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Saturday, November 26, 2011
One description has been repeatedly used to describe the 12-meter racing yacht Intrepid: a breakthrough yacht. Built to the Third International Rule, Intrepid (US22) was constructed of wood by the Minneford Yacht Yard of City Island and launched in 1967. She successfully defended the America"s Cup in both 1967 and 1970.
Her extensive tank test program at the Davidson Laboratory at the Stevens Institute in Hoboken, New Jersey, included eight models, 35 modifications and 18-months of work. Here's a rather poor quality image of Olin at the towing tank at the time.
Intrepid was the first 12-meter to use a separate keel (with trim tab) and rudder successfully. Her knuckle bow was an innovation as was the placement of much of her deck gear (and crew) below decks, allowing the boom to be lowered dramatically, and thus also lowering her center of gravity. This included her coffee grinder winches. Here's a diagram from a 1967 Time magazine article which demonstrates this arrangement well.
Here is a nice image - her chief designer contemplating what is to come as she exits the building shed.
And the moment of her launch.
Here are the plans. I apologize for the poor quality of the deck plan. I will try to find a better copy when I am back in the office on Monday.
Friday, November 25, 2011
This design was marketed initially as the Northstar 1500 but once production began she was know as the Northstar 50 and once Northstar Yachts was purchased by Hughes, she was known as the Hughes 35. She was designed to compete in the 3/4 ton class but also to serve as a great cruising boat. The boat was introduced in 1975.
Interestingly it was Howard Hughes who purchased Northstar Yachts.
A variation of this design was used for the She 36, design #2166-C1.
Here are the plans.
This commuter style motoryacht was quite advanced for 1956, the year of her launch. She was constructed using light wood scantlings by the De Vries Lentsch Shipyard (part of Feadship) of Amsterdam, Holland.
Power was derived from triple General Motors 671 marine diesels which were special-order equipped with aluminum cylinder blocks (and other aluminum parts), each generating 216 hp at 2,300 rpm for a top speed of 21 knots. That's her running at top speed in the image above.
It's impressive that three propulsion engines were utilized in such a narrow beam, and her engine room was so short that V-drives were required. The V-drive does result in a loss of efficiency but in any event, her target speed was achieved.
Here are the plans.
Here's an article from The Skipper magazine.
We are fortunate to possess two small publicity booklets that were produced by De Vries in our collection: one with construction images and exterior shots and the other with interior images. First let me draw your attention to the beautifully hand drawn cover with crossed Dutch and American flags and hand stenciled De Vries logo. If you recall the acronym Feadship means the First Export Association of Dutch Shipbuilders and the crossed flags along with the tag line built for the U.S.A. were a subtle indication of their desire to develop the American market. Here's one of the covers.
Here are some construction images in sequence from mold frames set up through to the boat fully planked.
The interior photographs. Images are in sequence from bow to stern.
Here are the exterior shots.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Here's a rare image of Brilliant, design #12, with her original rig configuration, which has been simplified over time. But let's not stop there with rare images. Here she is at the yard of Henry Nevins just out of the shed and awaiting her masts. It looks like her main mast is in but not rigged and she is about to have her foremast installed.
A couple of launch day images follow here.
This very interesting image appears to have been snapped on the day of her launch and was probably taken during her shakedown sail off of City Island with spectators watching. She was launched in 1931.
Brilliant was owned and built for Walter Barnum as can be gleaned from a previous posting and many other sources. Interestingly one of Barnum's regular crew members was an amateur model maker named Joseph Wheeler Appleton. His work is highly regarded, though a very limited number of his models were built or exist today.
Appleton built a model of Brilliant for Barnum as a gift. Here is an image of the model with Barnum (left) and the model maker Appleton (on right).
The quality of this model is legendary. Researching it on the Internet I came across this article about the model where Christie's estimated her auction value at between $40,000 - $60,000 in 2009. I have no idea what the model actually sold for.
In 2010 the International Yacht Restoration School amassed a collection of 10 Appleton models in an excellent exhibit. There is a good article about the man and the models in their publication, Restoration Quarterly which can be accessed by clicking here (one must scroll through the magazine to find it but it's worth the effort).
Finally here is a great image of Appleton himself, relaxing in the cockpit of Brilliant. Life looks pretty good.
We owe these fine and rare images (and many more) to Tom Nye of City Island, who is a great historian of City Island, a big fan of Sparkman & Stephens and a regular blog reader. Thank you very much Tom, and I enjoy our correspondence.
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.