Less than 80 Feet Sailing

Friendship 50

This story begins with another repeat client for Ted Fontaine. The client was in love with his Friendship 40 - its stunning beauty, quality of design and build, and the single handed performance. But as a project-oriented owner, he wanted to build a bigger boat to accomplish two things - more room below for extended cruising, and to squeeze as much speed as possible out of a 50' traditionally-styled sloop. It's the classic yacht design compromise: how to balance style and performance. A longer waterline is faster, but longer overhangs are more classically beautiful.

As he has done so many times before, designer Ted Fontaine has succeeded in creating the perfect balance. The design is 50.33' overall, with 37.24' waterline and 13.65' max beam. Because this owner doesn't need a shallow draft, the depth of the keel is 7.30'. The length and deep bulb keel will give this boat speed, while the beam will give it the stability and comfort that are expected and cherished in all Fontaine designs.

Additional speed and performance will also be a result of a lighter displacement build. The owner has chosen Rockport Marine in Maine, where the craftsmen are known for their excellent cold-molded wood construction. Though he even visited New Zealand for the building of his Friendship 40, the owner liked the idea of building domestically, where it is easier to visit and be a part of the process. The wood construction will also allow him to participate in some occasional racing as part of the growing 'Spirit of Tradition' class to showcase the speeds expected from this new yacht.

It is hard to improve upon the cockpit of the Friendship 40, so the 50 will maintain this coveted spaciousness, with all sailing systems controlled at the helm. There will be a large walk-around cockpit table with ergonimically perfect settees to port and starboard. All lines have custom storage bins, and the mainsheet is led aft of the helmsman where it is safe and out of the way of guests.

Below decks, the Friendship 50 is set up perfectly for coastal cruising. Maintaining a nice, open plan feel, the full galley is open to the full beam salon. Folding teak doors forward make it possible to either open the space up even more to include the forward stateroom or close it off for privacy. Almost never found on a boat of this size is the spacious head with separate stall shower... both musts for this owner who loves to spend the night on board.

Click here for more photos and updates on construction.



Principal Dimensions

Length over all: 50.33' 15.34 m
Length DWL: 37.24' 11.35 m
Beam max: 13.65' 4.16 m
Draft: 7.30' 2.2 m
Ballast: 11,354 lbs. 5,150 kg
Displacement: 28,406 lbs. 12,885 kg
Fuel capacity: 55 gals 208 liters
Fresh water capacity: 160 gals 605 liters
Mainsail: 737.4 sq. ft. 68.5 sq. m
Genoa: 705.1 sq. ft. 65.5 sq. m
Total sail area: 1442.5 sq. ft. 134.0 sq. m