Controversy 36

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The Controversy 36 in profile showing the appearance of motion
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Length Over All 37'3"
Waterline Length 30'
Beam 10'1"
Draft 5'2"
Displacement 11,500 lbs.
Sail Area 520 sq.ft.
Ballast (Iron) 3,500 lbs.
Disp/Length Ratio 190

The Controversy 36 is the largest example of the Controversy concept developed by Mount Desert Yacht Yard. The original vessel Constellation was launched in 1953 for the owner of the yard, Mr. E. Farnham Butler. He conceived the interior as designed around "the velocity of children". Economy, comfort and ease of handling were prime objectives. She so suited Mr. Butler that he still owns her today and he has always made sure she was one of the best cared for yachts in the world. Mr. Butler's intended that even with her genoa set she could be reasonably single handed. He felt that she could be handled by a 10 year old in reasonable conditions. In this he was correct, by the standards of his own family and your present author's daughter. Perhaps some of todays more passive television oriented youngsters might have some problems.

Those of us with a deep affection for this design are fond of pointing out that thus vessel is actually over 37' long. This has made a number of the friends of this design say that you've got to love a yard which sells a 37'3" boat as a 36 footer!

Her light displacement reduces the need for large engines, large sail plans or heavy equipment. One of these vessels with a modified deck plan made a circumnavigation and your present author believes he remembers a second later did it as well.

She accommodates up to seven people and would be an excellent liveaboard for a family. The port berth forward pulls out to make a double berth. Center cockpits and aft cabins were a very new idea when this boat was designed. Very few boats as well have ever had an aft cockpit to go with the aft cabin. Even rarer is the forward cockpit for anchor handling and watching the bow wave.

The Controversy series were among the very first post war boats to be built in modern wood construction. At the time their strip planked construction over bulkheads and frames with everything glued to everything else was very innovative. Yet ultimately their construction has proven extraordinarily successful. While we have grown accustomed to regarding fiberglass boats more than a very few years old as old boats these strip planked boats have gone on quietly demonstrating the durability of modern wood construction for decades. To this day they seem to need as little work and fuss to maintain as just about anything you can find in any material of any age.

The design is highly enough regarded that the prestigious WoodenBoat Magazine has chosen to sell the plans to a new generation who will undoubtedly come to treasure them as much as previous generations have.

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