“Yar,” as I was brought up to understand, is an old nautical term meaning seaworthy, shipshape, sleek smooth lines, practical, easy to maneuver in any sea state; essentially everything a vessel should be. I also believe it to apply to the beauty of classic boat and yacht designs that are both practical and yet sleek; beautiful to behold. While everyone’s definition of beauty is different, there is just something about a classic boat and yacht design that is immediately recognizable by most experienced Yachtsmen and Yachtswomen.
Most of us, even those not immersed in the marine industry, have seen either a photo or vintage video of a classic Chris Craft runabout. There are many other classic yacht manufacturers that pop into mind when I think of the term “Yar.” Huckins Yachts, Trumpy Yachts and Riva Yachts are just a few of the classic yachts that are just a pleasure to gaze upon.
“Yar” is not exclusive to antique vessels of the 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's. Many modern craft have “Yar” in my opinion. They tend to be beautiful and, due to the extensive design and artisanship involved, expensive. Modern vessels that fall into this category range from something as simple as a classically designed skiff, such as the Albury 20, to the modern American built Hinckley Yachts and the Dutch designed Zeelander Yachts. While the term “Yar” may be an old one, it still applies today to vessels that are well designed and their construction is well executed using only the finest materials and hardware. Beauty is as important as function and simplicity plays a part as well.
My brother, Jon, and I have often referred to ourselves as the Boat Snobs. As we walk the docks during boat shows, we always gravitate to the unique, beautiful and yet simple lines. We even find ourselves critiquing passing vessels as we relax in the water at our favorite sand bar in the Florida Keys during our yearly family vacations. “Is that a Rybovich or a Buddy Davis?” “Look at the forward edge of the bridge, the way it meets the house, it must be a Rybovich!” While I believe that modern vessel designs, with their aggressive attitudes and sharp angular lines, have their place and may, in fact, one day be remembered fondly as being classic, for now I still long for the smooth sweeping shear lines of a vessel with “Yar!” Hmmm, how about a TV series call “Boat Snobs: In search of YAR!” I can dream can’t I?