Posted on January 27, 2020 by admin
Anna is a custom 65ft Spirit of Tradition yacht with some very high-tech features concealed beneath her classic exterior, reports Alison Langley.
When approaching Anna moored at the dock, it’s hard to immediately tell whether she is a restored classic or a recently built replica. In fact, neither is true; Anna is a new build designed to include both the virtues of a classic yacht and the technical achievements of a modern cruiser.
Anna’s story began two decades ago when owner Tony Merck began thinking about stepping up from small classic daysailers, like the Herreshoff 12 1⁄2 and the Bjarne Aas-designed International One-Design, into a larger cruiser that could maintain a classic aesthetic.
Merck had watched the birth of the Spirit of Tradition genre and had followed boats like the Pedrick-designed carbon beauty Savannah, as well as the Joel White-designed W-Class day racers. But his ambitions lay less with recreating an early 20th Century racer. Instead he admired the sturdy, able cruisers from past designers such as Fife and Alden, while he also loved the modern construction and high specification of this new generation of classics.
In the summer of 2015, Tony approached Robert Stephens of Stephens Waring Yacht Design and work began on proposal sketches for the boat that would become Anna at their design offices in Belfast, Maine. Stephens has had a lot of experience with modern wood construction, having worked in the Spirit of Tradition genre since before it even had a name.
Tony and his wife Ann knew they wanted her to be built in Maine, but were not set on a yard. Robert Stephens and business partner Paul Waring took Tony on a guided tour of five top Maine yards before deciding to go with Lyman Morse, of Thomaston. Coincidently, Tony had played soccer and rebuilt old cars with yard founder Cabot Lyman in prep school some 50 years before.