The Marblehead 22

In his book Wind, Sand and Stars, famed French pilot Antoine de Saint-Expry wrote, “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Fair enough. But while this may be true of airplanes, in the world of naval architecture, there are aesthetic considerations as well.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
mhead



In his book Wind, Sand and Stars, famed French pilot Antoine de Saint-Expry wrote, “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Fair enough. But while this may be true of airplanes, in the world of naval architecture, there are aesthetic considerations as well.

Take the new Marblehead 22 daysailer: on the one hand the boat is simplicity itself, thanks to its wishbone rig. It also happens to sail quite well. But these practical considerations miss the fact that the boat is also beautiful to look at, a joy to behold whether you are holding the tiller or watching her, green with envy, from the dock. Form may follow function, but when it comes to boats, it’s important that a designer have a good “eye,” and Marblehead 22 designer Doug Zurn has a good one, indeed.

I had a chance to take hull #1 for a sail on a warm spring day on Marblehead Harbor, Massachusetts, and was immediately impressed by both the looks and performance of this new boat. From the waterline up, the M22 is classic in its approach, with its plumb bow, graceful sheer and overhanging reverse transom.

A crowded anchorage or skirting the end of a dock. Singlinghanding the M22 on a daysail would be simple. Zurn, who was aboard for our test sail, said he also envisions the boat taking part in a kind of casual, gentlemanly one-design racing scene.

In addition to the boat’s magnificent cockpit—which at 11ft 9in provides plenty of room for you and your friends—there’s a surprisingly large cuddy forward for stowing provisions or getting little ones out of the sun. Epoxy-laminated cold-molded wood construction results in a hull that is both light and wonderfully solid.

The boat includes positive flotation forward, amidships and aft, while a varnished teak transom and coamings serve as nice highlights to the Awlgripped hull. Workmanship throughout was is fantastic. There is an option for an electric motor, though I suspect you won’t need it much, given this boat’s sparkling performance.


Specifications

LOA 22ft 9in

LWL 18ft 8in

BEAM 6ft 10in

DRAFT 3ft 6in

DISPLACEMENT 2,300lb

BALLAST 1,260lb

SAIL AREA 271ft2

DESIGNER Doug Zurn

BUILDER Samoset Boatworks Inc., Boothbay, Maine, 207-633-8350

PRICE $84,500

Ballast Ratio 55

Sail Area-Displacement Ratio 25 (light ship)

Displacement-Length Ratio 158 (light ship)

Related

Jerome

Point of SAIL: Jerome Rand

In the first episode of Point of SAIL, the SAIL magazine podcast, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with circumnavigator Jerome Rand about his adventures, past and future. For more information, visit Jerome's YouTube channel July 2020 ...read more

01-NEW-shutterstock_727520281

Cruising: Belize on a Multihull

In my experience, every charter has a kind of a theme to it, often encapsulated in a single moment. For me, during a recent weeklong charter off the coast of Belize that moment came toward the end of our first day out. We’d left the Sunsail base (sunsail.com), located part way ...read more

01-LEAD-View-of-the-Bow

Know-How: Marlinspike Seamanship in the Arctic

I was crewing aboard a boat named Breskell, a 51ft cutter-rigged, cold-molded, mahogany sloop. We were voyaging from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Port Townsend, Washington, via the Northwest Passage. A few days before setting sail, the captain, Olivier Huin, asked me to secure ...read more

Prop-Coat-Barnacle-Barrier-Quart-No-Background

Gear: Prop Coat Barnacle Barrier

Prop Coat Barnacle Barrier 1792 is now available in a quart-size can and, as always, can be used on all underwater metals, including saildrives, shafts, strainers and folding and non-folding props. Two or three coats are recommended, after which the coating will purportedly ...read more

DY_171021_6877

Boat Review: Seawind 1600

Seawind Catamarans introduced its 52ft 1600 model in Europe last year, where the boat promptly started winning awards. The more jaded among us may look askance at such things, especially when it comes to a bluewater-rated catamaran billed as a providing a combination of ...read more