Friday, September 3, 2010

6-Meter Jill - Design 16

Here's the sail plan for the 6-meter Jill. The boat was designed for J. Seward Johnson who was one of the sons of the Johnson & Johnson founders. J. Seward Johnson was the founder of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. For interest's sake, Johnson also had us design another 6-meter named Jack, design #30.

The purpose of my posting it here is that it is the only drawing by Olin J. Stephens, II that I have managed to find in the office. Double click on the image and zoom into the lower right and you will see the initials O.J.S. II. Olin never felt he was much of a draftsman and I believe he systematically tried to destroy any evidence of his drawing work.

Anyway it's Friday afternoon so here's a little anecdote: I was looking for a nice image of Jill. Here it is (the ONLY image of Jill I could find):

On the back of the photograph is the following story, written by designer Frank Kinney:

Design #16, a six-meter
for Seward Johnson, Esq.

The author was one of her crew in 1936, just by luck. Olin was expected to go but could not because of the loss of one of his designs by fire at that time. Pat Merle Smith invited me to be one of Jill's crew and I accepted and went to crew aboard her in the Firth of Clyde.

Phillip J. Roosevelt was our skipper. we won handily. We stayed at the Royal Clyde Yacht Club at Dunoon.

A funny thing happened one day when we were invited to a Lord's castle, it just so happened that I was seated at the table at the Lord's left. Just after all hands were seated the Lord said, "All right Kinney, now you can pass the soup". I jumped a bit and started looking around for the soup. Just then in comes the butler and passes a large soup bowl. It turned out that the butler's name was Kinney!

This is by the way just a little light touch.

Cute story right?

Jill has recently been rebuilt by Rockport Marine and is sailing again.

Jill Relaunch 2008
Images Courtesy Martha Coolidge

Principal Dimensions
LOA 36'-5"
LWL 23'-5"
Beam 6'-6"
Draft 5'-4"


  1. I am not sure that I understand how one of the 20C's longest and most successful yacht designers (if not the), could be a poor draftsman. At any rate double WOW for both the superb drawing and pictures of the Jill

  2. errata: could think he were a poor draftsman

  3. Thank you for your comment. It is perplexing but you must consider how Olin worked. he had a talented team of designers working under him. He would lay out the design parameters and what he would like to achieve in each design and he would then work the office going from designer to designer making comment: "I would like to see a little more curvature there, perhaps more flare here", etc. So in effect he had a group acting as extensions of his hands. He had no qualms about telling me what he would like to change well into his 90s!
    Bruce Johnson

  4. Is it just me, or does this design appear to have more rake in its sailplan than any other S&S design?