A Special Friendship: There is something special about the line achieved by American designer Ted Fontaine in his Friendship Range.

By David Glenn - From Yachting World

Maybe it’s because the Fontaine Design Group lies just 60 ft. from the water’s edge overlooking the east passage of the Narragansett Bay, but somehow designer Ted Fontaine has caught the look of this new yacht beautifully. He’s already been successful with the Friendship 40 and some months ago we reported that when a customer wandered down the dock and saw that boat he said: “Yes, that’s what I want, but it needs to be bigger.” Here is the result.

The lines of this yacht really are a joy to behold and by all accounts she is a very good sailing yacht just like her smaller sister. Ted Fontaine learned a lot of what he knows from Ted Hood who is a proponent of relatively wide beam for stability, moderate displacement to provide hull volume, internal ballast and a centerboard to allow the yacht to extend her cruising ground.

All these features are evident in the 40 and the 53 and I would suggest that this yacht would be fast and efficient offshore, but arguably more importantly, extremely comfortable with a lovely easy motion that won’t tire you and will make upwind sailing in moderate conditions a pleasure, not a chore.

In some ways the extra length in the 53 works better than in the 40 and the same unfussy coachroof and pram hood-style dodger rather than a doghouse works really well.

There’s nothing fancy about the way this yacht is finished or fitted out. The hull is a foam core construction and the spars are aluminum, although I wouldn’t be tempted into the standard specification of an in-mast furling main – its slab reefing every time for reliability and a properly setting sail. In-mast also puts too much weight aloft.

I can thoroughly recommend Ted Fontaine’s long and detailed, but nonetheless informative notes on design philosophy for the 40 which also apply to this boat.