Thursday, May 28, 2009

Schooner Elenora

26 January 09 Eleonora

BOAT: Eleonora
OWNER: Anonymous
DESIGNER: Nathanial Greene Herreshoff, Bristol R.I.
BUILDER: Van der Graff Shipyard, Holland
YEAR: 2000
HULL: Steel
LENGTH: 162 feet [49 meters]
Eleonora is an exact replica of the schooner Westward, which was hull number 692 launched at the Herreshoff Manufacturing Co., Bristol, RI. in 1910. Nat Herreshoff a.k.a. “the wizard of Bristol” designed all six of the successful America’s Cup defenders from 1893 to 1923. He is widely considered as one of history’s most impressive yacht designers. Westward was the fastest schooner in the world for many years, and nearly 100 years later, her twin Eleonora is in Newport Harbor finishing an extensive refit at the Newport Shipyard.
Despite freezing temperatures and short days, the folks at Newport Shipyard together with workers from several local businesses have put in long hours to prepare Eleonora for her departure to the Caribbean next week. Conditions offshore are cold and violent, but Eleonora is more of a ship than a boat, and she will eat up the miles between here and the warmth of Bermuda in a matter of days.
Anyone wishing to see this remarkable vessel before she departs can do so by going to the Newport Shipyard. The web site has lots of information and pictures of her exquisite interior.

Donegal-Concordia Yawl- Newport, R.I.

1 Feb 2009 Donegal

BOAT: Donegal
OWNER: Terrance J. McClinch
DESIGNER: C. Raymond Hunt, Marblehead, MA
BUILDER: Abeking and Rasmussen, Lemwerder, Germany
LENGTH: 39 feet 10 inches [12 meters]
YEAR: 1956
HULL: Mahogany on Oak
Designed in 1938 by renowned naval architect C. Raymond Hunt, the Concordia Yawl is arguably the most successful large one design wooden boat in history. Originally designed as a racing boat that could double as a cruiser, the Concordia Yawl has become something of a legend. The first four boats built in Padanaram, Massachusetts were followed by a partnership with Abeking and Rasmussen in Germany that resulted in another ninety nine boats [total 103] - all of which are in existence today.
Donegal is the home away from home for visiting master shipwright David Stimson of Maine. Mr. Stimson is leading a team of shipwrights as they build “Cherokee” - a six metre racing yacht under construction at The Museum of Yachting. At night, after a long day at work, Mr. Stimson is snug aboard Donegal, tied off against the winds at the in water docks of the International Yacht Restoration School [IYRS]. On these cold winter nights Mr. Stimson is cozy below decks with a warm fire and a hot cup of tea.

Manaaki- Ted Fontaine 40 -Newport, R.I.

9 Feb 09 MANAAKI

BOAT: Manaaki
OWNER: Ted Fontaine
DESIGNER: Ted Fontaine, Portsmouth, R.I.
BUILDER: Friendship Yachts, Whangarei, New Zealand
LENGTH: 40 feet [12.1 meters]
YEAR: 2004
HULL: core cell foam with biaxial glass and vinylestyer resin
For over 20 years, Ted Fontaine has been designing the world’s most beautiful super yachts. Every one of his designs over 100 feet [30 meters] has been nominated for, or won awards from the internationally recognized Super Yacht Society. In answer to market demand, a new, smaller, design with classic lines and modern features was introduced by Ted and his partners at Friendship Yachts. Manaaki is the one of the first such boats.
Traditional in appearance, yet technologically advanced in all other aspects, the Friendship 40 has been very successful indeed. Often described as a “mini super yacht”, the Friendship 40 features a spacious hand crafted interior that is reminiscent of yachts twice her size. To date 18 boats have been sold, and several are still on Narragansett Bay.
Ted’s design office is located at the Bend Boat Basin, in Portsmouth where it is very much at home amidst the dozens of marine related businesses that form the economic foundation of Newport County.

Honey-Oysterboat-Jamestown, R.I.

16 February 09 Honey

BOAT: Honey
OWNER: William Geib, Jamestown,
BUILDER: Repco, Gouldsboro, Maine
DESIGNER: William Geib, Jamestown
YEAR: 1978
LENGTH: 28 feet [8.5 meters]
While Repco of Maine is long gone, many of their solid fiberglass hulls remain. As “Honey” was being built, the workers could have never imagined what their creation would eventually become. Only Bill Geib of Jamestown, a retired truck driver and altruistic visionary could have come up with the modifications that led to the present day “Honey”.
As the owner of Great Creek Shellfish Farm, located in the bay near the historic Watson Farm in Jamestown, Bill needed a stable platform that no normal boat could offer. Over the course of 3 years, Bill transformed a single hull into a purpose built work boat that is like no other.
The needs of an oyster farmer are specific. A stable platform is critical to an efficient harvest. It takes three to four growing seasons to bring the tiny spats to market size. During that time, the bivalves will filter thousands of gallons of water and build shells several inches long. Oysters are an important part of our ecology and diet. “Honey” plays an important part in bringing oysters to our table.
In coming years sustainable aquaculture will have a growing role in our economy and future. “Honey” spends winters at Fort Getty in Jamestown.

Zodiac Pro 20-LRSE- Poertsmouth, R.I.

23 Feb o9 Zodiac Pro 20

BOAT: Pro 20
OWNER: Life Raft and Survival Equipment, Portsmouth
BUILDER: Zodiac Boats, France
LENGTH: 28 feet [8.53 meters]
HULL: Fiberglass with PVC “Shark” fabric
Founded in 1896 by Maurice Mallet, the Zodiac Company got its start as an aeronautical firm making dirigibles. They went into aircraft manufacture after WWI and invented the inflatable boat during the 1930s. Today they are a publicly traded company with interests in technology, airline equipment and of course boats.
From its very first days, the inflatable boat was a commercial success. Made famous by the television series Undersea World by Jacques Cousteau the name Zodiac became synonymous with inflatable boats. Soon rigid fiberglass hulls were used to stiffen hull tubes making possible ever larger boats.
Pro 20 is a twenty man center console boat suitable for recreational or commercial use. Worldwide, such boats are used by harbor masters, yacht clubs, and larger boats as tenders. One advantage of these boats is low weight and high capacity. It keeps fuel consumption down yet allows for high speeds and a dry ride.
First opened in 1983, Life Raft and Survival Equipment is the regional dealer and authorized repair facility for Zodiac boats. With 14 full time employees, they are a welcome part of Newport County’s marine related economy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Can Do II- Oldport Launch- Newport, R.I.

9 March 09 Can Do II

OWNER: Oldport Marine Services, Newport
DESIGNER: unknown (possibly Bill Tripp)
BUILDER: Marscott Plastics, New Bedford, MA
YEAR: mid 1950s
LENGTH: 22 feet [6.7 meters]
HULL: early fiberglass
Marscott Plastics of New Bedford, MA was one of the pioneers of fiberglass boat construction. Unsure of the new material’s properties, the first builders sometimes used wooden reinforcements, and often “overbuilt” the hulls. Can Do II is a prime example of this.
Lying derelict behind a shed in the late 1980s Can Do II caught the eye of Mike Muessel of Oldport Marine Services. Mike’s offer to buy the hull for $200 was rejected by the owner who countered with one of $150! The sale took place and work began.
The “boat’s” rotting frames were stripped away until all that remained was a fiberglass skin. New frames were molded in. Decks and consoles were installed and engine beds fashioned. Hydraulic, mechanical, steering, and electrical systems were designed and installed bay the experts at Oldport Marine Services.
Nowadays, Can Do II is something of a Newport harbor icon. She fully commissioned and floating year ‘round ready to perform any number of tasks.

16 march 09 Corsair

BOAT: Corsair
OWNER: The International Yacht Restoration School [IYRS], Newport, R.I.
DESIGNER: Nathanial Herreshoff, Bristol, R.I.
BUILDER: Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, Bristol, R.I.
YEAR: 1939
LENGTH: 35 feet [10.6 meters]
HULL: Teak over cedar
Corsair has quite a history. She was originally built as a launch for J.P. Morgan’s 343 foot yacht – Corsair IV, but never served the purpose. Corsair IV was sent to join the British Navy during WWII before Corsair was finished. Corsair IV never came home.
Corsair was built to hang from the side of Corsair IV and still has the original hanging eyes in evidence today. IYRS students have gone completely through Corsair replacing all rotted and damaged wood. IYRS students are building their own futures by learning the skills required to rebuild the past. While rescuing historical objects- some of which are in distress- is the core mission of the IYRS student body, general wood working and lofting are taught as well.
Corsair is as much a part of our national history as are the mansions or Trinity Church. The fact that IYRS is centrally located on Thames Street, not just doing, but teaching the skills required to preserve our national artifacts is a blessing to our community that we should not overlook. The public is invited to the IYRS campus to view the restorations in progress. Just go down to the campus and walk in during regular business hours.

23 March 09 Southern Star

BOAT: Southern Star
OWNER: Olivier Pitras
DESIGNER: William Tripp Design, Norwalk CT
BUILDER: Stephens Marine, Stockton, CA
LENGTH: 75 feet [ 23 meters]
YEAR: 1970
HULL: Aluminum

Originally designed and built to triumph in the famed Newport to Bermuda Race, Southern Star IV has become an instrument of enlightenment. The idea back in the late 1960s was to take line honors with a rugged, fast, seaworthy yacht bigger than the rest. After just one race, the rules were changed, and Southern Star became obsolete. After crossing the Atlantic, she was donated to the applied physics department of Johns Hopkins University. After chartering in Europe for a while, the boat returned to the U.S..
Local resident Robert Morton, of Newport Biodiesel, remembers chartering the boat for the Centennial Tall Ships Festival in 1976- at that point she was still a U.S. flagged vessel. After that, it was back to Europe and out of sight – until recently.
About eight years ago French yachtsman Olivier Pitras took over the boat putting her into service as an adventure vessel. Sleek design and solid construction made her an ideal candidate for Arctic exploration. Now the vessel and her crew roam the world as an educational mission dedicated to awareness of the global warming predicament.
To leann more about this fascinating project go to: Also see:

30 march 2009 Airlie

BOAT: Airlie
OWNER: James A. M. Johnston/ lives aboard
DESIGNER: Stanley Mason
BUILDER: S.C. Mason Boatyard Big Tancook Island, Nova Scotia
LENGTH: 45 feet [13.7 meters]
HULL: White pine on oak
YEAR: 1929
For many, 1929 was the beginning of the Great Depression, but for Airlie, it was the start of her life. Originally built as a sword fishing boat, by the name of Green Bow II, Airlie is one of the last Tancook Schooners built. After 20 years of hard fishing, the boat underwent a rebuild and alteration by Howard Stanley- son of the original builder. The conversion made the boat more appealing as a racing yacht. The Duke of Airlie in Scotland bought the boat and named her after the fiefdom. After many years of racing, Airlie changed owners several times. Again in 1995 and 2007 the hull was totally rebuilt at the Gifford Island boatyard of Clarence R. Heisler and Son, Indian Point, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.
Current owner James Johnston, has plans to race Airlie in the various schooner races held in Maine and Eastern Canada this summer, After that he plans to go down to the Chesapeake Bay Schooner races this fall. The boat can be seen at Bannister’s Wharf in Newport until May.

6 April 2009 Sea Diamond

BOAT: Sea Diamond
OWNER: Anonymous
DESIGNER: Phillip Rhodes, New York, N.Y.
BUILDER: Abeking & Rasmussen, Lemwerder, Germany
LENGTH: 91 feet [27.7 meters]
HULL: Steel
YEAR: 1956
Sea Diamond is a remarkable yacht in all regards. Designer Phillip Rhodes is renowned for having created many distinguished yachts as well as several one design classes. For Rhodes, Sea Diamond was a “one off” built by one of the world’s foremost builders- Abeking & Rasmussen of Germany.
From the outset, Sea Diamond was a special boat of exceptional quality and character. The ravages of time and use brought forth the need for repairs. This is where the spirit of Newport, became one with the boat’s history.
Local craftsmen from James Langston and Ben Randall (interior joinery) to Mount Hope Boatworks (mast) to the experts at The Newport Shipyard have left their mark on this extraordinary yacht.
In a rare twist of fate, the niece of previous owner William Bartholomae recently purchased the boat- bringing her back into the family. Captain and crew have been hard at work preparing the vessel for departure this weekend from The Newport Shipyard. is bound for Florida and then the Pacific Ocean.

13 April 2009- Firecracker

BOAT: Firecracker
OWNER: Ted Mercier, Jamestown
DESIGNER: Robert Perry, Tulalip, WA
BUILDER: Saga Marine, St. Catherine’s, Ontario
LENGTH: 43 feet [13 meters]
YEAR 1997
HULL: Baltek cored Kevlar with Vinylester resin
The Saga 43 represents a different school of thought in sailing yacht design. Instead of greater beam (width) with a large rig – required to drive the boat through the water- designer Robert Perry took a different tack. Drawing upon lessons learned from long distance offshore racing, Perry made the Saga 43 longer, narrower, and easier to handle than many of the designs that are manufactured today. This unconventional approach exchanges roomy aft cabin space and high labor requirements above for a smooth sailing sled that slips through the water with a minimum of effort.
The sturdy low aspect ratio rig combined with a hull of vacuum bagged Kevlar makes for one very solid boat. Long, lean, and narrow makes for good speed.
Good design and build makes for longevity. Now lets see if Ted can get away from his responsibilities at Dutch Harbor Boat Yard in Jamestown for long enough to enjoy this beautiful boat!

a20 April 2009 Weatherly Concordia Yawl

BOAT: Weatherly
OWNERS: Sharon DeLucca and Paul Castaldi, Bristol
DESIGNER: C. Raymond Hunt/ Concordia Co., South Dartmouth, MA
BUILDER: Abeking & Rasmussen, Lemwerder, Germany
LENGTH: 39’ 10” [12 meters]
YEAR: 1955a
HULL: Mahogany over Oak
If boats were guitars, the Concordia Yawl would be a Gibson Les Paul. The Concordia Yawl is not one of a kind, but rather a class of yachts with noble parentage.
Founded in 1926, the Concordia Company name has become synonymous with excellence in design and quality construction. Company founder Llewellyn Howland lost his personal yacht in the great hurricane of 1938. As a result, he commissioned naval architect and company partner C. Raymond Hunt to design a racer cruiser that would become legendary in the world of yachting.
Between 1938 and 1966 The Concordia Company commissioned 103 yawls- all but four were built by Abeking & Rasmussen in Germany, and all bear the distinctive star and moon cove stripe.
Besides good looks and charm, the boats have soul. Owners don’t just own, they love. By their own admission, Weatherly’s owners- Sharon and Paul- are “boat proud”. They brought Weatherly to Conanicut Marine Services in Jamestown last fall and found a place that can appreciate a fine wooden boat.
At present, Weatherly is “taking up” -allowing the wooden planks to swell- at Conanicut’s marina. Next week the rig will go in, and the process will continue. Soon she will be sailing. Weatherly is visible from the dock at East Ferry in Jamestown.

27 April 09 BSBW Bertram

BOAT: Fred
OWNER: Ryder Stahl
DESIGNER: C. Raymond Hunt, New Bedford, MA
BUILDER: Bertram Yachts, Miami, FL
LENGTH: 25 feet [7.6 meters]
YEAR: 1965
HULL: Fiberglass
Forty-two years is a long time in the boating world. Fiberglass was a new material in 1965, but Bertram Yachts have always produced superior quality yachts. Just the same, Fred was tired- not dead- upon arrival at Brewer Street Boat Works, on Conell Highway in Newport. The original plan was to do some basic repairs, but as is common with such things, one thing led to another. Over the course of what became a first class restoration by the experts at Brewer Street Boat Works, two more classic Bertram yachts came in.
Current owner Ryder Stahl bought Fred form the original owner in 2007. The boat was 42 years old at that point. New fuel tanks, new electronics, a new motor and countless other improvements took just enough time to allow for this remarkable photo. Over the winter, two other Bertram yachts came in for restoration, and on this day just last week, all three boats were ready for delivery. The crew stands proud in front of their accomplishments.

1 May 2009 Aslan

BOAT: Aslan
OWNER: Anonymous
DESIGNER: German Frers, Buenos Aires, Argentina
BUILDER: Nautor Swan OY, Pietersaari, Finland
LENGTH: 53 feet [16 meters]
HULL: Solid Fiberglass
YEAR: 1990
Exactly one year ago, this very boat was featured in this column as a new arrival that had been trucked over land from Ohio to Jamestown Boatyard as a restoration project. Named Jaeger, and the victim of a lightning strike, Aslan is now like a new boat.
Jamestown Boat Yard has found its niche in the boating world as specialists in Swan Yachts. Their technicians have -on several occasions -been to the Swan factory in Pietersaari, Finland for training. By focusing on the specifics of these unusual yachts, “J.B.Y.” has carved out a reputation as a destination shop for Swan owners from around the world.
Aslan – the new name for the restored Jaeger- is now a fully refurbished lion of the sea. The name, which relates to the central character in The Chronicles of Namia- a series of novels by C.S. Lewis is appropriate to a boat with such seagoing prowess.
Aslan’s new owners plan to use the boat as a summer home based in Maine for the time being. With such a boat, they can- at anytime- take off and cross an ocean if they desire.

Monday, May 18, 2009

American Eagle- 10 May 09

BOAT: American Eagle
OWNER: American Eagle Inc.
DESIGNER: Bill Luders, Stamford, CT
BUILDER: Luders Marine Construction Company, Stamford, CT
YEAR: 1964
LENGTH: 68 feet [20.7 meters]
HULL: Double planked Mahogany on steam bent oak and laminated mahogany frames
The 12 Metre yacht American Eagle was designed and built in 1964 for the Aurora Syndicate as a contender to defend the 19th America’s Cup. Ultimately, Constellation defeated “Eagle” in defense trials and went on to beat the British contender Sovereign.
In 1968 media tycoon Ted Turner bought “Eagle” and sailed her to victory in nearly every major ocean race during the period. The record set by Turner and “Eagle” in the 1971 Fastnet Race stood un rivaled until the huge and fatal storm of 1979. Turner’s victories aboard American Eagle led directly to his selection to defend and win the 1977 Cup on Courageous.
These days, “Eagle” lives in Newport and earns her living as a part of the America’s Cup Charter fleet. Already commissioned and floating, she was available last week to take a group of hearty sailors out for what turned out to be a beautiful day on the water. Her distinctive red hull makes her a standout. American Eagle and all of the other 12 Metre racing yachts are preparing for a majestic season of living history on Newport’s beautiful Harbor this summer.

Bystander- 18 May 09

BOAT: Bystander
OWNER: J -Class Management, Newport
DESIGNER & BUILDER: Greenport Basin and Construction Company, Greenport, N.Y.
LENGTH: 42 feet [12.8 meters]
YEAR: 1929
HULL: Cedar on white oak frames
If historic significance is any benchmark, then Bystander gets a gold star. The list of her relationships reads like an A list star party in Hollywood. Built for Mike Vanderbilt, in what turned out to be the year of the great stock market crash, Bystander has played host to the boats & crew of no less than six America’s Cup Races. Starting in 1930 with the J –Class Enterprise, and continuing uninterrupted until 1967 with the 12 meter challenger, Dame Patti, Bystander, towed, tended, and otherwise stood by some of the best known yachts in racing history.
The ravages of time took their toll on Bystander, and she became in need of a total restoration- enter Narragansett Shipwrights and its all star cast of Newport based professionals. The list of businesses and individuals that took part in Bystander’s renovation is on a par with her rich history. Fine craftsmanship, joinery, and mechanics were on display this past Thursday as Bystander was re launched after a multi year restoration near the I.Y.R.S. campus.
The boat will be on view in Newport Harbor this summer- just in time for the 12 Meter World Championships coming up this fall.