Design No. 12

Walter Barnum commissioned Sparkman & Stephens to design Brilliant with what the firm considered a “notoriously rigorous design brief.”

The yacht had to be able to roll over in a hurricane and come up with her deck-opening covers intact; lie steadily in a full gale; have a “nearly unbreakable” rudder and steering gear; have lower masts able to withstand strain approaching a complete capsize; have more (and better) fasteners than the maximum usually used; and more.

Brilliant also was supposed to be built with materials that were “literally perfect for the use intended,” and to be fast, weatherly and handsome. Sparkman & Stephens managed to achieve all of that and more, at a construction cost of $100,000.