Lyman Morse 46


Lyman-Morse, based in Thomaston, Maine, has long been known as one of America’s premier builders of custom and semi-custom yachts. This spring, the company introduced a new build project that seems to be the fruit of a life-long of experience by the company’s principals building boats and sailing more than 170,000 miles in their own boats.  Cabot and Heidi Lyman have been cruisers and voyagers for all of their lives and many years ago took a sabbatical from boatbuilding to sail around the world with their two sons aboard their Seguin 50 Chewinck. In total, Cabot and Heidi have lived aboard their cruising boats for sixteen years.

   With their son Drew now running Lyman-Morse, Cabot and Heidi, with Drew, have decided to build a new LM46 to a design by their old friend, New Zealand yacht designer Kevin Dibley. The new boat was conceived as something of a throwback combined with the most modern build technology and techniques. The throwback concept is to keep the boat simple with few gadgets, limited electronics and limited systems so time spent repairing and maintaining the 46 will be low to none.

The modern side of the equation lies in the Dibley design, which has a very Kiwi flare with a plumb bow and short sprit, flat sheer, low blister-style cabin truck and simple squared-off transom. And, you’ll find leading edge concepts in the rig, which has a 63-foot mast so it will be ICW compatible, a fractional fore triangle, swept-back spreaders and no backstay. The main is a big square-top sail with tons of power. The working jib is small and easy to tack. A staysail can be rigged on a demountable inner stay for heavy weather sailing. And, an asymmetrical chute can be flown on a top-down furler from the bow sprit. The boat is a 10-knot cruiser that a couple can handle from the cockpit.

In this modern age of high-tech composite yacht construction, it is interesting that LM decided to build the new 46 with a wood, cold-molded hull.  The hull will be created with laminated planks of Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar. It is important to the builder that these materials are sustainable in an effort to keep the whole build to the lowest carbon footprint as possible.  Of course, the deck, hull-to-deck joint and all other structural aspects will be built with high tech materials to make the boat as watertight and strong as possible.

A wood hull has a different feel than a composite hull. The wood adds sound and heat insulation so it is quieter below decks, cooler in hot weather and warmer in cool weather. The boat will have a softer ride, even when it is screaming along under a spinnaker through a bouncy sea. The design has a 43-foot waterline and a displacement-length ratio of 126, so it is reasonable to predict that in the right conditions it will be capable of 200 and even 240 miles 24-hour runs. Plus, it will be easy to steer, either for a helmsperson or the autopilot.

The cockpit has twin wheels on simple pedestals, twin bench seats, a fold-down stern platform and no cockpit table.  The sailing instruments will be mounted on both sides of the companionway and the builders envision doing away with a multifunction display and using a GPS-enabled tablet to run the chart plotting software.  If you want to add radar, you can go with something like Furuno’s 1st Wireless radars that can display the image on any iOS device, such as your iPhone or iPad.

   Down below, the new LM46 is an interesting blend of old-fashioned simplicity with classic Herreshoff styling. The bulkheads are white and offset the pale wood ceilings and light colored flooring with classic yacht style. The light overhead combined with the large overhead hatch, will make the interior bright but also comfortably warm

The forward cabin has a centerline double berth with open storage for duffles and other personals. The head and sink are aft to starboard while the shower stall is across from it. There is a small quarter cabin aft to port that will be the guest cabin and will also make a fine sea berth when on passage. Just forward is the proper chart table.

  The galley is spacious with plenty of counter space, a large single stainless-steel sink and a four-burner Force 10 stove and over. The cabinets are all open and interestingly there are no galley cabinets above the counter level, which opens up the whole interior a lot.

The L-shaped dinette to starboard will seat three and the bench settee to port will seat two more.  There is a fourth berth outboard of the bench settee that will be great for kids and will be another excellent sea berth.

  The new LM46 has all the making of a truly classic modern cruising boat that will be a lot of fun to sail and faster than most monohulls. The styling is simple, modern and very attractive, while the living spaces are all you need and not more than you need for comfortable cruising and living aboard.  If you are looking to simplify your sailing life without giving up  really fun sailing, the LM46 could be for you. Read more here.



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