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New Breed of Classic Sailing Yachts Automate the Crew


The Morris M-Series, for example, is a line of luxury yachts built in Maine, all of which get automated sail control. The 52-foot M52 has all the hallmarks of a high-end pleasure boat: a laid teak deck, stainless steel brightwork and an interior trimmed in solid cherry. But it doesn’t require an entire crew to run.

In fact, the M52 automates the majority of sail handling, allowing a single person to go for a cruise and never leave the helm, controlling the sails from a single user interface. All lines are hidden under deck, and a FurlFinder system from Holmatro uses hydraulics to automatically move the boom to the proper angle for furling. Morris says that a comparable boat would require two or three crew, but the M52 needs only one person to sail.

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