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  checkred.gif (967 bytes) An Introduction to Cat Ketch and Free-Standing Rig

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A traditional Maine activity and a very active one at that is the business of completing various builders' fiberglass hulls over the winter by scores of "Finishers and Installers".   I am very much involved in the custom boat design business, therefore,  that approach is of interest to me. The foray into the custom finished yacht construction, starting from a bare lobster boat hull, has been in the making for some time at Tanton's. The combination of design and construction is a strong temptation.

I would rather not re-invent the wheel, so a new hull designed by Spencer Lincoln and produced by Down-East Composites attracted me immensely and brought smiles to my face. As a designer, I have a good eye and hopefully good taste. The size was right, the shape excellent, the components well built, all pointing to a proven product to build on. I knew I could contribute positively to what was already there. Also very important is that the customer was sold on the idea from day one.

Maine has some of the best builders in the world. They are good, busy, not inexpensive and the numerous trips made out there were a little too much.  Therefore it became obvious that my own backyard is the place to complete the boat if we want a boat!

Builder Newport Yacht Joinery is "wood" talented and Rhode Island is "water" oriented. All is here to build or finish quality yachts. Conveniently located  between New York and Boston, I believe it to be the right spot for this sort of project where the customer's input is necessary and appreciated in order to achieve the result expected by all.

Well now; let's go to the Tanton 36' Express Cruiser, the first version built and available in the series.  What I like about her hull and size is proven versatility. The various designed model configurations that I can offer without absurdities is proof of the chameleon quality of a good design in the first place. All credit goes to Spencer Lincoln who has designed a superior, very adaptable "build-down" lobster hull.   In a build-down boat the midship wine glass section is run through the tuck and into the keel. Such model has less wetted surface, can have the engine located lower into the hull and have more buoyancy to carry weight aft. The long keel protects the propeller and rudder, a must for the demanding task of what is after all an offshore working vessel. The round bilge hull is slippery in the middle, fine forward with a shallow forefoot for a lobster boat and straight flat buttocks aft.

This boat has been "designed" and it shows; every line addresses specifically the problem at hand. I like that very much, and my enthusiasm for her bottom shape must be obvious.  The fiberglass construction runs the full spectrum of choices with this medium. Strength is not the issue but weight is. For instance a cored boat with scantlings pushed to the maximum will be 1,500 lbs. lighter than the solid glass version. A balsa cored vessel will be 1,000 lbs. lighter, and a hybrid with solid glass hull below waterline and cored topsides will shave 500 lbs. Performance and gravity go hand to hand.


The exclusive Tanton designed models cover Express and Flybridge Cruiser with the possibility of a second double cabin forward, Sport Fisherman and Picnic Boat.

Review the Specifications and Options above.  I welcome inquiries, comments, and…orders.


Principal Characteristics:

L.O.D 36'-0"

Beam 12'-8"

Draft 3'-6"

Here are just a few of the comments received about Tanton from professionals in the trade:

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"Yves-Marie de Tanton is one of the great designers but not exceedingly well known outside the trade. He pioneered the unstayed carbon fiber Cat-Ketch rig. He specializes in the sort of intensely personal custom designs that keep his customers coming back."    S. C. B.

"Yves-Marie is a very talented designer with lots of fresh ideas, a guy worth keeping tabs on."   D. S


"Tanton has designed some of the world’s fastest and most exotic racing yachts. This gives Tanton a most unusual perspective on design features for esoteric cruising boats."  R. H.  P.

"I had the pleasure of working with Yves-Marie when I was on the East coast. I must say that my own drawing style and design approach was markedly influenced by the six months that we worked together. Yves-Marie probably draws the fairest set of lines that I have ever seen. His lines gallery are truly works of art."  B. P.


"Tanton has never been accused of surrendering to convention."  Q. W.

"Tanton has already designed five boats for me and currently designing two more. This speaks for itself."  B.  G.

"Tanton had met the criterion creativity and had offered a highly professional design that would provide a two-person crew a uniquely capable world cruiser."  B. W.

"Un Franšais, Yves-Marie TANTON, s'est installÚ Ó la Mecque des U.S.A. : Newport. Il compte parmi les meilleurs."   G. R-D


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