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Inside Angle: Conversations with a Yacht Designer

Designers are often glued to their phones, but is it all work?

Recently, I found myself involved in a four-man text thread about ... uhh, boats, along with a yacht captain, the yacht’s owner and another experienced boat-owning friend. The captain and owner had probably been drinking beer ashore (they call it a safety meeting), and someone posed the following challenge: I’ll bring you along with us as we attempted to decide one of the more pressing issues of our time:

OK, manliest powerboats of the 20th century (some are classics now). Production boats only. USS Iowa doesn’t count.

Bertram 54. The owner uses his back hair to scrub the barnacles off the bottom every five years.

Whaler Montauk 17. Use it to catch the fish that the guy in the Bertram 54 lies about.

Donzi 18. More of a badass than the Donzi Sweet 16.

A boat called Sweet 16 cannot be on the list, no matter how cool.

Cigarette 35 Cafe Racer.

(unimpressed emoji)

Moving on.

1930s triple cockpit runabout.

How about a real boat? A Krogen 48 Whaleback will actually take you places. You know, boating?

At 6 knots, assuming no current. Look out ladies, here I come!

48 Whaleback, yes. Driving around the planet is pretty manly.

Nordhavn 62. Like the short school bus, it takes forever to get there, but you know it will. I have personal experience with both.

Fountain 10 Meter Executioner.

Does it come with the black satin jacket for those 90-degree days on the water?

Reggie Fountain charged extra for the jacket.

My grandfather was a high school history teacher and football coach. He and his best bud, the school principal, built their own aluminum jon boats and fished every day before school. They taught me to fish when I was four.

That’s properly manly.

Properly? Are you suddenly English?

OK, so we have established that the manliest production boat of the 20th century is something you can teach a kid to fish from while cruising around the world at 70 knots.

In a black satin jacket. (Sunglass emoji)

And it’s not a production boat at all because a real man builds his own boat.

A real man with three months off.

Buy a boat, teach a kid to fish and cruise as much as you can while keeping the ladies happy. Real boat. Real man. Real life.

In a black satin jacket. (Sunglass emoji)

Stop that.

Successful safety meeting. One world problem solved. Next week: same time, same place.

This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.