Maxi-yacht construction in the United States has been pretty anemic since the Great Recession. But with the economy on the mend and the S&P 500’s record-crushing 29.6 percent uptick in 2013, there now appear to be some “green shoots” out there, with four new performance-maxi projects currently in build.
The first and most publicized is the 100-foot full-tilt ocean-racing machine under construction at Hodgdon Yachts in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Designed by French designers Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot-Prévost (VPLP) and Guillaume Verdier, the new boat is reportedly an evolution of the 2012-13 Vendée Globe winner Macif, and has been commissioned by Jim Clark (owner of the J Class Hanuman) to knock off a number of offshore speed records.
Brooklin Boat Yard, also in Maine, is currently building a 74-foot cold-molded racer-cruiser to a German Frers design. The new boat’s hull layup will include planks of Western Larch wrapped in carbon fiber and sandwiched together with a foam core in an epoxy matrix.
Further south, New England Boatworks, in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, is reportedly building a new 80-something-footer for racing skipper George David. The drawings are by Juan Kouyoumdjian, whose designs have won the past three editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. Details remained murky at press time, but if David’s recent record with the RP90 Rambler is any indication, expect this new maxi to be quick and masterfully sailed.
Finally, in Anacortes, Washington, White Knight Yachts is building an 87-footer to a Jim Donovan design. The new “T4” cruiser-racer maxi, as it’s being called, will feature a lifting keel, hydraulic winches, a carbon rig, dual helms and an expansive teak deck. Stay tuned for more details as these spectacular boats emerge from their sheds.