Tuesday, November 2, 2010

George Woodriff - Yacht Broker

George Woodriff

The following is one of the many touching letters we receive from sons and daughters of the many people who have worked for Sparkman & Stephens over the years. It is reproduced here by permission from the author.

Hi. My name is Anne Woodriff. I was looking at a yachting magazine in a doctor's office recently. I kept my eye out for any S&S ads, but there were none that I could see. Who knew there were that many yacht design/brokerage companies?? Not me.

That inspired a Google search, and here you all are. My dad, George Mairs Woodriff, worked for S&S in the brokerage department from (I want to say) the late 40's to 1964, when he died suddenly at the age of 44. He had just been made a partner. In fact, the very last day he was at the at work was when he moved into his private office.

He sold Walter Cronkite his first yacht back in the early '60s. Did Mr. Cronkite continue as a client after that? I remember also that he sent Garry Moore and Durwood Kirby to Dad for a charter the next summer. Then, there was the Cuban Revolution. Dad came home one day and announced that Batista's people had called to inquire about buying as many boats as they could to use in their war effort. We all know how that turned out!

When the Cup defender Constellation was being built in City Island, we had gone over there one weekend. When I told my French teacher about it, because she liked to sail, she was very excited. The next time we went, I brought her back some shavings from the hull. I wonder if she still has them, because she was over the moon to get them.

The photo is from a trip Dad made to Venezuela in the late 50's for a client. I hope someone there might remember him.

Kind regards, Anne Woodriff

Dear Anne,
Thank you for your note. By the way here's an image of the boat your dad sold to Walter Cronkite. She is a Sunward 48, named Wyntje.

Best regards,
Bruce Johnson

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