Passagemaker Lite design series is Tad Roberts' modern, lightweight, fuel-efficient re-statement of the fast, seaworthy, long-range power cruiser. There are now two series, the orginal traditional one and a modern one, in lengths from 39' to 98'. Read more:
Passagemaker Lite Design Reviews
A Study In Efficiency: Passagemaker Lite 39Wooden Boat Magazine Issue 226, June 2012
For a decade now, a number of design firms have looked at trends in fossil fuel supply and cost, greenhose gas emmisions, public opinion about polluting for pleasure...and decided the next big thing will be highly efficient power cruisers that...deliver relatively good speed for very low fuel consumption... Tad Roberts has been out there longer than most...His Passagemaker Lite line of designs has been gaining press and a modicum of traction from a few thoughtful yachtsmen since 2003, and now has entered its second generation, with an updated series known as the PL-02 line. The essential elements of this line, which ranges from 39' to 98', are light displacement, narrow beam, generous freeboard, and low, light superstructure. The careful combination of these elements creates a craft that offers comfort, reasonable speed, long range, and good looks in an understated and moderate traditional style...
Starting with the objective of going faster than hull speed but lower than planing speed, Roberts has used lessons from modern sailboat design and recognized that by keeping displacement low and the displacement/length ratio quite low (by employing as long a waterline as possible, he can create a boat that will top out at a very respectable 12 knots and be able to cruise for almost a week at 9 knots...A 7-knot cruising speed will give you a limit of pretty close to 4,000 miles...At this rate you will burn a mere 0.9 gallon per hour, or 7.8 miles per gallon. Pretty good mileage considering you are bringing your home with you...And a pretty nice home too. For a live-aboard couple, it's hard to see how to improve it...Design Review of Passagemaker Lite 39 in Wooden Boat Magazine, June 2012
Art Paine's Review of Passagemaker Lite 46, 56, and 80Maine Boats and Harbors Issue 76, Autumn 2003
There is nothing new to the idea of thin, light, seaworthy, and fast powerboats, and Tad Roberts has been inspired by several of those of the past. To Roberts, these boats brought to mind a glaring question: Why didn't the whole world flock to these sensible and efficient pleasure powerboat designs? He answered that question by identifying the elements that limited the type, and, in his Lite designs, addressed them. All in all, the Passagemaker Lite series is masterful work...
There are other matters not related to the Essential Element that Roberts found and mastered. I happen to love the ergonomics of these boats. I love the forward anchoring-handling pits and the forward-raked piothouse windows. The pilothouse itself is just close enough to the bow for a practical view beyond it, but low enough to be protected from green seas. There's a perfect place for the inflatable dinghy and a practical means to deploy it. The aft cockpit is right-sized, by which I mean small. And there are sailboaty elements I love, such as the way the forward accommodations are situated down low, fitted to the hull as they are in a sailboat, and the way the little cabin forward makes possible a large head (in one case with a fibreglass bathtub)....Read the Review: Design Review of Passagemaker Lite 46, 56, and 80, PDF