Friday, March 25, 2011

Design 220 - Wakiva

This prewar beauty was built by Jakobson of Oyster Bay, New York and launched in 1938. She is typical of the big 70' yawls of the period. The boat was requisitioned by the Navy during World War II, then returned to private use. She has had numerous owners and names over the years: Wakiva, Kitty Hawk, Petrel, Congaree, and Orient.

It is somewhat interesting to see a centerboard on a boat with deep draft, and this allowed for adjustment of sailing balance on all conditions.

Built primarily as a cruising boat, she has a decent race record including participating in the following Bermuda Races:
1948, 6th in class A out of 15 yachts
1950, 8th in class A out of 18 yachts
1952, 12th in class A out of 19 yachts
1956, 12th in class A out of 21 yachts
1960, 17th in class A out of 22 yachts
1962, 8th in class A out of 27 yachts
1964, 13th in class A out of 26 yachts

Here are the plans.

Just for information's sake, here's a nice set of joiner sections penned by Rod Stephens.

Principal Characteristics
LOA 70'-3"
LWL 49'-6"
Beam 15'-2"
Draft 9'-0"
Sail Area 2,250 sq ft


  1. I was this weekend visiting Marthas Vineyard and screeched to a halt upon seeing the hull of "Petrel" standing dismasted on dry land. The lines were lovely and I was immediately certain she was an S&S. Yes. The owner of the yard told me she was to be completely disassembled and shipped to the west cost for reconstruction and re-fitting.

  2. Sadly,I do not believe that came about. I somewhere saw online several years ago photos of Petrel being demolished.

    In the summer of 1973, my then fiancee and I spent several days on board Petrel sailing out of Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard. We were on vacation visiting her parents who had a house overlooking the harbor at Oak Bluffs. During supper one evening, we saw a huge yawl, whose mainmast was head and shoulders above every other mast in the harbor, entering the harbor. After supper, we simply walked down and struck up a conversation with her owner, Nick Van Nes. He invited us to accompany him and Petrel to New Bedford for some repair work the next day. At that time, he and I happened to be professional photographers. I think his son, also Nick, still lives on the Vineyard.

    By the way, I still have a cardboard poster, brown and brittle with age, advertising the boat for charter. It has on it the photograph shown above.

    Ever since, my wife and have referred to that vacation with Petrel and Nick Van Nes as our "pre-marital honeymoon."

    Robert Orr Jr
    Attorney-at-Law (Ret.)
    Franklin, Tennessee