Dick Cross' Francis, KarmaAcclaimed yacht designer Chuck Paine's first independent design and build was the lovely Frances, a 26' double ender inspired by Scottish workboats. She was originally designed as a modified flush deck cruiser and built by Chuck in Maine, strip planked. Later she was produced by the incomparable firm Morris Yachts of Bass Harbor Maine in both the flush decked version and a cabin version which was, I believe, more popular, understandably, but aesthetically, in my opinion, not the equal of the flush decked version. Chuck was traveling in Europe when he spotted some Scot's workboats he realized would make a very nice yacht with some alterations. He'd carried with him a sketchbook which happily survived the trip, so we are privy to his initial thoughts on this seminal design. Upon his return to the States in 1973, Chuck rented workspace in Camden, Maine and began building. She's fuller in the bilges and probably deeper than her progenitors, influenced by lessons learned from working for Dick Carter designing IOR racing yachts. He completed the build in 1975 at Tom Morris' yard, beginning a long and fruitful relationship. Chuck designed many boats for Morris and established his own design firm, C. W. Paine over 30 years ago. Chuck has retired recently but plans for many of his desgns, including Frances and her little sister Carol are available from Mark Fitzgerald at Fitzgerald Marine Architecture. I've sent for the Frances study plans, my first set. Not because I intend to build, as of now, but simply because she's so compelling. Anyone contemplating a big voyage in a small boat should take a look at these two designs, reading especially Chuck's thought's re: Carol.
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