Cruising Stories

Building a Customized Boat

Follow Endless Summer on Her Journey


From concept to construction to commissioning, Rachel and Peter Ferrara talk about their experience in designing and building "Endless Summer," a custom Sabre Yachts 48 SE, built in Raymond, Maine.

Over the years, we have spent a lot of time on the water. We have cruised the Florida Keys and Bahamas to New England and all along the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. We have learned what we need, what we like (and dislike), what fits our cruising plans (and abilities) and, of course, what we can afford. Finding the perfect boat seemed to be an elusive quest so we set out to design our own boat.

The original design concept of this yacht was first presented to Sabre Yachts in March 2014. They thought we had come up with a great idea and wanted to pursue it further. After review and consideration by the Sabre design and engineering teams, it was decided that this could be an exciting new look to the already successful 48SE platform.

Over the next year, we made three trips to the Sabre Yachts factory in Maine during the construction process of hull "CC073." This not only gave us the opportunity to see firsthand our new design come together, but the chance to meet with the many talented men and woman who were bringing the soon-to-be named Endless Summer to life.

The biggest challenge was trying to visualize our ideas from my rough hand-drawn sketches to professional renderings to actual construction. In the early stages, Rachel and I made a mock-up of the salon space on our living room floor using blue painter tape and large cutouts to rearrange the floor plan. The first thing we did was reverse the positioning of the starboard side settee (seat for more than one person) so that the short end of "L" faces toward the stern of the boat instead of forward. We thought it better to be looking "out" than "in." In doing so, we relocated the TV behind the long side of the settee. Additionally, we created an end table aft of the settee and a new fixed table design on an electric high-low pedestal. We also added a second helm seat so there is comfortable, fully adjustable and secure seating for two while underway.

On the port side, we totally removed the current seating arrangement, which was a combination of a small settee aft and a rather large "navigation" seat forward. The problem with that was the second person had no view or access to the helm, chart plotters, radio, etc., and it consumed a lot of space. Since this boat is all about our enjoyment during extended time on the water, we wanted to incorporate very comfortable "recliner type" chairs in the design. Between the two chairs is a wedge shaped end table with reading lights and storage below. To the forward side is another end table with an ice maker inside. The two chairs face the new 40-inch TV that is hidden by a lift behind the starboard side settee.

In the space below the salon floor on the standard Sabre 48 there is normally Rachel and another berth ("crew quarters"). While a clever arrangement, we felt it was small and cramped for actual quarters that we were not likely to use. It also consumed a large and otherwise nonfunctional space. So we opted to redesign that area into a large "utility room." With access through a large hatch in the salon floor (with a hydraulic lift), we expanded the landing area, built multi-layer shelving, and added a separate washer and dryer to the port side. Here, we have ample room to store supplies, bikes, golf clubs, parts, and provisions. It is a finished space including lighting, electrical and air conditioning.

The changes we made have had a dramatic effect on the appearance and functionality of the boat. It has made the beam of the boat appear wider, more open, more attractive. The utility room below is massive (for a boat this size) and has already proven to be one of my favorite new design changes.

The exterior of the boat is equally as appealing. The new roof line and built-in Sureshade extension not only looks great, it makes the aft deck all that more useful. The new full size entry door looks fantastic and is so much more logical than the old bi-fold design. After completion in October of 2015, Endless Summer was debuted by Sabre Yachts at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Following the boat show, we took a relatively easy route by going from Ft. Lauderdale to Stuart, through the Okeechobee Waterway to Fort Myers and finally arriving to our new homeport of Longboat Key.

n late March, we will be taking Endless Summer from Longboat Key on the Gulf coast down to Key West and around the Florida Keys to Daytona Beach. Then in mid-April we will start a three week cruise up the ICW to our final destination and home for the summer in Essex, Conn. Once fall is in full swing, we will reverse and head home to Florida for the winter which is why we named her Endless Summer.

Follow Endless Summer as it cruises north for the summer!

Want to Stay In the Loop?

Stay up to date with the latest articles, news and all things boating with a FREE subscription to Marinalife Magazine!

Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Marinalife articles