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Small Custom

The HYD office roots are in small custom yachts and even today, despite the breadth of the studio’s portfolio, this sector of the market still plays an important role. From a creative point of view this can be an invigorating sector and often involves clients who are looking for something very individualistic, something that they cannot find in the wide production-built offering of the general market.

Building a custom cruising yacht can be the epitome of an owner’s dream, and not only can he realise this in terms of aesthetic and ergonomic manifestation of this aspiration, but custom build offers construction methods which can be more weight-efficient than conventional glass reinforced plastic construction.

For example, the office has a designed a number of weight-efficient wooden boats over the years, in both strip-planked cedar and cold-moulded mahogany, and enjoys a breadth of experience that covers most of the construction options. A good example of a boat built for a client who couldn’t find what he wanted in the market at the time is John Dare’s Apriori, built by Neville Hutton in 1987. Conceived as a boat that could win races and provide an excellent cruising platform, the history to date is absolute testimony to those original ideals. Not only did Apriori win two RORC Yacht of the Year awards – and under different rating systems at that – she then ‘retired’ to a more sedentary cruising role under the same, very satisfied ownership. John still owns Apriori today, and she looks as fresh as ever.

A more recent example of a successful custom project is John de Trafford’s Alisara. John had evidently carried the concept of this boat in his minds’ eye for years, and as his retirement drew near he approached us to turn this dream into reality. The result is a reasonably high performance boat with short-handed capability, with a lifting keel facility that allows him to access the quietest creeks.

Please click on the bottom of the image opposite to view our recent small custom projects or visit the design archive section for more.