Whitby 55 – Whitby Goes Big



Steve Killing
In 1971 Ted Brewer created the Whitby 42. Now, 14 years and more than 250 hulls later, it’s time for the 55. It actually started out to be a 52, but after many preliminaries Brewer and Whitby Boat Works decided they could not fit in all the accommodations desired in that length. You can see why: even at 55 feet the interior is full. When sleeping on the berth in the aft cabin you’re only about two feet from the name on the transom, and the forward limit of the sail bin and pipe berth is the aft face of the anchor locker. There is no space wasted. When you start filling up a 55-footer, you get a lot of interior to lounge in.

The aft cabin contains a full double berth and a head with ample shower. The galley, sitting and dining areas are regal. Imagine this done in gleaming hand-polished teak with guests reclining in evening dress, preparing to head off to a reception with the royal couple. The designer observes that’ the finishing details coming out of the Whitby shop these days are “superb.” Forward there are two separate guest cabins, with a second head compartment. The boat has been set up for the kind of sailing we all sometimes like to do-relaxed, with an anchor dropped at night. There aren’t many sea berths for long ocean passages, but I am sure if you want them, the builder will rework the interior for you.

The market for this boat includes charters, and there was a desire to break up the sail-plan on two masts to make it easier to handle. The designer was hoping for a cutter rig instead, but arrived at this compromise to satisfy everybody. The mizzen mast is short to keep the upwind performance to a maximum (a sloop of the same sail area would be the best performer upwind), but big enough that it does add sail area off the wind and reduces the size of the headsails. There is a self-tacking staysail for breezy days or, better yet, for lazy days when you can’t be bothered tacking the genoa. (We all have days like that.) A low-rig version is available for those who need clearance to get under inland waterway bridges.

As Whitby sees several markets for the boat, it is being offered with a center cockpit or pilothouse deck, and with various interiors. If the hull and sail-plan appeal to you but the interior doesn’t, give Whitby a call. Chances are they have a configuration that will suit your type of sailing. With the first boat to be completed early this year, further production is slated for spring delivery.

For more information, contact Whitby Boat Works Ltd., 1710 Charles St., Whitby, Ont. LlN 1C2.

Steve Killing is an independent Yacht Designer Based in Midland Ontario. He is the Head of the Design Program for the True North America’s Cup Challenge.

Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s January 1985 issue.

Length…………. 55ft
Beam…………….15ft 5in
Fin…………………6ft 10in
Shoal……………..5ft 7in
Sail Area(Standard Rig)……1,360ft2


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