• A Tour of Custom Sail Boats

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    Luxx asked Suzanne Leahy, a custom sail boat builder, to take us on a tour of some of the most popular boats that capture the traditions of Cape Cod: the Classic Cat, the Baybird, and the Hurricane.

    The Classic Cat
    This 14-foot gaff rigged boat’s lineage can be traced back to the last century. Over the years, modern builders have made some concessions to the originals, using modern composite materials that contribute to greater durability. Wooden spars round out a functional package. The hollow rig is very light and the 35-40 pound mast is easily stepped.

    The basic price is about $19,000 for a craft 14 feet across with a length of nearly 13 feet and a 7-foot beam. It displaces 650 pounds.

    Its large, open cockpit with comfortable bench seats can accommodate four or more adults. Its single gaff-rigged sale ensures a stable ride that is both forgiving and challenging, according to the skipper’s ability or enthusiasm at the moment.

    The Baybird
    Originally designed in 1916 in Marblehead, the first fleet of Baybirds moved south to Duxbury and eventually to the Chatham Yacht Club. Over the years, they were staples at summer camps from Quanset to Pleasant Bay. Only two of the originals have survived.
    Pleasant Bay Boat and Spar today is recognized as the sole builder of the official Baybird, which costs about $35,000 before accessories.

    “In the time that has passed since we became involved with Baybirds, our focus has shifted from fiberglass construction back to a more modern interpretation of a wooden boat,” says Leahy, a trained sculptor, who drew the hull profile and body. The first new wooden Baybird was completed in 2010, nearly 90 years after the first one was built. It measures 18 feet in length, 5-foot, 6-inch beam, and displaces 650 pounds.

    The Hurricane
    This sloop is a keel-centerboard boat, making it perfect to gunk hole in shallow waters, while retaining stability and the thrill of a performance sailboat. Like the Classic Cat and Baybird, its gaff rig keeps the center of effort low, making sail handling fun, efficient and seaworthy. Sail handling is accessible from the cockpit.

    The traditional wood trim adds to its inherent and classic beauty. The 11-foot cockpit is roomy and open, featuring slatted cedar seats and floorboards. The bilge is completely accessible, and there is ample storage aboard. About 850 pounds of lead have been added for better ballast. The Hurricane has a big boat feel: stable and dry, but easily managed by the solo sailor. This 18-footer’s costs start at $40,000.

    If you would like to learn more about these custom sailboats or talk with Suzanne, email us at concierge@luxxcapecod.com. We’d be delighted to connect you.


    April 28, 2014