History of the Nantucket Island Yacht
Ho Hsing PRF Ltd. Co was the manufacturer of the Nantucket Island and employed approximately 300 workers in several manufacturing plants. They produced the Albin 36 Trawler and the Sundowner Tugs in 30’ and 36’, as well as the Peter Cole designed Nantucket Island Sailboat in 31’ and 38’ versions. Here are some links for further research:
Many fine yachts are built in Asia as labor and materials are cheaper. Craftsmanship and work ethics are also higher than in the west. This results in a better end product for a much lower costs. The same holds true as one looks at South Africa and the rise of the multihull boat building industry. The automobile industry is a testament to this fact as one takes stock of the ratio of Asian vehicles on the road of North America today.
Australian Yacht designer, Peter Cole, has many successful yachts that were produced to his credit. Although he remains rather obscure in the west he is rather famous down under and in the land of the Kiwi’s. Peter Cole was from Sydney Harbor New South Wales and was both a sail maker and boat designer, who was also involved in many of the Americas Cup campaigns designing the 12 meter contender, “Steak and Kidney”. Some of Peter Cole’s designs are the Bounty 35, Cole 35 Pawtucket, Cole 43, Contessa 25, Cole 23, Traditional 30, Nantucket Island 33 and 38, and the Odyssey 38. Many of his designs sailed in the Sidney to Hobart Race which is known to be quite treacherous at times.
Mr. Cole’s design of the Nantucket Island 33 and 38 demonstrated that he also possessed an amazing ability to think outside the box. In the Nantucket Island you will find every cubic inch of space is utilized to its fullest potential. The interiors of the Nantucket Island feel far larger than their actual length. Once aboard, many say that the 33 feels like a 40 footer and the 38 feels like the interior of a 50 footer.
The Nantucket Island Yacht Design is very unique amongst sailing yachts as it incorporates a flush desk, center cockpit, aft cabin with high freeboard which expands the interior space exponentially, providing good standing headroom throughout. Storage space is quite ample for off shore cruising. The layout is very unique and well thought out, providing comfort and spaciousness in her design.
The Nantucket Island was built when polyester resin was still reasonably priced. This vessel was laid up by hand with the thought in mind that she should be able to stand up long term to the rigors of the sea with a very strong and stiff hull and deck, varying the thickness from ½” to 1” thick! She is solid fiberglass and no wood coring is used in her construction, including in the decks. This creates a yacht without the typical issues associated with rotting core issues, found in many yachts as they age and begin to spring leaks in the deck hardware. This saturates the wood core with water which in turn begins to rot and creates issues with soft spots in the decks and huge repair bills to correct! The design incorporates an encapsulated fixed keel, filled with 8500 pounds of balast, which eliminates keel bolts as well as any chance of the keel coming off of the hull! She has a 5.5 foot shoal draft hybrid design keel which reduces the drag compared to the typical full keeled blue water cruiser, yet maintains the directional stability of a full keel. The skeg hung rudder protects the rudder from damage. The propeller is also well protected from damage and entanglement.
The Nantucket Island hull is laid up on its side in two molds, one for each side. After curing the two halves of the hull are joined together at the centerline. This is a very complicated and expensive way to build a sailboat hull, which is why it is seldom employed by other manufacturers. It, however, produces an extremely strong hull. Once the hull is upright, lead shot is weighed out and installed in the keel cavity. This is closed off and sealed which creates the bilge. In the event of grounding, the encapsulated keel area cannot leak into the bilge even if massively damaged from an object below the waterline. This provides a safety margin that is quite comfortable and safe! The Nantucket Island is one of the safest bluewater sailboats available.
Nantucket Island yachts came in two versions, a 33’ and a 38’. The layout is a essentially the same in both boats. The primary difference between the 33’ and 38’versions was the option of a second head in the forward berth area, or a workshop area for the original purchaser who ordered a 38’ Nantucket Island yacht.
The 33’ version was more popular as approximately 50 were built in the early 1980s. The 38’ version is very rare as only five were built. Designer Peter Cole’s goal was to create a fine, first class sailing yacht that would meet a very specific criteria.
- The Nantucket should be well constructed, utilizing the best boat-building methods available. The vessel would be built to last and able to endure the rigors of a long life at sea.
- The Nantucket would be safe and well able to withstand heavy weather and rough seas typically found off the coast of Australia and New Zealand. She would also have a shoal draft, modified fin keel with a skeg hung rudder and protected propeller. She should be able to withstand grounding without the risk of losing her keel or sinking. Her draft would allow the ability to explore the many islands along the coast of Australia and New Zealand. The name Nantucket Island represents her ability to explore the world as well as coastal islands. Nantucket represents some of the most treacherous waters found anywhere on the planet with many shoals, off the East Coast of the USA. It was also the place where the world’s largest fleet of whaling ships was based in the early 1900s. Nantucket is also a place where the largest concentration of wealth can be found along its shores. Australia and New Zealand have a long held a fascination for America with their maritime exploits, as well as beholding the wealth and power of America. What better name for a world class, bluewater yacht that would be designed to a first class standard other than “Nantucket Island’ a place with a long maritime tradition of exploration, high standards and high society.
- The Nantucket Island yacht would be designed to be comfortable at sea during passage or at anchor in a remote paradise. High freeboard would keep her dryer during passage. Her center cockpit would place the crew in the safest place near the center of the yacht, away from boarding seas. Her flush decks would provide an unobstructed work area for changing sails and passage making deck work. At anchor the same flush decks would allow the crew ample space to lounge, socialize and enjoyed their surroundings.
- The Nantucket Island would also be designed to be comfortable, functional and spacious below deck as she is above deck. A large aft cabin master suite would provide the owner luxurious accommodations not commonly found on other yachts in this class. A large berth would provide ample space and comfort for the captain and his first mate. A settee would provide private space in the master cabin for lounging or reading. Plenty of storage areas would provide space for all of their gear. There would even be space in a closet to hang clothing so they would look presentable when they desired to go ashore. A large head with double raised panel doors would give the option to close off the companion way, providing privacy to the master’s cabin. With these doors closed one would find a generously sized head, typically not found on other yachts in this class. There is even room for a couple in the shower area,” to conserve water” 😉 An opening porthole provides ventilation.
- Moving forward you will find the navigation station to the right with a large chart table with ample storage for charts and navigation year. To your left you’ll find a lovely galley of a size and caliber not found on yachts of this size. The galley is laid out in such a way to allow two people to work side-by-side at preparing meals. It is also quite functional with plenty of storage, including a separate freezer and refrigerator. A large pantry provides for plenty of storage for dry goods. The sink is quite large as is the gimbaled stove, providing plenty of room to prepare a feast for crew or guests. The galley is open to the salon area so that the cooks can interact with the crew. Counter space separates the two areas providing a place in which to serve food to those in the dining area. In a seaway, the galley is perfectly set up to remain functional, yet safe as the cooks can wedge themselves in quite comfortably. Two opening portholes provide cross ventilation.
- The salon area is centrally located and can comfortably seat four to six adults. Extend the table leaf and there is room for three to four more adults. The salon table can be lowered and converted to a double bed for two. The adjacent settee can also double as an additional berth. Behind each settee are teak cabinets and bookshelves with an opening porthole on the Port and Starboard side for cross ventilation. An opening deck hatch allows the rising warm air a way to escape. There is storage under each settee, the 110 gallon fresh water SS tank is under the port settee and an addition 110 gallon tank is optional, under the starboard settee.
- Moving forward into the V berth, one will find another raised panel door which slides into a pocket in the forward bulkhead to conserve space, yet provide privacy. On the 38 foot Nantucket Island, the original owner had the option of adding a second head or having a workshop area. There is also storage under the V berth and another storage closet area across from the head. There are deck hatches for ventilation above each living space. Ports provide for additional ventilation and crossflow in the hulls; however no ports are upfront in the V berth area because of the danger of flooding due to wave action on the bow if accidentally left open. Ventilation is via a large 22”x22” opening deck hatch above.