Thursday, November 17, 2011

More About Figaro - Design 1107

We posted an article back in May about sailing yacht Figaro, design #1107. She is a beautiful yawl built by the Joel Johnson Boatyard of Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1955. Here she is on the hard.

I received an email from the son of her last and final owner and he directed me to a webpage which describes her demise. It is on the US sailing website as her owner, Arthur B. Hanson was memorialized with the establishment of US Sailing's Hanson Rescue Medal. Click here to access the US Sailing webpage.

Here is his account of the final moments of Figaro's life, then named Foolscap, taken from the US Sailing webpage.

To All Who Would Be Concerned:

Today, January 24, 1979, the LUTINE BELL rang for a great lady of the sea--FOOLSCAP. For more than fifteen years, this ship was an integral part of our family life. Her passing was like her living. She was a lady to the end. She had been through four days of gales attempting to reach Las Palmas in the Canaries where she was planning to be sailed to Antigua. Toward the end of the four-day gale, the winds came on hurricane strength dead out of the Northwest and half filled her cabin. With short crew, the lady made for the beach and placed the crew ashore near Tan-Tan Morocco, approximately 250 miles dead east of Las Palmas. She was so close, but yet so far!

By the means of Very pistol, the crew was able to signal their plight and natives pulled them ashore through the raging surf. Shortly after their rescue, the hull shattered, but not until she had taken care of her humans. Personally I have lost a child. On the other hand, I can only admire her way of going and thank God that she was never faced with being a worm-eaten hulk unloved by anyone. She was a great ship, beautifully designed, who crossed the North Atlantic in seven ocean races in all of which she placed well. She participated in every Bermuda race from 1956 through 1978 and countless others. She was a thing of beauty and joyous to behold. I salute her!

Arthur B. Hanson

Thank you very much for sharing this with us.

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