Chuck Paine ~ Yacht Designer of the Month

“Yacht design is ART, and it’s only finished when it’s finished.” – Chuck Paine

Chuck Paine - Photo from

Born in 1944 on the island of Jamestown, Rhode Island, in the middle of Narragansett Bay, Chuck Paine has been making ART since he was a boy. Today, a world famous yacht designer and an oil painter, he started freehanding yacht profiles at the young age of ten. He was first inspired by the designs of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, a boat builder that we, at Forbes Horton Yachts, are especially fond of as well. Our company daysailer, Jamie, is a Herreshoff 12.5. These classic wooden designs by Herreshoff sparked Chuck’s creativity and eventually lead him to the founding of C.W. Paine Yacht Design.

Dennis Caprio explains how Chuck got his start in his summary of Chuck Paine’s book, “My Yacht Designs and The Lessons They Taught Me”.
            "Chuck majored in engineering at Brown University and his first job after graduation was drafting for a textile winding machinery manufacturer. Subsequently, designing propulsion for ships destined for the Navy at a consulting firm in Boston got him a step closer to what he really wanted to do. After two years in the Peace Corps he returned to America determined to become a yacht designer or starve in the attempt. In 1971 at his first interview he landed a job working for the famous yacht designer Dick Carter, in Nahant, Massachusetts. He’d selected Carter’s studio from the Yellow Pages and took a chance. Once again, luck intervened – Carter had recently lost an assistant and hired Cuck on the spot. Chuck readily admits the role good fortune – being in the right place at the right time – played in his success; and he counts his association and friendship with the late Tom Morris, founder of Morris Yachts, as one of his most significant strokes of luck. Tom’s relentless pursuit of perfection in construction and his personal integrity perfectly complimented Chuck’s relentless quest for perfection in design and his very own brand of integrity."
Chuck Paine has had an inspiring career, designing over 30 different yachts in less than 30 years. One of his more notable designs which we find particularly interesting is the Bowman 48, first introduced in 1981.

The 1992 Bowman 48, AMARA

Chuck was hired by Charles Maunder to design this exceptional vessel. Maunder saw the earlier Bowman 40’s becoming some of the fastest selling yachts in Britain and he thought it was time to introduce a larger version. One of the most interesting points of the Bowman 48 is how well designed she is for ocean cruising. Instead of designing the yacht for weekend puddle jumps and coastal cruising, Charles instructed Chuck to design this yacht with the full weight of heavy cruising equipment in mind. Because of this simple forethought, the Bowman 48 has the speed and handling of a much lighter yacht, despite the extra weight from the offshore gear. Further, they chose to include all of this extra gear from the factory, making the Bowman 48 ready for an ocean voyage at the time of purchase.

Concluding his brief summary of Chuck Paine, Dennis Caprio goes on to say,
            “Although luck played an important part in elevating Chuck to the role of one of the most respected yacht designers in the world, his natural charm, forthright approach to dealing with clients and artistry bear most of the responsibility. One need only to look at the ladies – Frances, Carol, Leigh, Annie, his well known Bermuda Series, the Morris Ocean Series, Firefly and Reindeer (built by Morris), the exquisite Spirit of Tradition yachts Erica, Gusto and Wings of Grace Built in wood by French and Webb, and his motoryachts Wolf, Firenze, Adagio – to witness his yachts as art forms.”
Chuck Paine is still designing yachts today and his portfolio continues to grow. He finds having an online presence to be very important to the growth of the industry as he says in his book, “You have to have a website. And you have to stay on the first page, above the fold.” He does just that on his popular blog at More information on all of Chuck Paine's designs can be found on
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Saturday, 09 December 2023

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