The Construction and Design Philosophy

of a Modern Motorsailer


A successful modern motorsailer is expected to provide its owner with many advantages. The design should not compromise the sailing experience, nor can one expect less than superior speed and comfort under power.  However these objectives were rarely met until the Northeast was launched.


This design aim, more than accomplished on the Northeast 400, was the result of mature, creative thinking and outstanding yacht-building skills. Design, planning and construction took time. The project was the result of many requests and positive suggestions and overwhelming enthusiasm.


Mark Ellis designed a hull that is fast under sail, especially in a fresh breeze. The hull is also asked to support and deliver the expected speed that a large diesel engine can deliver. This was more than achieved. The sailing performance has received rave reviews. Speed, comport and economy of motion under power have exceeded optimistic predictions.


The hull shape lends itself to an easy motion, as she is fine forward, long on the water and very wide and flat aft. These long, wide, flat sections prevent squatting under power. This provides outstanding speed off the wind and creates stability to carry sail upwind in a fresh breeze. Seven to eight knots plus to windward is not uncommon. The cutaway forefoot allows a quick-turning, responsive hull. She is easy to dock, easy to steer and directionally stable.


The construction required to support the mechanics, systems and extensive use of this design is very important and CR Marine delivers high-quality construction for bluewater use.  Sparkman and Stephens have designed the larger new NE450 to achieve the same objectives.

Northeast 400
Port Side
Northeast 450
NE 400
Resting before the tide
NE 450
NE 400
Doing 9.5 Kts.
Under Construction
NE 400
European tide
NE 400
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NE 400