New morning Page 2

When San Francisco sailors Russ Irwin and Fay Mark decided to take sabbaticals from their business careers, she was managing Web sites for major corporations and he was a successful venture capitalist. They decided they would buy a yacht and head west until they got either “tired or bored.” While their multiyear plan included cruising through the islands of the South Pacific
Publish date:
Social count:
When San Francisco sailors Russ Irwin and Fay Mark decided to take sabbaticals from their business careers, she was managing Web sites for major corporations and he was a successful venture capitalist. They decided they would buy a yacht and head west until they got either “tired or bored.” While their multiyear plan included cruising through the islands of the South Pacific

“Because New Morning will be our home for at least 60 percent of every year,” says Mark, “the environment must have a comfort level that makes us feel something is on our side. After all, we are spending a lot of time in a smaller space than we are used to having ashore.” While their Swan was a beautiful yacht with a handsome interior, its interior teak trim made the belowdeck spaces feel smaller than they really were. That, they thought, wouldn’t work for them in tropical cruising grounds.

Psychology, Mark believes, is perhaps the primary element in all interior design. “Living in a small environment with more than just yourself is a lot to handle anyway,” she says. “And when you add to that the fact that many of the creature comforts you had on land aren’t coming with you, you have to make sure that the living spaces provide an environment that is both appealing and personal.”

Their first step in the design process was to include all the components that would be on board and then establish an overall length for the yacht. “Once we had all agreed on that number,” says Joy, “we started with the lines of one of our earlier designs. It was the same size, but the displacement was a good bit lighter. We then modified the underwater shape so the new yacht could not only carry a large payload, but would also be tremendously stiff; you might describe her as a gorgeous Lexus rather than a Ferrari.”

In general, Joy says, today’s yachts designed for offshore passagemaking are heavier than those of just a few years ago because cruisers are taking an increasing amount of equipment with them. Because of the extensive list of equipment that would be aboard New Morning, the design team made the bows slightly finer to allow the hull to sink into the water without distorting the lines. Then came another design hurdle: When all the equipment and living space had been accounted for, nobody was happy with the profile; it was a full 16 inches higher than the final version. Getting that down took a lot of creativity.

The interior living spaces also posed a design challenge—space management. Interior designer Jane Plachter-Vogel, who had been instrumental in crafting the interior of another successful Paine design, was involved early in the process. She came up with a number of novel ideas: the octagonal saloon, the linear galley, and the exquisite maple veneers and sculpted metal panels that would establish the belowdeck ambience. “The objective was to have a comfortable and workable interior for two people,” says Joy, “which is why the saloon is so warm and inviting. And you don’t have to climb down a ladder to get there, but rather you descend some beautifully proportioned steps.”

Full-size mockups of the cockpit and interior refined the concepts, and if they didn’t work as expected, they were altered until they did. When all the mockups had been modified and the final tweaks were accounted for, Joy produced a very detailed and accurate two-dimensional plan and profile and section drawings, which he forwarded to the builder. The builder’s design team, in turn, used their own powerful CAD software to create the three-dimensional profiles that were used by the build teams.

Irwin and Mark had decided they would be the project managers. They found the experience fascinating, though it took a lot more time than they had anticipated. “There were many more decisions than I’d imagined,” Irwin recalls now with a grin. “We’d spend hours discussing something that would involve a change of just two inches. It might be a cabinet, a table, or a storage locker and the interior volume that would be involved. But on a yacht this size two inches makes a big difference. While it’s true that you could let someone else make those decisions for you, we felt from the beginning that the essence of building a custom yacht is being able to invest the time and energy that’s needed to make those decisions.” If you don’t want to, or can’t, spend the time, he adds, you might think seriously about getting a production yacht instead because all those decisions are made for you.

After a midsummer launch last year, Irwin and Mark spent several months cruising the Maine coast before heading south to Bermuda and the Caribbean. “We’ve already got nearly a thousand miles on her,” said Irwin in late November, “and so far nothing has jumped out and said to us, ‘Whoa, what were you two thinking?’”



C.W. Paine/Ed Joy Design

Box 1015, Camden, ME 04843

Tel. 207-236-2166;


Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding

84 Knox Street,

Thomaston, ME 043861

Tel. 207-354-6904;


E-glass infused with vinylester resin; Corecell core in both hull and deck; carbon-fiber spars and rudderpost

To learn more about New Morning’s design features and detailed passage notes from her owners, go to



Paine Surfs his Finn in Cadiz

Check out this onboard footage of U.S. Olympic bronze medalist Caleb Paine surfing downwind in 30 knots of breeze during the recent 2018 Finn European Championships in Cadiz, Spain. Paine, who only recently returned to Finn sailing after taking a break following the 2016 Games in more


The ICW North Bound Migration Begins

As the northbound migration begins, we are getting some early reports on conditions along the ICW. The overall impression this spring is that after the damages caused by the hurricanes, the winter storms have apparently not made too many additional changes. There is even some more


Charter: Historic Croatia

Heaps of history—that’s not usually what comes to mind when you plan a sailing charter, but if you like a bit of culture mixed with your cruising, Croatia is the place to go. Caught between two worlds, (the whitewashed laid back vibe of the Mediterranean and the brash demeanor of more


Gear: Pan-Pan man-overboard Locator

There He Goes!The Pan-Pan man-overboard locator won a Pittman award for 2017 as a great idea, and now it is in production as the Weems & Plath CrewWatcher. It’s a two-part system that employs a smartphone app to locate a small personal beacon that triggers automatically should more


SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.comAnd don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter.Check back for updates!This was taken from half way across the 26 mile crossing more

Landing Page Lead

The Volvo Returns to the Southern Ocean

Since the Volvo Ocean Race’s inception, the Southern Ocean has made it what it is. And no part of the race says “Southern Ocean” like Leg 7 from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajaí, Brazil. The 7,600-mile leg, which starts this Sunday, is not only the longest of the event, but far more