Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blitzen - Design 221

One of the most famous of the S&S designs, Blitzen, was built by Henry B. Nevins of City Island, New York. She was launched in 1938. She was designed and built for R. J. Reynolds, the son of the founder of the R. J. Reynold Tobacco Company. She was built as an all out ocean racing yacht as can be clearly seen in her interior layout. She was a very successful racing machine, winning her division in the Bermuda Race on her first outing.

Construction is typical of S&S: oak framing, mahogany planking, Port Orford cedar decks and bronze knees. The deckhouse and deck trim is of mahogany. The centerboard is bronze.

Here are the plans.

Principal Dimensions
LOA 55'-9"
LWL 40'-0"
Beam 12'-6"
Draft 7'-9"
Sail Area 1,303 sq ft


  1. Blitzen is now in the UK being fully restored to her original design and layout. From 2016 onwards she will be based in the med to join the growing S and S fleet based there

  2. I am proud to say my son is part of the team restoring Blitzen at the moment.

    1. My husband's father was a navigator in the Blitzen, in 1940, on the Florida to Havana race...His name was Donald C. Van Pelt.

  3. She was moored off Huntington YC, Huntington Harbor, Long Island for many years during my childhood. She was moored next to us, S&S design #286, Perroquet. When wooden boats were the standard and Norwegian craftsmen had work! Fun times, fun memories. --Beeper Moore.

  4. This S&S creation is just as beautiful and clear as Olin used to formulate his words and impeccable sentences. Being interviewed when he was in his 90ies! Yes, I felt very honored. And do miss this gentle giant.

  5. Many time winner of Great Lakes yacht races in the 1950s as I recall.

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  7. http://www.bycmack.com/history/Older_we_get_by_George_Van_(1983).pdf

    Blitzen won the 1945 Port Huron to Mackinaw race the roughest one ever only 4 of 44 boats finished. My Father was on a NY32 with owner Toot Gmiener that won cruising class that year. Sister ship Vitesse is shown beached in the above article.

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