Chuck Paine designs were never strictly designed for racing. They were designed to sail fast through the water and to point really well, of course, and to look aesthetically gorgeous, but with never a thought to the handicap rating. Everyone knows if you distort a hull just a little bit you can achieve a “rule beater” that will deliver a high “corrected time” – until the rule changes. That’s the problem, though. The handicap formula changes over time, so today’s rule beater becomes tomorrow’s dog.

Paine designs were arrived at in a different way. The major design offices apart from Chuck Paine’s were located in big and expensive cities – New York City, Newport, San Diego and Annapolis. Rents and salaries were sky high. This limited the time that could be spent on each design. Chuck Paine’s office was located in Camden, Maine, and despite its beautiful waterfront location cost less than half the rent of his high-flying competitors. And his staff of up to five highly skilled designers all chose the lifestyle of rural Maine over the big expensive cities with their traffic and stress, and were content with the more modest salaries that went with it. A few lucky early breaks in Chuck’s early career meant that significant royalties poured in from such famous yacht builders as Morris, Able, Cabo Rico, Kanter, Bowman and Victoria Yachts and others.

The combination of low costs and a regular flow of income meant that Paine designs could consume a lot more hours of skilled work, and cost the patron not a penny more than the big-city competitors. Every Chuck Paine design had its hull personally sculpted by Chuck himself. All of the designs now winning races were designed in the ancient “Herreshoff” fashion. Chuck Paine himself would produce the preliminary design, then hand-carve a sugar pine half model of the hull- even if subsequently the hull lines were transferred to a computer for additional benefits. The use of a half model enabled Chuck to use not only his eyes but his hands to achieve complete hull fairness in every respect of the word. Only now, many years and handicap rule iterations later, is the result of this laborious process becoming recognized. There is simply no other design that is as “fair” (resulting in just a tiny bit less resistance to passage through the water) nor as aesthetically pleasing as one from of the office of Chuck Paine.

And as a result:


First in Class , first in fleet:    SELKIE   Morris Ocean 32.5   Skipper Chip Bradish

First in Class                           ESCAPADE  Morris Ocean 46   Skipper Tom Bowker


Newport to Bermuda (Singlehanded)

First in Class, first in fleet:     YANKEE GIRL  Morris Ocean 36  Skipper S. Zachary Lee

Second in Class, 4th in fleet:    BLUEBIRD         Morris Ocean 36   Skipper Gust Stringos

Bermuda to Newport (doublehanded)

First in Class:                          BLUEBIRD         Morris Ocean 36

Second in Class:                      YANKEE GIRL  Morris Ocean 36

Congratulations to the skippers and crews for their fine performances!

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