Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nevins and Sparkman & Stephens

Here's a builder's plaque I think any owner of a classic yacht might be happy to have aboard. Speaking of Nevins, I have made reference to the Sparkman & Stephens office at the Nevins Yard in City Island. Here's an overview that puts it in perspective. That's the Nevins yard on the right, and to the left you can see the S&S office, just adjacent to the Texaco station along City Island Avenue. This image must have been taken around 1928.

Anecdotally mentioned by the kind fellow who sent us this image: "It was not well known, but as even Olin intimated on occasion that the then new Nevins dock was subsidized by the Stephens family after the sale of Stephens Coal. Henry B. Nevins had no children and it has been noted that had Rod and Olin stayed on at the yard, they may have inherited it. There was always a mutual respect and close connection between the families. While Rod worked at Nevins for only about 5-6 years, he was still very much a presence at the yard, overseeing all the S&S/Nevins collaborations through the years."

Here's an image of the waterside of the Nevins yard taken around 1933. You can see a boat in her cradle at far left (dark hull). That boat has been just lifted on one of their "lift docks" or is about to be launched. The boats would be hauled (lifted) and then moved towards shore along the railways, thus allowing efficient hauling and launching. The "A" frame crane at the end of the far dock was used for the stepping of masts. The presence of men up in the rigging intimates this image may in fact have been taken in springtime.

And finally here's an advertisement from the period touting the efficiency of this arrangement.

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