By Ramona du Houx
The Brooklin Boat Yard of Brooklin, Maine, has completed construction and launched a 91-foot custom cold-molded sloop. Built for a repeat customer, SONNY III is a high-performance cruising yacht designed for daysailing and blue-water passages. Construction on SONNY III took 18 months; the finished yacht launched last month and was christened in May 2018. She is just completed sea trials."We're proud to provide SONNY's owner with a yacht that performs to his high expectations and accommodates his unique needs," said Steve White, president of Brooklin Boat Yard. "He's been a great collaborator on every boat we've built for him. This was a true challenge that required a lot of teamwork - a highly customized, 91-foot yacht built in only a year and a half."Designed by Bruce Johnson and the Brooklin Boat Yard design office, SONNY III is a larger replacement for the owner's current 70-foot yacht, also built by Brooklin Boat Yard. The owner is a retired senior with limited mobility who requested a yacht with more accessibility. SONNY III provides numerous solutions to the owner's mobility concerns, including chair lifts at each companionway, a power reclining chair in the master cabin, a side-boarding ladder and a transom-boarding platform.SONNY III has classic styling, including a completely flush deck. The yacht has an aggressively raked bow and reverse transom, a teak deck and a varnished teak toe rail. Her twin cockpit configuration keeps guests safe in the center cockpit while all sail handling is in the aft working cockpit. Low, varnished-teak cockpit coamings and canvas dodgers protect each companionway opening."I consider SONNY III a great accomplishment," said designer Bruce Johnson. "I would expect a design process of six months for a yacht of this size and complexity before the yard could even begin to cut wood. Due to the aggressive build schedule we began construction six weeks after we started working with the owner. This project could not have been possible without Brooklin Boat Yard's in-house designers who were invaluable, producing exceptional construction drawings."SONNY III has a double headsail rig operated by hydraulic furlers that were built by Harken. The non-overlapping headsail configuration with chainplates pushed outboard greatly reduces loads and allows for a smaller mast section, winches and hardware. The mainsail has hydraulic in-boom furling. The carbon mast is from Offshore Spars with 3Di sails by North Sails.The interior layout includes a crew cabin forward with private head and stall shower, two guest staterooms forward of the mast, one with ensuite head and stall shower and the other with a day head, also with separate shower. The interior is finished in Herreshoff style with white and cream paintwork offset by American cherry joinery, leather upholstery and a teak and maple cabin sole.SONNY III's hull and deck have carbon reinforcements in specific high-load areas. The ballast keel is a steel foil with integral tanks and a lead bulb. The rudder is a carbon spade design.Due to the tight build schedule and other construction commitments, Brooklin Boat Yard subcontracted the hull and deck construction to Rockport Marine of Rockport, Maine. Brooklin Boat Yard has had similar arrangements in the past, including the construction of the composite deck for SONNY II by Front Street Shipyard and the construction of the hull for the 76-foot sloop GOSHAWK by Rockport Marine."This project wouldn't have been possible without the collaboration and support of many partners," said White. "We achieved our high standard of craftsmanship within a consolidated time frame through teamwork and a shared vision."