The Townsend Tern adroitly answers the question of whether good-looking small boats permit anything but cavelike accommodations. In the Tern, the paradox is literally one you can live with. Her attractive hull, accentuated by the lines of her plywood-lapstrake planking, still has a welcoming interior.Kees Prins, a Port Townsend, Washington, builder and designer, designed the boat for Chelcie and Kathy Liu, small-boat enthusiasts who retired to the area. They knew what they wanted, and equally well they knew what they didn’t want. They were willing to put time into a lengthy—and therefore expensive—collaboration on design details. The boat was launched for the first time just a week before the 2010 Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, and based on the pleased expressions of the couple, the result is on the mark.

Townsend TernLaingdon Schmitt

For a 23’6” boat, the Townsend Tern packs in plenty of the necessities of life for a cruising couple. She is designed to be simple to sail singlehanded, with unstayed carbon-fiber masts that are hinged at the tabernacles to make them easy to lower for trailering. Port Townsend, Washington, boatbuilder Kees Prins, at the helm, designed her in close consultation with the owners, Chelcie and Kathy Liu.

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