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Maritimo 2023 M600 LEADERBOARD

In conversation: Chris Hood and the Hood 42 LM

by Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding 28 Apr 10:19 PDT
Hood 42 LM © Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding

One of the things we're most proud of is the relationships we've formed over the years with some of the top yacht designers and naval architects in the industry. And one of our strongest relationships is with Chris Hood and CW Hood Yachts, the naval architect behind our successful Hood 35 LM, Hood 57 LM, and the new Hood 42 LM.

Our work with C.W. Hood started back in nearly a decade ago, when the idea for our first collaboration, the Hood 57 LM, was starting to come together. "I called Drew and said, 'Hey, we have this 57-foot power boat project, and you're the first person I thought of to build it. Would you be interested in looking at it and giving us some numbers?' And that was greeted with Drew's usual enthusiasm—hell yeah, get on up here, and bring the drawings," Hood says with a laugh.

One of the strengths of a good business, or person, really, is the ability to know your strengths, know your weakness, and have the humility to know when it's time to ask for help. "As we were putting together the project, it became apparent that we were going to need more horsepower, and some more creativity," Hood says. "So, we called up Stephens Waring. I had known of Bob's work over the years, and I had met Paul at boat shows and really enjoyed speaking with him. And I said to myself, 'Well, you're going to collaborate on a new boat design, you're going to have differing opinions at certain points, but you're going to have to get along and make it work, and work hand in hand with each other to be successful. They were a great team to, and they added their two cents along the way, and we went back and forth and struck up an amazing working relationship, there was a lot of respect and a lot of creativity, a lot of thinking outside the box. And then bringing Lyman-Morse in as the builder, that was really the third part of the puzzle."

There's a certain mystique to boats built in Maine—like wine from France or cars from Italy—it's like there's something in the water. (Well, something other than the beautiful boats.) "You know, there are a lot of boat builders in the world," Hood said. "And obviously, had my uncle [sailing legend Ted Hood] as a role model, but you know, Cabot Lyman, he was right there at the top of the list. He built this company from scratch. A lot of guys talk about what they're going to do, what they're going to build. He just did it. He built sailboats, trawlers, and downeast boats; and he built race boats and cruising boats and exploration vessels. And ever since I was a young man, I just thought, wow, this is a well-rounded, talented guy that can just take on a project and do it right. And Lyman-Morse today, while a very different place than it was back in the 70s and 80s, they still very much embrace that mentality."

"When we were working on the 57, it was bringing Lyman-Morse into the fold that really made the project click," Hood said. "It was a great collaborative experience, everyone got to play their part, and we made a beautiful boat—she runs great, and everything about the boat is unique. And that's what the owner wanted. He said 'You know, I could find lots of boats out there, but they're just other boats. If I'm going to do this, I want something one of a kind. Something special.' And I think we really answered that challenge—I'm a bit biased, but the Hood 57 is absolutely breathtaking."

It was that first yacht that drew the attention of Richard Miner, the co-founder of Android. He loved the style and the parties involved in the 57 but wanted something a little smaller. "I like the idea of a Picnic Boat, but more minimalist," he said of the project. That led to the first Hood 35 LM, Shadow, an award-winning design helped launch a now successful series of semi-custom yachts to bear the Hood and LM names.

"The 42 is a very exciting project," said Hood, "The owner is a very neat guy and he's very into the traditional type of boat—he's all about the classic look but with modern performance hidden below the waterline, so to speak, so this series is perfect for him. Now we've got the 42, the 35, and the 57. It's really turned into something special. Boatbuilding and boat design is a tough business—you have ups and downs, people change their minds, the market fluctuates. One thing that doesn't change is the enthusiasm and fun we have working with Lyman-Morse. You walk into that place, and you just feel good about working there. You feel good about taking your customer and saying, 'you're in good hands.' It's an amazing thing to find someone who cares just as much as you do, and who gives you the confidence to know that in the end, the project is going to be done right, and the customer's going to be happy."

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