John Whiticar is a rare combination of builder and designer. His knowledge of and sensitivity to the characteristics of the building materials allows him to draw boats that work-in the shop and at sea. They are easy to build and completely at home on the water in any conditions a reasonable human likely will encounter.
The Whiticar 76 is the largest yacht of John’s design to date. The profile is positively stunning in its fluid transitions from DWL to the tip of the tower. This yacht stands alone in its ability to wear the excrescences of the angler’s world with all the grace and beauty of the late Audrey Hepburn at the Oscars. A tender on the foredeck should look like a wart, but somehow Whiticar has made it less than obtrusive in some of the drawings.
A poorly conceived superstructure has ruined the looks of many yachts, so Whiticar took great pains to avoid this pitfall. The extreme rake of the fascia from the foredeck to the enclosed flying bridge suggests high speeds from little effort. The fastback shape in the after end of each set of windows also appears in the sheerline as it drops to its lowest point right forward of the cockpit. Alter any of these lines, and you’ve flubbed the profile. Compare the forward angle of the flying buttresses in the superstructure with that of the stem. They’re nearly identical, and both reinforce the yacht’s aggressive stance on the water. On the other hand, a most subtle clipper bow recalls the days of relaxed cruising at relatively low speeds.
Whiticar Custom Boats builds in wood and has since John’s father started the business a donkey’s age ago. Although wood/epoxy has replaced plank-on-frame, the boats still convey the indescribable feel of wood through water. The method of construction also determines to some degree the shape of the bottom. Even the flexible thin planks of veneer used in wood/epoxy construction resist excessive curvature, so the bottom of the 76 resembles the developable shapes built in plywood right before and after World War II.
These shapes are by no means bad. In fact, the warped-plane bottom that emerges from the drawing board and construction mold is fast, seakindly and economical. The steep and fine entry of the 76 broadens and flattens to a moderate deadrise amidships, to nearly flat at the transom. She has enough rise of floor right forward of her planing surface to absorb re-entry episodes.
General arrangement plans most often reveal the owner’s preferences. In this case, the master stateroom is forward because he doesn’t expect to sleep there when the boat’s at sea. The curved passageway makes me long for my in-line skates. When Whiticar completes this yacht, the level of craftsmanship and luxury in the accommodations should dazzle royalty and peasants alike.