The Mason 64 is an update of the Al Mason-designed Mason 63. All the design work on the new 64 was done by Jeff Leishman. While the drafting may not be quite up to Al Mason's quality, Leishman shows he has a good eye for a line and he can draw along with the best of today's active designers.

The Mason 64.

The Mason 64.

Starting with the classic lines of the Al Mason hull we see a long keelboat with a cutaway forefoot. I don't think Mason would say that this a full-keeled yacht, although by today's criteria most sailors would call this a full-keel. The overhangs are long and shapely. The counter aft is well elevated and clearly indicates that there was no attempt made to flatten the buttocks. The positive side to this is that the look is very yachty and graceful. The negative side is that, for the LOA, the effective waterline length is rather short.

Obviously, aesthetics play a major role in any appreciation of this design. The D/L ratio is 283. The beam and draft are both modest at 16 feet 6 inches and 7 feet, respectively. I find this sheerline a little too exaggerated for my own taste. I would suspect that with that much freeboard at the bow this design may like to tack back and forth quite briskly while anchored.

There are several standard interiors available, and Pacific Asian Enterprises is willing to do custom interiors. I should mention that the yard that builds the Mason series is Ta Shing in Taiwan and you cannot find better craftsmanship. Any visit to a Mason will amaze you with the attention to small detail and the overall furniture quality of the entire interior.

The center cockpit layout features three staterooms and crew's quarters forward. With the fine overhang aft, it is impossible to push the accommodations all the way to the stern in this design. The result of this is a huge lazarette with excellent access from the deck. The two forward staterooms share a shower stall, but they both have their own heads. The owner's stateroom has an actual bath tub.

"Little Mary," the cabin boy, says the galley is too small for a 64-footer. This small inadequacy is offset by an actual nav room on the port side. So, while the cook works away muttering under his breath about counter space, you can go and surround yourself with the latest array of gadgets that tell you where they think you are. Day by day, the room required in the nav area for electronic aids increases. I think most of us could rough it for a few days or weeks on a Mason 64.

The 64 is available in either cutter or ketch rigs. The mast has double spreaders and fore and aft lowers. Runners are shown. The SA/D ratio for the cutter is 17.78. Leishman did a good job of redesigning this des. Tastes have changed since the original Mason-designed deck was drawn, and we have become accustomed to form-fitting cockpits with deep seats and high seatbacks. Nobody wants a 1.5-inch teak cap cutting into their kidneys all day any more. Today the cockpit must work well at the dock and also at a 20-degree heel angle. The Mason 64 has a lot of clear deck space.

You get 320 gallons of water tankage with your Mason 64. You also get 664 gallons of fuel tankage. If you burn four gallons an hour and do 8.5 knots, you have sufficient fuel for about 1,500 miles. Imagine that. A GMC 220-horsepower 8.2T diesel is standard.

The Mason 64 is an interesting combination of classic styling, with its roots in the old S&S office, and the California approach to comfort. Most of us take this comfort level for granted today, but redesigns like the Mason 64 prove that it is the product of careful and studied design development.

Boat Specifications
Displacement64,400 lbs.
Ballast15,000 lbs.
Sail Area1,786 (cutter) or 1,632 (ketch)
AuxiliaryGMC 220
Fuel664 gals.
Water320 gals.


SAILINGlogo-115This story originally appeared in Sailing Magazine, and is republished here by permission. Subscribe to Sailing.