Less than 80 Feet Sailing

Young America (ex. Amelia)

Young America (ex Amelia), 63’ Pilothouse Sloop

Building a new custom yacht often becomes a passion for the yacht's owners; AMELIA is proof to the notion that careful attention to detail will produce a yacht of extraordinary quality.  From the highly polished custom-built stainless steel anchor rollers at her very stem to the beautifully laminated varnished teak stern rail, AMELIA is a complete custom build.

The new yacht was to be fast, comfortable, and long-legged, destined for high latitude adventure sailing. 

Ted Fontaine has created an exceptionally good-looking profile, the pilothouse is low enough to see over and narrow enough to see around from the center cockpit helm station.  Fontaine employed a unique arrangement of elevated seating with a recessed centerline walkway, creating a common line of sight out of the pilothouse when either seated or standing.  The interior arrangement of the pilothouse provides comfortable seating for up to six adults, including dining for four.  The visibility sight lines are excellent fore, aft and athwart ships.

The pilothouse is arranged with forced hot air heating, air conditioning and an abundant amount of natural ventilation; she has two opening hatches and two removable windows aft making her close to a convertible top.  The center cockpit arrangement is a refinement of the many successful Little Harbor center cockpit designs with all of the sail control lines led aft to the primary and secondary winches, both of which are within easy reach of the helmsman position behind the wheel.

The deck arrangement has been drawn to be as simple to sail as she will be to maintain.  Originally conceived as a totally low maintenance deck with no varnished teak at all, the yacht owners, builder and designer could not resist adding the varnished teak nosing to the pilothouse and coach roof as well as the teak cap rail to the bulwark.  The net result is undoubtedly worth the effort.

Originally conceived as a long distance family cruiser, the ocean going interior was arranged to provide comfort afloat for up to six passengers in three double cabins.  The large main salon is accessed via the centerline passage from the pilothouse.  Stepping down three steps, one finds oneself in a wide open salon area with convertible dining table to starboard that folds away neatly into a lounging cocktail table.  The interior décor is comprised of lightly painted bead board trimmed elegantly with glossy varnished mahogany.  Intricate beading along the perimeter of all doors and drawers provides a classical detailing to the interior joinery.  The main salon leads to the two symmetrical guest cabins.  Each features generously sized upper and lower berths and each cabin is outfitted with shared centerline bureaus, a design perfected on the many Little Harbors penned by the Fontaine Group.  Each guest cabin has its own ensuite facilities and appropriately sized hanging lockers.

Aft of the main salon along the port side one passes through a galley more typically found on yachts of much larger size.  Beautifully sculpted Corian adorns the abundant counter space, a four burner stove is located outboard with a double under-hung stainless steel sink inboard.  The galley joinery is painted with light cream-colored paint with classical ventilation rosettes cut into each cabinet door.  The galley is equipped with enough freezer and refrigeration space to keep a young family of six well fed for months at a time.  This will be greatly appreciated by the crew as the owner intends to cruise to the more remote higher latitudes of Labrador, and later to Chile.  They will not want for fresh food.

Opposite the large front opening refrigerator/freezer space, one finds a detailed electrical panel and large watertight door that leads into the walk-in engine room.  It is truly amazing what the designers have fit into this 63' design.  Most yachts this size are designed with only the interior accommodations in mind.  Fontaine and his team have been able to achieve an excellent accommodations plan while providing an almost commercial quality to the engine room space.  Not one but two or even three people can fit within the engine room where access is provided by walk-through doors from the galley or aft owner's shower.

The owner’s cabin is located aft where the motion in heavy weather is considered more comfortable for long distance sailing.  The cabin is outfitted with an oversized double sea berth to starboard and convertible settee/berth to port.  The owner's aft cabin is large and airy with cleverly placed hull ports and deck hatches.  A private means of egress to the aft deck provide this cabin with custom with a free flow of natural air making life onboard clean and comfortable.  Moving forward to starboard is the oversized head with custom Corian countertop and a separate stall shower that features a walk-though watertight door to the surprisingly large working engine room.

The owners initial wish list described a yacht that could go anywhere with a high level of performance and comfort.  She should be as light as is practical considering the stores and sea kindliness that the owner has come to expect.  An all up displacement of 60,000 lbs. fully loaded, of which 22,000 lbs. is positioned down low in an externally cast bulb keep, will provide the sailing performance levels expected of the owner.  Of course one can always design lighter, narrower, faster yachts, but the objective with this design was to make the fastest boat possible considering the owner's requirements for shallow draft, interior accommodations, engine room comfort, sea kindliness, and extended range.  A deep hydro-dynamically shaped centerboard extends the draft from the 6.5' fixed draft to over 12' when lowered, enabling excellent upwind sailing angles while minimizing wetted surface off the wind.  A retractable hydraulic bow thruster is fitted forward in the forepeak allowing for easier maneuvering in tight quarters.

The owner, like any true sailor, anticipates some level of competitive offshore and coastal racing, so racing would also be included in the itinerary for this new vessel.  While she is equipped with a stowaway mast, the mast itself is built of carbon fiber and the mainsail is fitted with vertical battens, providing a roach that would be close to that of conventional mainsails.  The rudder is constructed utilizing carbon fiber and the most sophisticated self aligning needle bearings which enable the helmsman to literally feel the water flow on the rudder.

Witnessing the owners' faces beaming with pride lends evidence that their original dreams have become reality through the craftsmanship of Lyman Morse and Fontaine Design Group.

Principal Dimensions

Length over all:

63’ 8”


Length DWL:

48’ 8”


Beam max:

 16’ 6”



 6’ 6”


Yard Built:

Lyman Morse