“You can have all the money in the world, but the half-wit that designed that monstrosity should go back to school and learn naval architecture. ‘Carbuncle’ is too good for that piece of crap, it wouldn’t even make a decent reef…”

Today we are talking about Marmite…two boats at the opposite end of the spectrum, and we’d like your opinion on them. We’ve already received feedback on one of the boats on our Facebook page, which ranges from ‘fugly’ to ‘carbuncle’. But what is it?

Before we go there, you may remember a couple of weeks back we featured a boat in on of our videos and asked if anyone knew anything about it.

Brian H suggested a Dragon, designed by a Norwegian in the 1920s. Frederick Rourk also suggested the Olympic Dragon Class, and says the dragon class is making a comeback. And then Daniel Whittington got it touch and suggested we speak to one of the shipwrights based here in Krabi Boat Lagoon, which we did, and we got the low-down.

So, is it a Dragon? Not quite, the boat we showed you is an S&S. In fact Sparkman and Stephens designed it with Herman Whiton, and it was constructed in 1934 in Nevins Boat Yard, New York. It’s actually a 6 metre class racing boat. You may think it looks way more than 6 metres, which is true. In fact six metres is a class. They were the smallest international racing class, and many of these boats were the most technologically advanced racing vessels. But the class stipulates these specifications:

  • 38ft length overall
  • 23 feet 6inches to the waterline
  • 6 ft beam
  • 5.5ft draft.

Somehow S&S managed to get away with it by designing SY Erne to a total length of 40′ 1″. So the 6 metre description is misleading because it’s actually closer to 12 metres. Of course they are very narrow, and also very heavy with no accommodation. The keel comprises almost 70% of the total weight.

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SY Erne was sold to a racing enthusiast and spent 20 years on the great lakes. The next 20 years she was spent with a naval architect, and for 20 years after that she was kept in Maine and Mystic, Connecticut. In 1994 she was acquired by Gabriel Feldman, a shipwright and boat captain who sailed and raced her. Unfortunately her recent history is a little hazy and no-one’s entirely sure how she ended up in Krabi Boat Lagoon.


Brian H suggested that SY Erne could have been a Norwegian designed dragon. Although he was wrong there, SY Vinnia (also featured in the video, next to SY Erne) was Norwegian, designed by Jensen and Anker in 1935. In fact the Dragon class was designed by Johan Anker in 1929, so there is a strong correlation between the two.

Love or hate?

A photo of a new superyacht has been doing the rounds on the sailing forums this week and we posted it up on our followtheboat facebook page. It generated an unprecedented amount of comments, 99% of which were ‘fugly’!

“Yacht A” is a 12,000 ton 142m superyacht, designed by Philippe Starck. It has free-standing carbon-fibre masts, manufactured in the UK. Doyle USA made the carbon fibre sails and the hull was built in Kiel in Germany.

But forget all that. What we want to know is, what do you think of it? We posted this up on our Facebook page and received a torrent of negative response, including the quote from Andrew Stokes above. “Eye pollution” says Ian Foster, “It’s not pretty. At all. No marine person was involved in the design me thinks….” suggests Ron Pieck.

To find out what we think of “Yacht A” check out the video…




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