Ellis 46

By Steve Killing

If you have seen some of designer Mark Ellis’ work, you will know that he likes to draw boats with a common style – a conservative look with moderate overhangs and a conventional transom. The cabins are long and once again, well, very traditional. It is in the detailing that the Ellis touch is most evident. This new 46-footer for a Canadian client is a good illustration of my point.

His distinctive traits start with the cabin front, which rounds into the cabin sides – there’s no sharp corner there. This is practical in that it is easier to negotiate that turn when walking forward on deck, but it also softens the appearance of the cabin face. The other line that I find consistent among all hi s boats is the bow profile. It is definitely not straight (as one would see on a racing boat) and not the exaggerated curvature in the upper portion that you would see on a vintage yacht. The bow, in profile view, starts as a near circular arc at the stem and as it approaches the waterline, gradually tighten its curvature. The effect is very pleasing.

Some might say there is nothing about the boat that appears dramatic, and they would be right. If the elements that go into a boat are designed properly, no one item will stand out. For example, the intersection of the bow profile and the gently curving sheer has been carefully thought out. If the overhang at the bow were any greater, the stem would be too “pointy” and look a little odd on a boat of this beam. The fact that this stem, sheer, transom, cabin and coaming line all work in concert, goes unnoticed at a casual glance – and that is the intention. There is nothing jarring or unharmonious in the appearance.

The client for this boat is very comfortable with Ellis’ style. His previous boat was a Niagara 42 and, after many years searching for a suitable sloop to step up to, he came back to Ellis and asked for a custom boat. Those that know the Niagara 42 will recognize some of the characteristics they have decided to keep.

Ellis 46 - LayoutThe interior retains the U-shaped galley, but with the sink now moved on to centreline, which is an ideal spot for use at any heel angle. The two heads make life more comfortable for the owners and guests. The starboard quarter berth cabin has good hanging and drawer storage and an unusual, but practical, notch out of the centre of the berth to increase floor space. The aft head has a generous shower and is the logical spot for access to the wet locker. With a beam of more than 13 feet, the interior affords enough space to do justice to a wrap­around dining area. The forward cabin has lots of standing and changing room ahead of the bulkhead.

The mast is, as requested by the owner, not exotic. It is an aluminum extrusion, with swept-back spreaders (about 20 degrees) to reduce the need for running backstays aft and jack stays forward. For passages in rough weather, running backstays, stored on the mast can be tensioned.

The primary winches, headstay furler and house top winches are hydraulic (driven by an electric pump). Construction is conventional fibreglass over CoreCell foam, built by Bruckmann’s in Bronte, Ontario.

With the good looks apparent in the drawings, and a builder who never misses, I am confident the owner will be pleased with this new sloop.

Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s Fall 1999 issue.

Length 46′ 5″
Beam 13′ 3″
Draft 6′ 0″
Ballast 9,950 lbs.
Displ 25,000 lbs.
Sail Area 1,014 sq. ft.

Mark Ellis Design Ltd.
77 Bronte Road, Oakville, Ontario L6L 3B7 905-825-0017

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