MacLear & Harris, Yacht Designers

Discussion in 'Motorsailers' started by Tad, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    Someone mentioned they could find nothing on MacLear & Harris, here's a bit.

    From 1959 to 1967 Frank MacLear and Robert Harris operated as partners in the New York yacht design firm of MacLear & Harris. The firm specialized in multihulls and had a number of successes in this field, but they also did other diverse projects.

    Frank Reynolds MacLear, (Born Denver Colorado1920- D. 2004) graduated from the University of Michagan in 1943 with a BS degree in naval architecture and marine engineering. He first worked at Ingalls Shipbuilding and in the US Navy at Norfolk and in Great Britain overseeing construction and repair. After the war he undertook graduate studies at the University of Geneva. He worked briefly at Sparkman & Stephens in 1948. He then went sailing, racing and passagemaking aboard a great variety of yachts until the late 1950’s. In 1959 with Robert Harris he co-founded MacLear & Harris. Though “Bob” Harris left the partnership in 1967, MacLear carried on under the MacLear & Harris name in New York until he retired sometime in the 90’s. He died in 2004. Notably Dave Gerr worked under MacLear from 79 until 1983.

    Robert Buckman Harris, (Born New Hampshire 1922-) Best known as a long term employee at Sparkman & Stephens, a multihull pioneer, and designer of the Vancouver series of cruising yachts. After being appointed a cadet at the US Merchant Marine Accademy in 1942, Harris saw wartime service in the Merchant Marine. In 1945, with a mate’s certificate, he sailed aboard the Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Society’s big ketch Atlantis. He then moved into a four year apprenticeship ashore at the Crosby Yacht Building Yard in Oyster Bay, NY. I believe he completed the Westlawn Yacht Design Course during this time. Also he designed and built his first catamaran (Naramatac) in 1948. In 1950 he joined Sparkman & Stephens where he stayed until 1957, working closely with Al Mason among others. In his spare time he was designing and building early catamaran’s, notably the cold-molded Tiger Cat, which won Yachting Magazine’s one of a kind race in 1959.

    In 1957 Harris moved to Grumman Aircraft and then joined designer/builder Robert Derecktor for a short time before forming MacLear & Harris to specialize in Multihull Design. His two books on multihulls, Modern Sailing Catamarans, 1960, and Racing and Cruising Trimarans, 1970, were recognized as pioneering work in the field. He left M&H in 1967 to rejoin Sparkman & Stephens for several years before going back into multihulls in the early 70’s. In 1972 he moved to Vancouver BC and set up a small office. Output at this time included commercial naval architecture, multihull design, and a great deal of production monohull yacht design, mostly for Taiwanese Yacht Builders, Jefferson (motoryachts) and Tayana (sailing yachts). Still living in Vancouver, at 85 Bob is a few years into so-called retirement, but he still draws and is involved in various small local design projects. I believe he has completed a Biography and I hope to see it published before too long.

    The design output of MacLear & Harris was varied, but one of the boats that Bob worked on while at S&S was the Johnson’s last Yankee, a steel ketch with twin centerboards. At M&H Frank and Bob coupled the double-ended canoe stern with twin centerboards and a single stick almost midships, thus creating one the great ocean cruising yachts, Angantyr. She was built for Jim Crawford, who had a great deal of experience having circumnavigated in the 60’ Alden schooner Dirigo. With her mast almost midships, Angantyr was referred to as a “one masted schooner”. Bob Harris was to use this hull form, with the cutter rig, and sometimes with the twin centerboards, in the much later Vancouver series of sailing yachts. MacLear was to move on to fewer, but much grander projects including Aria, (87’ cutter) built by Palmer Johnson in the mid 70’s. MacLear more or less led the way to the giant cutter/sloops of today; he was a first adapter of electric sheet winches and furlers to handle huge rigs with short crew.

    Aria
    Aria.jpg

    maclear52.jpg

    m&h41.jpg
     
  2. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

  3. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    RHP, if you google you find a few boats for sale but that's about it. The powerboat you found was originally called Lucky Pierre and she had twin 300 HP Cummins engines and cruised at 12 knots. She could use a spray knocker at 17!!
    1815073_31.jpg

    Heres another, the 73' ketch Jubilee at the start of the 1970 Bermuda Race.
    Jubilee1970.jpg
     
  4. MarkC
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    MarkC Senior Member

    Is there any more info on those 52' motorsailors by MacLear? I've googled and only found a text reference that one was launched in 1971.
     
  5. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    Mark,

    I have a feeling at least two 52' hulls were built, Halmatic (England) molded the hulls and Berthon finished out the first one, called Delfina. An artical in Sail Magazine named HOBCO Marine Systems as the owner and manufacturer of the electric furlers on the main and two headsails. She had a 130 HP Perkins running a 30" three-bladed controllable pitch prop through a 3:1 reduction gear.
     
  6. MarkC
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    MarkC Senior Member

    Thank you Tad!

    The 52' Delfin is a different take on the motor-sailor theme. A very interesting look. Seems to be an expedition yacht with good space inside and not a lot of deck-entertainment space.

    I wonder if the design was successful? - with only two boats made I fear not? Maybe it is only me that finds this design striking. I like the mix.

    I don't know which sail-plan I would choose and I would probably like the boat better in a metal rather than glass.
     
  7. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Hi Mark,

    M&H´s designs are all well thought through which is what makes them so interesting. Modern boats in comparison have become so bland.

    I recall reading last year that one of the Delfins was basically completed but unused for 30 years. A fellow then bought it and restored her just recently but maintained all the original spec kit and described it himself as a floating museum! The yacht is now used regularly.

    I guess the other hull passed through a few hands as she was featured in the UK brokerage press quite regularly in the 1980-1990´s but I havent seen her advertised for at least 10 years.

    Anyone have any updated info on wheraebouts of this yacht or anyother M&H?

    Good day and weekend to all,
    Richard
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2008
  8. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Attached Files:

  9. MarkC
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    MarkC Senior Member

    Good find!

    Sounds like one loved little ship that has been places.

    I wonder if it was ever fitted with the original rig? It seems also that a few changes to the sheer - and deck have been made.
     
  10. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

  11. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Gents, to revive an old thread.

    This yacht claims to be a Maclear and Harris but as we don't seem to have a list of designs I can't confirm it is with any certainty. She's a great long term cruiser though...

    Shipyard / Manufacturer:Halmatic
    length:17.28 m
    width:4.85 m
    Draft:2.00 m
    Material:GRP
    Year Built:1975
    Operating Hours:485 h
    Weight:26,000.00 kg
    Fuel Tank:1000.00 l
    Freshwater Tank:1200.00 l
    Waste Tank:200.00 l
    Number of Engines:1
    Engine Model:Volvo Penta D7 (built in 2015)
    Drive diesel with inboard
    Engine power:200 kW (272 hp)
    Number of Cabins:5
    Number of Berths:8
    Number of Bathrooms:3
    WC:Electric Toilet with Sink & Shower

    I shudder to think at the cosst of building such a yacht today...

    halmatic ketch.jpg
    halmatic.2.jpg
     

  12. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Naval Architects comments on the design for Rhapsody in Blue

    MacLear & Harris Inc.

    The “Out Island 52” is not a minimum boat, but rather the opposite. Everything is on the generous side, including; elbow room, berth size, stowage volume, head size, number of showers, water an fuel capacity, engine horsepower, reduction gear ratio, propeller diameter, generator capacity, refrigerator compressors (three), freezer volume, heat pumps (with ample cooling and heating), ground tackle and capstan, flying bridge deck area and almost all other desirable characteristics.

    The “Out Island 52” design is a development of the best yachts and commercial fishing boats of the world today. Commercial fishing boat hulls were not suitable because their full ends, which are required to carry enormous loads of fish, detract from a pleasure boat’s performance. Current power yacht forms were considerably modified because they are inadequate in many respects. They are too weight sensitive and cannot carry sufficient fuel or water. Their shallow draft lets them be blown about by the wind when maneuvering and coming alongside in congested areas or tight spots.

    Most power yachts roll far too much and very few have usable and effective steadying sails. Steadying sails were specified because they are reliable and relatively inexpensive and reduce roll considerably in a boat of this size. On the other hand power stabilizers can be fitted by those who want them. Others may prefer flopper stoppers, or no sails at all, but it seems apparent that steadying sails will best suit many owners. These can now be electrically roller reefing and furling.

    It is strongly believed that most power yachts have too much top hamper and look and feel top heavy at sea. While the “Out Island 52” provides a high platform for the skipper and those who want to be high, neither the bow nor the stern have high deckhouses. Headroom forward is achieved by giving the bow generous freeboard (a healthy characteristic) rather than a large vulnerable glass house (unhealthy). It was deemed a sound principle to create a hull large enough so that you could live in it without having to build a great quantity of deckhouse to accommodate people. Thus the “Out Island 52” has taken some of the healthy characteristics of commercial fishing boats and combined them with the most attractive features of yachts. The proportion of hull volume to superstructure volume is favorable for a craft that is expected to go anywhere offshore.

    The “Out Island 52” draws about one foot more than many yachts of her size on the East Coast, and yet she draws about one and a half feet less than some of the offshore yachts of the West Coast. This was considered a good middle road to take, for it provides good seakeeping qualities with virtually no pounding and yet permits the boat to go into most desirable harbors.

    While speed was certainly not a primary factor, it was considered reasonable that the ”Out Island 52” be able to go 15% faster than a comparable workboat. She was definitely required to go 200 to 500 percent further than current yachts without refueling. She had to have three times the water capacity of the average yacht 52 feet long.

    The bridge is protected from the wind by a giant venture which is far more effective than anything currently seen on boats of this size. This results in maximum visibility with excellent protection from the weather.

    The anchor and anchor windlass are “oversized” by normal standards but provide security and permits the skipper to sleep soundly. The number one anchor is a plow anchor that is self stowing in a bowsprit, and need not be handled. The chain is self stowing and no one need go below to tier it down. The chain is oversized permitting the boat to lie to a shorter scope because the chain’s weight provides a better angle for the anchor and more shock absorbing qualities than would a lighter “adequate” chain.

    The deeper draft permits the use of larger reduction gear (3 to 1) which results in larger propellers which have the following advantages; more efficient fuel consumption, grips the water better when maneuvering (better stopping power and greater acceleration), slower turning results in less vibration, and deeper propeller less likely to cavitate in high sea conditions. The deeper draft gives directional stability which makes the boat hold a course more steadily and makes her steer like a larger craft in heavy weather. The deeper draft also permits more deadrise in the forward 2/3 of the vessel (more “v”) resulting in less pounding a more gentle roll period.

    In summary, the “Out Island 52” is comfortable, able, rugged in every sense, and you feel that she is “in the water” not rolling around on top of it.
    r8.jpg r9.jpg r10.jpg r11.jpg
    1966 Derecktor Trawler Motorsailor http://www.edwardsyachtsales.com/boat/1966/derecktor/trawler-motorsailor/1458/

    Sadly it appears she was sunk during a hurricane and is on her knees:
    YachtSalvage.com - Derecktor 52' 1966 for sale http://www.yachtsalvage.com/Listings/YS180057.htm#photos
     
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