Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Design 736 - Egret

This graceful yawl was built by Thomas Knutson Shipbuilding Corp of Halesite, Long Island, New York. She was designed and built for a gentleman who lived on the Chesapeake Bay but eventually made her home in Los Angeles, renamed Blue Magic. She is now called Ebb Tide and makes her home port in Seattle. She was launched in 1947.

Here are the plans.

And an article from Yachting magazine from the time of her launch.

Principal Dimensions
LOA 49'-5"
LWL 34'-0"
Beam 11'-0"
Draft 7'-0"
Displacement 31,000 lbs
Ballast 10,660 lbs
Sail Area 1,160 sq ft


  1. I purchased Egret from a couple in Seattle in the early 1990's. We kept her there for a couple of years, when we had the chance to sail to the San Juans and even join with Dorade one time when she was there also.
    About 1997 I shipped her to Sydney, Australia. Later, around 2003 she was purchased by the wooden boat specialist Colin Beashel (who also did the work on Holger Danske)for his private use. The last time I saw her was in September 2011 when she was undergoing restoration at Beashels boatyard.
    I do still have in my collection copies of the original drawings plus correspondence from the original ownwer, Charles Porter Schutt. I also have photos from the Mystic Seaport collection taken in 1947 and the article from The Rudder magazine done not long after her launching.
    Some key bits of her history:
    -She was based upon the drawings for Tomahawk which Porter Schutt sailed on in 1939, just scaled up to the maximum size allowable for her class under the CCA rules. He had to wait until after WW2 to get her built.
    -No expense was spared on her construction, her planks were all single pieces, some 50' long.
    -Her decks are Port Orford cedar.
    -Her mast was made from 65' long pieces from two trees shipped as deck carge to New York from the west coast just for the job (one tree was kept as a spare in case of breakage)
    -Her fittings were all individually cast from patterns made specially for her (each stanchion base has a different angle) and the last time I checked the patterns were still at Merriman.
    -Her 27 HP motor was replaced early on by Porter Schutt with a Mercedes OM636 diesel as he felt the previous motor was underpowered for cruising.
    -Her interior was completely rebuilt by the original builder after Egret competed in the 1949 Bermuda race. It was found at the height of the storm there was some noise from the hull. Upon later inspection, it was found that English Oak framing had not been used as specified in the original specs, so the complete interior was removed and new floors built as originally ordered. This explains why the actual interior today differs from the plans, like the double bunk in the master stateroom and the revised layout in the main cabin.
    -Prior to her restoration by Patrick and Marsha Sheehan in the late 1980's and early 1990's, Egret had been turned into a houseboat, painted in gaudy colours and her masts and fittings stripped. Luckily, the second hand parts dealer could not find the heart to sell the gear, and handed it all over to the Sheehans when hearing of their restoration plan.
    She has had a lucky life, one time she was moored to a separate arm of a marina when there was a severe snow storm... the rest of the marina sank taking all boats with it, while Egret only suffered a broken boom from the weight of snow on her covers.
    I am sure she will go on to many more adventures, especially after the fine work done by Colin Beashel.

  2. For the record, on the bottom of the drawings is a signature... Aage Nielsen.

    1. Jamie Abdy CollinsJuly 1, 2014 at 12:37 PM

      Aage's name is also on all of Tomahawk's drawings. Interestingly her sail area and waterline are the same. would love to see some photos of her interior. I am racing Tomahawk in the Med at the moment and she is proving to be very fast, quite the equal to the other S & S yawls there.