Ever since I saw Bob's design for the the 52 foot cutter I had been thinking that it had a fabulous hull, low slung and powerful in profile. But I began thinking about what I would do with the design. I actually loaded the JPEG of the cutter into my drafting program and was playing around with the main cabin profile for the heck of it. It was kind of like when I was a kid and I would see some design by Rhodes or Alden that would capture my imagination and I would grid off a magazine image, redraft it, playing with this or that.
I dropped Bob an email with my sketched over design for critique and Bob was kind enough to consider what I had sent him and comment on it. He also suggested that I post it so here it is.
Here is my thinking that led to the sketch: As Bob had drawn the cutter, the hull struck me as having a strong horizontality that is both sleek and powerful at the same time. It felt like the cabin trunks and doghouse wanted to read as more sympathetically horizontal. It seemed like it would be helpful to visually move the doghouse aft a little. I say visually because there were physical constrains within the layout that placed the doghouse where it was. I also thought that it would be useful to get a venting ports above the galley, dinette and bunk rooms.
The changes that I am trying to represent in my sketch were meant to create a more prominent beltline by raising the top of the forward trunk cabin so that it was more visible aft of the mast and so it merges with the vertical height of the cockpit coaming continuing that horizontal line past the doghouse.
To further emphasize that I pulled the sides of the doghouse in a little so that the tight radius where the trunk meets the cabin top of the forward trunk cabin runs below the doghouse, and I added a drip rail that could then merge with the coaming cap. I also increased the crown of the doghouse coach roof.
In combination this decreased the vertical dimension of the doghouse fixed portlights making them read more horizontal. This then allowed me to insert operable ports in the trunk cabin side above the galley, dinette and bunk rooms. To visually move the doghouse aft and to make it appear more traditional (as well as to add shelter at the forward end of the cockpit), I extended the aft edge of the doghouse coach roof out over the ends of the cockpit seats. I also slightly more steeply raked the leading edge of the doghouse.
I thought a little about what I might do if this were a design for me instead of Bob's client, and so thought about messing with the rig a little; maybe adding more height and rake to the mast, extending the length of the boom to make the mainsail more powerful for reaching, perhaps shifting the mast forward slightly and greatly increasing the hoist of the staysail. In other words, given my preference for fractional rigs, moving to a fractional rig with a masthead reacher on a topdown furler from the end of the sprit. I did not draft that change because as as I thought about those kinds of rig changes, it occurred to me that I am not the client here and Bob's client wants a cutter rig.
But it was a nice day dream,