FrontRunners: Growing Friendship

    Ted Fontaine, founder of the Friendship Yacht Co. of Portsmouth, R.I. (www.friendshipyachtcompany.com), says that he created the Friendship 53 to do double duty: It can sail around the world, but it also may be operated by a retired couple on an afternoon cruise. The new $2 million yacht, which follows a 40-foot vessel that debuted in 2004, replicates its predecessor’s teak decks and sleek, low-profile hull, but the cockpit is about 15 percent larger. Fontaine, who now is working on a 63-foot Friendship, spent part of his career designing superyachts, and he brought that experience to the design of his sailboats, giving them wide beams and integrated hydraulic and electric sail-handling systems.

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