slightly veed canoe body with a fin keel and bulb, and a carbon spade rudder. Matzat says her hull shape will make her exceptionally seakindly offshore and will provide excellent sailing performance.

As was the case with Stormy Weather, she will bypass some modern amenities such as air conditioning and generator, but will be equipped with an engine-driven watermaker and a fully integrated Raymarine electronics package.

Construction on Anna commenced in July at Brooklin Boat Yard. She is due for delivery to her owner in the summer of 2007.

He plans to cruise her extensively and compete on the classic yacht circuit in the United States and abroad in the Spirit of Tradition class.