Rival Bowman

 The Rival Bowman range of yachts were designed by Chuck Paine.

Bowman 40

LOA: 40'
LWL: 32:
Beam: 12' 7"
Draft: 4' 11"
Displacement: 21400 lbs

Bowman 40

Chuck Paine, the designer of the Bowman 40 writes:  Peter Gregory of Victoria Yachts never tired of finding ways to attract customers.  For the 1983 London Boat Show he came up with an idea of stationing his designer at a drafting table in the act of designing yachts.

I had my weather eye open for a new British customer and Rival yachts were at the top of my list.  Their previous designer had passed away and the time would come when they would want a new design.  I didn't want to be an ambulance chaser so struggled with how I would introduce myself without appearing overly aggressive.  I was spared the trouble.

Just in case an opportunity might arise I decided to spend my time stuck at that drafting table sketching my idea of the next Rival Yacht.  The largest yacht in the Rival line was a 41 footer and the next smaller a 38 so I figured 40 feet was about right.  I had the sketch just about finished on my 3rd day standing at Peter's drafting table when 2 impeccably dressed "city types" walked over and peered down curiously at what I was doing.  It turns out they both owned Rival 36s and were at Earls Court looking at larger boats.  They loved their Rival 36s and would have preferred to stay with the same builder if only he had something larger.  They took one look at my sketch and they had the answer.  They dragged me and my sketch over to the Rival stand and introduced me to Charles Maunder, the Managing Director of Rival Yachts.  They said in unison "Charles, if you build this design and add it to your line, we'll both order one."

The first Bowman 40 was introduced at the London Boat Show a year later.  I had already seen it earlier that fall, when I flew over for sea trials.  They had that first boat in the water and the first thing Charles said was "It floats 2 inches deeper than you said it would."  I said "It can't possibly"  But I took the freeboards and he was right. I had done all my laborious calculations using a VisiCalc estimate in excruciating detail - how could it possibly be that much heavier?  They explained that of course they could not build the boat to the scantlings I had shown on my American style construction plans. "We can't build boats as lightly as your drawings showed - to sell boats on Britain we have to use Lloyds scantlings"  And that was the answer.  Lloyds scantlings assumed the use of more fibreglass mat and less woven roving than we were used to using in America.  And since mat is weaker than roving, you have to use more of it to achieve adequate strength.  I even considered making some concession to Charles on the royalty to compensate for my failure to estimate the weight correctly but fortunately I held my tongue. 

Then we sailed the boat.  It was windy, as it always is on the Solent on the fall and the boat stood up to all that wind beautifully and went like a train on rails.  Charles was overjoyed with the way it sailed - much faster than the former Brett designs.  The boot-top was repainted two inches higher on the hull, the displacement figure was changed on the sales brochures and Bowman Yachts went on to build more than fifty of the yachts and came back to me for 3 more designs.

Reproduced with kind permission of Chuck Paine

Bowman 42

LOA: 43' 1"
LWL: 39' 9"
Beam: 12' 7"
Draft: 6' 6" (deep) / 5' 9" (moderate)
Diplacement: 21429 lbs

The Bowman 42 is an upgraded and modernised version of the Bowman 40.  The counter stern has been lengthened in order to create more stowage space in the lazarette and a sleaker appearance to the yacht in general.  Two new keels have been designed in addition to the very shoal draft Scheel keel which had been standard on the 40.  The first Bowman 42 has won many racing honours including first in class in the 1998 ARC.

Bowman 45

LOA: 47' 7"
LWL: 36' 6"
Beam:  13"
Draft: 5' 11"
Displacement: 27569 lbs

The Bowman 45 was adapted from the slightly earlier Morris 44.  She was 2 inches deeper in the water than the Morris due to being built to Lloyds standards and had 4 inches added to the height of the hull.

Bowman 48

LOA: 50' 4"
LWL: 38' 3"
Beam: 14' 2"
Draft: 6'
Displacement: 34330 lbs

Bowman 48 has been recognized by the British yachting establishment as being the one of thefinest British built design ever offered to the conservative long distance sailor. The Bowman 48s were fast in comparison with traditionally styled yachts of the time, and had a lovely motion and forgiving steering and stability characteristics at sea. Ten Bowman 48's are now cruising the world's oceans and with the acquisition of the molds by Rustler Yachts of Falmouth there are should be more to come.

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