The third day of summer, June 23, could not have been more perfect for a party in Northeast Harbor, Maine, and thankfully, the folks at Morris Yachts had one planned. The occasion: the 10-year anniversary of the launch of the company’s first daysailer, the M36.
As the late afternoon sun struck shadows along the shore, a crowd of employees and Morris owners gathered on the dock to watch company owner Cuyler Morris and CEO Doug Metchick climb aboard the just-launched silver anniversary M36 — so far, 74 have been built — to get things started.
“I never would have thought, nor would Tom have thought,” a sometimes emotional Cuyler began, as he mentioned his late father and described the day back in 2003 when he got a call from Tom, who was visiting the Sparkman & Stephens offices in New York and ran across an interesting looking design hanging on the wall. Father and son had been discussing how the sailing market was changing and how people had less time to spend on their boats. They were looking for a new boat to build and they quickly decided the S&S design — large cockpit, enough room below to duck out of the weather or spend a night in some snug cove — would fit the bill nicely. Add a self-tacking rig, electric winches and some elegantly varnished bits of wood here and there, and presto, a homerun was struck. Since then, Morris and S&S have gone on to launch the M29, M42, M46 and M52.
For the silver anniversary, Morris partnered with Interlux to develop a new hull color, Morris Blue, and with North Sails, Sunbrella (very cool sail cover and dodger) and Raymarine. The boat and the various products will be featured during the anniversary tour this summer that will take Cuyler sailing south down the coast, with several stops planned at yacht clubs en route to the fall boat shows.
Their speeches complete, Doug Metchick urged everyone to grab a beverage, pour a dollop to Poseidon and then raised a toast for the M Series. The only thing more anyone could have asked for was to go for a sail.