Monday, May 18, 2009

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.

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