2010 Best Boats Deck and Cockpit Plan: Morris M52

This was one of the easier picks for our judging team, though no two judges seemed fully agreed on what exactly it is that makes the deck and cockpit of the new Morris M52 so special. Nigel Calder cited the boat’s perfectly pitched sheerline. Peter Nielsen liked the judicious-but-opulent laid teak deck. Charles Doane waxed poetic over the modern interpretation of a traditional butterfly hatch over the main saloon. Tom Dove liked the carefully positioned twin control pods either side of the helm. David Schmidt thought it all just plain “sweet.” Which is perhaps the best summation of the boat’s virtues.

As the new flagship in Morris’s sumptuous line of M-Series high-end daysailers, the 52’s cockpit incorporates the discreet belowdeck line-control systems perfected on smaller M-Series boats, with enough room forward of the one-man command center at the helm for a permanently mounted cockpit table and full-length cockpit seats affording maximum comfort for guests.

The clean, simple layout, combined with the subtle details, like the custom stainless-steel cockpit drain covers, create a working environment that makes the boat both very easy to sail and extremely beautiful. Proportions on deck—from the sheerline to the stepped-down cabinhouse profile and even including the canvas dodger—are nearly ideal. The opulent teak deck, we should note, is optional (it would be criminal to omit it); plus, there is also an option for varnished teak cladding on the cabinhouse sides and along the cockpit coamings, which we would dearly love to see. For more information, visit morrisyachts.com


LOA: 52ft 10in
LWL: 38ft 2in
Beam: 14ft
Draft: 6ft 8in
Displacement: 34,064 lbs
Sail area: 1,414 sq. ft.
Design: Sparkman & Stephens


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