PROJECT

Stratus


LOCATION

Sarasota, Florida


DESIGNER

Donald Ansley / Bill Higgins


COMPLETION

1978


COMMENTS

With the blood of a C-Class catamaran in its veins and the comfort and elegance of an Aston Martin in its apearance Stratus was built to go fast in style.


The main sail sheeted to a Harken traveler block running atop a curved and yet integral rear beam structure. Unique continuous carbon fiber finger hinges allowed the boat to fold on centerline for trailering. The one-off composite prototype included cold molded western red cedar, Nomex honeycomb, carbon fiber, and s-glass.


The resulting boat weighed in all-up at 750-lbs.


FOOTNOTE

An extraordinary project for me personally, the buyers providing an exceptional breadth of design freedom, and a terrific team of collaborators working everyday to bring the boat to life. George Kaiser in particular applied his significant talents to all phases of the project and Fred Lowe pitched in when a third set of skilled hands were required.


Painfully, my youthful enthusiasm failed to make up for business inexperience and the effort wobbled its way to a conclusion of sorts. The boat and all those involved deserved better.