View Full Version : Yankee One-Design
I'm a friend of Jamie Hascall (and Victoria) here in Seattle. I've found great info by reading this forum (thanks!) and this is my first question.
I have a Yankee One-Design: a 30' racing sloop, "Venture," designed in 1937, built in 1949, and currently on loan to the Center for Wooden Boats. Yankees are great fun to sail, especially when the wind kicks up.
For the past two years while I've been restoring my boat, I've become curious about what's left of the fleet. There were about 42 Yankees built, and nobody knows how many are left, but my guess is 12 - 15.
I'm building a website at http://www.YankeeOneDesign.com and have been having an incredible experience piecing together the class' history, and getting in touch with other Yankee owners. I've tracked down all the West Coast Yankees, and have a good contact in Cleveland, but have yet to find any of the East Coast boats or owners. Most of the fleet was built in New England (see p66 in the July/Aug 2002 WoodenBoat mag), and I'm hoping there are a few of these boats still racing.
So if you have any info about the East Coast Yankees or owners, please respond to this post or email me. I'd be so grateful. And if you're interested in these lovely racing boats, check out the website.
Thanks very much,
07-30-2002, 08:43 PM
Welcome to the Forum. When I saw the title, I should have known who was behind it. I hope you get some good info from the Right Coasters.
07-31-2002, 08:54 AM
I hope the Cleveland YOD is the one that was owned by the guy who had a small book store in the Flats on the east side of the river back before it became gentrified. He used to talk about taking a Caribbean cruise evenings after work. They'd sail out to the Cleveland municipal water supply intake crib about five miles off shore :D Nice guy, very nice boats. If it isn't his any more, I hope she found a good home.
07-31-2002, 11:16 AM
Seth Persson, the boatbuilder who built Finisterre among others, owned a Yankee that he would take on cruises with his family. His sons now run the business in Saybrook, Connecticut and may be able to tell you more.
I saw one here in Maine a few years ago that had been altered to have an aft rudder on a skeg!
Thanks for the replies. I also got some emails sent to me privately: one from the owner of hull #18, which was thought to be scrapped. Turns out she's sailing on L. Champlain with 2 other YODs. That's great news, especially since #18 was a champion racer, back in the day.
I also heard from Andy Britt (author of this month's cover story). He sent me a great photo of the two Britt Bros standing with hull #1 in their shop. He said #1 is somewhere in Maine now and is trying to track it down. I hope it's not the one with the skeg!
I'm actually hoping there are a few YODs in Maine, as I keep hearing so many reports of one there, it can't be the same boat...
rbgarr, can you put me in touch with Seth Persson's sons? I'd be grateful.
Tom, I doubt the Cleveland boat is your bookstore friend -- this person owned the boat in the 50's, then sold it when he left the area, and bought it back around '94 when he had returned and the boat was nearly toast. He's restored it to the original. This guy also won the 1972 Thistle Nationals, which is totally hot.
(The other 2 boats on L. Champlain might have come from Cleveland, I'm not sure.)
Tony, thanks for the tip about the Rudder articles. I found them listed in an online Rudder index, but the Center for Wooden Boats sold their Rudder collection at a garage sail a few years ago, so now I have to go down to the library. I'm waiting for it to start raining again here first.
Thanks for the welcome, Jamie, and when are we going to see you at a Duck Dodge this summer? We've been having great fun racing against the 36' Rhodes Evergreen, Lemolo (and about 50 fiberglass boats). Let's plan a Woodie L. Washington race to Kenmore and back for one of these weekends, and you can leave Victoria at CWB for a day and race in the Dodge before you head home.
08-07-2002, 03:22 PM
I seem to be slow on the uptake here but I have to say the whole story of the Yankee one design just plain intrigues me.
There is a whole series of letters between Waldo Brown(who conceived of the Yankee in the first place), L. Francis Herreshoff, (who is sometimes incorrectly listed as the actual designer), Starling Burgess, (also sometimes incorrectly listed as the designer) and presumably Frank Paine, who also was on the design comittee.
Herreshoff was not to keen on the idea as he saw it as a way to get expert designers without paying expert fees. Burgess thought the idea was great and Paine was not much on corespondence.
It appears that the boats came out great, in spite of the fact that Paine was not really on good terms with his two former associates. For all I know he did not do a damn thing. As his great grandson and biographer, I would like to think that his ideas were used in what became the Yankee One Design.
Herreshoff Paine and Burgess had difficulties in their relationships. Sounds like the YOD had a pivotal position in some of the low points. Interesting to know more. The way L. Howland tells it in his article on Burgess, Burgess's break up with his wife angered his coworkers, to the point where they broke off their business and personal connections. Things are seldom so simple.
08-08-2002, 12:56 PM
Yes, Burgess breakup with his wife caused some issues within the firm. It seemed that when the partnership broke up, LFH felt as though he had to chose sides
bewteen the principles. He clearly worshipped Burgess and chose to ally, though not work with, him.
There was more to the rift than that. One family member told a story of Burgess saying or doing something that was giving away trade secrets and that FCP was miffed. An admitedly one-sided opinion mind you.
My great grandmother, Paine's widow lived to the ripe old age of 94, so I was priviledged to know her quite well. She told me once that she put FCP and LFH's friendship back together by explaining to each of them that they had no quarrells with eachother.
LFH and Burgess remained friends as letters clearly indicate. How Burgess and Paine dealt with eachother durring the birth of the YOD is a good question.
Much aside from all the complications of personalities I still find the genesis of the YOD by comittee to be an interesting concept.
Before the original post showed up I started collecting letters between LFH and Waldo Brown and a few from Burgess as well. FCP is never mentioned exept in passing as one of the three judges in the design comittee. There is more that I have not found so lack of evidence is not its own proof in this case.
I'm very intruiged by these letters. Is there any way I could read copies of the ones pertaining to the YOD genesis?
I'm also interested in learning more about the working relationship of these three men, especially as it was affected by the Yankee design. Where would I find the L. Howland article?
This is fascinating stuff. smile.gif
LFH worked out the rigging on VARUA for W.A. Robinson to finish off the Burgess design, and I thought he had something to do with the stern detail also. I am also reminded of William Atkins story about the DORMOUSE design which came out of a serving of cocktails between Alison McIver, Burgess, and Atkin. Atkin finished the job with the drawing set for the boat that was built for Elihu Root Jr. I believe Root regularly cruised the 23' double-ender to Bermuda.
08-15-2002, 02:19 PM
I sent an email but igot returned. Louie's Burgess articles can be found in WB #71-73
The letters I found were part of the L. Francis Herreshoff collection at mystic as part of their online initiative. When I found this stuff I was looking for letters that pertained to other matters, but found the YOD things quite fascinating.
I have been trying to unravel the whole Paine, Burgess, Herreshoff scene for a while. Louie was most helpful. His father was married to Frank Paine's sister so we are almost sort of cousins. well maybe not! but we share common interests.
LFH wrote an article for Rudder about the YOD. I havent seen it yet.
08-15-2002, 02:21 PM
Not Louie's father. Grandfather! His father and uncle along with FCP protoge Ray Hunt, founded COncordia.
all fun stuff.
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