The Ladies

Lady of Bermuda


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Hervé Coutand
Bordeville - 16170 Rouillac - France
Phones: 33 (0)5 45 21 70 23 / 33 (0)6 82 39 37 92
.................... Back designs

I had always been trying to find a way f designing quality boats which were no more expensive and which were easier to maintain than standard mass produced boats!
After many years of research, the LADIES satisfy these criteria. They exist in 3 lengths and fit in with 3 different sailing programmes and 3 different budgets: LADY OF BERMUDA (13,20 m), DIXIE-GIRL (10 m) and MISS SIMPLETTE (6 m).
How can one build beautiful yachts in the classic style for a low price? Especially since the budget for materials is practically the same regardless of the type of boat as long as the function remains the same.
The only possible economy is to reduce the labour time! Marine ply construction is the only way of reducing this building time by half. For example: a team of four men build the 13,20 metre LADY OF BERMUDA in 6 months of which only 3 weeks are taken to build the hull.
However, although marine ply building has been well known for 40 years for the savings it provides in labour time, it is only the recent development of epoxies and new techniques which have made this building method 100% reliable. Epoxies: glues, mastic glues, filers and paints have enabled, over the last 10 years, boats built in marine ply to be strong, waterproof, insulating and durable. Maintenance of these yachts consists simply of washing them regularly with sea water and repainting them once every 5 years. (Don't forget that wooden boats always rot because of fresh water and by the deck!).
Generally this type of building is criticized for the ugly "box effect" of the hull. Consequently I searched for an architectural idea which would enable me to use and improve this construction method to build pretty yachts.
It was in America, seeing Chesapeake Bay boats such as "Sharpies", "Bugeyes", and "Skipiaks" that this architectural idea come to me.
These working boats which go back 2 centuries and represent all the American adventure at its beginnings, managed to achieve elegance based on a hard chine construction. They were built in traditional wood in a simple style, without frills, but efficient and economical. It was easy for me to transpose them into marine ply construction. This is how the idea of the LADIES was born.
Actually I didn't simply copy them in order to metamorphose them into present day materials. I redesigned them to be suitable for modern yachting and while trying to improve their beauty I found that it was possible to design them with a horizontal chine at water level.
By a simple optical trick with paint on the water line the chine becomes invisible! Even when heeling! The pointed stem and stern helps to make it disappear completely, giving the impression and the grace of a rounded boat.
For these Chesapeake Bay boats, the Americans who are great simplifiers, had invented a quite surprising rig: the Bermudan rig! It was so fast and to easy to handle that they allowed themselves the luxury of flying an enormous burgle from the top of the mast saying "Catch me if you can" especially when they were running the blockade in the Civil War or during prohibition!
Here is a historical note on the qualities of this Bermuda rig which is a traditional rig, so that you will not get it mixed up with Marconi rigs.
The masts, big strongly raked poles, are held by one shroud on each side without spreaders. The triangular main sails are boomed. And jibs have been replaced by the characteristic club foresall. You don't need to touch anything when going about, except the helm. The main sails are laced to the mast. They are easy to hoist and lower, without any metal chandlery.
They are all fitted with Lazy Jacks (that is they come down and roll themselves). It is a very simple rig which offers maximum performance and much appreciated ease of handling.
All I have done is replaced the original masts with hollow laminated octagonal ones made from Oregon pine, which are stronger and stiffer; and adapted the rig and sails to modern materials.

The difference with the Chesapeake Bay boats which were flat bottomed dinghies is that I designed the LADIES with a V-shaped hull to make them into sea going boats.
Their long keels protected by a stainless and rubbing strip slightly overlapping, like a long delta wing give stability of bearing. This is a 3.000 year old Chinese principle which enables a boat to sail close hauled with a very small draught, while at the same time damping roll and pitch.
The LADIES can enter the most beautiful moorings and hide in cyclone holes, just as they can go up river. The only disadvantage is that they are slightly more tender than the SHPOUNTZ, heeling to about 15°.

The interior layouts are light and spacious in a traditional style. Everything is functional with lots of clever little tricks.
- Sliding sealed windows, quick so close in the tropics because of the continual squalls.

- A dust box under the grating for brushing out below.
- Tool boxes.
- A shower with a seat.
- Bulkheads opening in the form of a large arcade to increase the interior area, etc.

The deck layout is pleasantly organised. It is possible to live outside and to more about on the deck without injuring oneself during manoeuvres.
The cockpit is huge, shaded by a sun awning and well protected by a strong bulwark.

LADIES are designed as follows: a keel and a one piece laminated outer keel, strong, solid ribs every 50 cm and with sides made from 2 layers of marine ply, single or double thickness depending on the size of the boat. The hull is built upside down and then turned over for finishing. Building is really very simple and very fast.
What I would like to achieve with the LADIES is to create the family of boats which can be afforded by those who do not necessarily possess a personal fortune nor a vocation as an amateur builder.
However, it is possible for an amateur to finish one of these boats starting from a bare hull or a finished main works produced by a yard.
It is even possible for an amateur to build them provided he has good experience of marine ply building. If you consult me I can recommend some very good yards.
I think I have invented pretty, poetic, classic boats with good sailing qualities.
I wish you the best holidays in the world on board these boats!



Back home ....................
Hervé Coutand
Bordeville - 16170 Rouillac - France
Phones: 33 (0)5 45 21 70 23 / 33 (0)6 82 39 37 92
.................... Back designs

The folowing designs are only documentations, property of Zoé Bombigher (Bombigher 's daugther), no construction, distribution, reproduction, publication, without written autorisation (11 of march 1907-1957 law).