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East Passage Boatwrights was recently awarded Best New Powered Vessel of the Year by Classic Boat magazine for their debut vessel, the East Passage 24.
The handcrafted traditional Down East launch was inspired by the countless fishing and pleasure vessels that have called the New England coast home for centuries. Carter Richardson of Newport, founder of East Passage Boatwrights and an International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) graduate, traveled to the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge, London on April 12th for the 2022 Classic Boat Awards ceremony, joining shipwrights, owners, naval architects, historians, winners and guests from across the globe.
“The development of the East Passage 24 represents the future of the business and will open up a host of new opportunities for us,” says Richardson. “It is never easy to go out on a limb, to take the business in a new direction and given everything that the last two years has thrown at us, it is extremely rewarding to be recognized for all our hard work.”
The awards, organized by Classic Boat magazine and decided by the publication’s readers worldwide, are considered the gold standard in the classic wooden boat industry. Classic Boat group editor Rob Peake, who hosted the ceremony, has called the award the “highlight of the calendar for all lovers of wooden boats.”
For 16 years, East Passage Boatwrights has been considered one of Rhode Island’s preeminent comprehensive wooden yacht repair and maintenance companies, orchestrating work ranging from full yacht restorations and critical repairs to seasonal maintenance. In 2017, the Bristol, Rhode Island-based company won Classic Boat’s prestigious Restoration of the Year award for the restoration of the 1935 Sparkman & Stephens 55’ yawl Santana, best known as the beloved classic yacht formerly owned by Humphrey Bogart. While restorations have been incredibly rewarding, Richardson notes that there was an absence of classically styled power boats on the water and he recognized the opportunity to diversify the business.
Designed by the noted shipwright Walt Ansel, the company constructed the East Passage 24 hull #1 over the pandemic, debuting the boat at the Newport International Boat Show this past September. Powered by a Yanmar 150HP turbo diesel, the EP24 comfortably cruises at 15 kts and tops out at 24kts. Hull #1 is built as a center console but with organic design changes and multiple helm locations, future builds can be adapted to feature a cuddy cabin and hard top dodgers.
“I can’t say enough about the team here at East Passage Boatwrights who worked tirelessly to make the EP24 a reality during a particularly uncertain time. Their dedication to the craft of wooden boat building is second to none and it is such an honor to be recognized by the readers of Classic Boat,” says Richardson. “Construction on hull #2 is underway with a delivery date of early 2023 and hull #3 is in our sights as we continue to talk to prospective buyers.”
Source: East Passage Boatwrights