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Thread: Frank C. Paine

  1. #1
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    I'm looking for any information about my grandfather, the designer Frank C. Paine, who was most active in the Boston area in the 20s and 30s and produced such boats as the J-boat Yankee, the Bermuda Race record-holder Highland Light, and the fishing schooner Gertrude Thebaud, along with a number of Meter boats and Universal Rule yachts. I would love to uncover someone who sailed with him, but it would be great simply to discover the locations of his boats still extant.

    My nephew is hoping to write about him, and we search out info for that reason.

  2. #2
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    Check the Woodenboat index at this site and you'll see that there have been a few articles about Frank Paine. That's a good starting point for finding references to those who knew him. Also, you might try writing to Mr. Llewellyn Howland in the Boston area (sorry, don't have his address handy but if you have the articles he wrote about W.Starling Burgess, who, incidentally, had a connection with Frank Paine, it's included at the end of the second article I believe and also appears from time to time in the classifieds as Mr. Howland sells rare books on nautical topics) as I believe that he may have quite a bit of knowledge on the Massachusetts yachting scene. You may also wish to contact someone like Phil Bolger (see his post under "Building/Repair") who is a designer and who has been in the same general area for quite some years. Also try Mystic Seaport as they have an extensive collection of plans from various designers. I don't know whether Frank Paine's are there or not, but it's worth asking for any information they may have. Other ideas: contact one of the old-line design firms like John Alden or C. Raymond Hunt and see if there is anyone there who might have had a personal interest in Frank Paine and who might have some information for you.

    Just some thoughts.....off the cuff, as it were....

  3. #3

    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    Quote Originally Posted by dinnie View Post
    I'm looking for any information about my grandfather, the designer Frank C. Paine, who was most active in the Boston area in the 20s and 30s and produced such boats as the J-boat Yankee, the Bermuda Race record-holder Highland Light, and the fishing schooner Gertrude Thebaud, along with a number of Meter boats and Universal Rule yachts. I would love to uncover someone who sailed with him, but it would be great simply to discover the locations of his boats still extant.

    My nephew is hoping to write about him, and we search out info for that reason.
    Hi- This is a really OLD post so I'm not sure you are still there, but my grandfather, Magnus Lande, and many of his neighbors and relatives from Tysnes, Norway were the crew who sailed Yankee during the America's Cup race in the 1930s. Yankee was dismasted in foul weather and my grandfather took the "good luck" coin from beneath the mast, which I currently have in my possession. I also have a book entitled "Yankee in England" by Gerard B. Lambert (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1937) that covers the building of Yankee. There are many mentions and photos of Frank C. Paine in the book. You can find a used copy of this book online, but you will pay a pretty penny for it. Good luck.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    Great post, thanks.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    The drawings of Frank C. Paine are in the MIT Museum.
    http://web.mit.edu/museum/collection...ist.html#paine

  6. #6
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    Yes, Very old post. Yet I am still working on the book. I have written an entry on Paine for the Encyclopedia of Yacht designers as well as a short piece on Q boats for our favorite publication. The latter was a bit too convoluted for many readers but it did get me going again.

    Louie Howland has been most helpful. The problems I find is that Paine himself was not a writer and not a self promoter, so records of value are few and far between. I find that contemporary sources are often quite flawed. Many things have been accepted as fact by inertia, undoing that is a challenge.

    That said, I thank you all for the help.

    Jon

    I have spent much time at MIT and currently have the copy of Yankee in England that Lambert inscribed to FCP.

  7. #7
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    One of his boats, a pretty six meter in great shape, lives in Vineyard Haven harbor--not sure who owns it now. It was owned by Gretchen Synder, a sailmaker, for a long time, then it was owned by the CEO of Showtime or HBO (can't remember), then practically given away to a joint ownership, a couple of doctors, one of whom is still on the Island, Michael Jacobs. I think he might be the sole owner now. I came about a gnat's hair from buying it myself about 10 years ago but the broker totally screwed it up .. . Boat was called "Saki" when Gretchen had it, now it's "Sakie" (which is slightly . . . umm, challenged). Gannon & Benjamin went totally through it to the tune of about 20K (so I was told) about 12 years ago. Nice boat. Dr. Jacobs is in the phone book . . . .

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    Yes,
    I know of Saki. I looked at her myself back in the 80s when she was known as Gull. After I looked at her I asked Virginia Paine (my Great grandmother) about her and she had good stories bout her. In many ways I regret not have bought her then, but in the end having someone else restore her seemed a better idea!

    Jon

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    Earl Boebert, mentioned here, MAY have some knowledge about Paine: http://www.cupinfo.com/en/jclassrevisited.php
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    I met Virginia when Muriel Vaughn, LFH's housekeeper asked me to dropped a copy of LFH's last book at her house. If you have not seen it, try to find the lampshade Frank make. It had in silouette in scale of all the boats he had owned. The shade was a work of art, probably made from the yellow drawing paper that used to be standard fare. With the light coming through his never ending parade of yachts, it was a delightful sight.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon R View Post
    Yes,
    I know of Saki. I looked at her myself back in the 80s when she was known as Gull. After I looked at her I asked Virginia Paine (my Great grandmother) about her and she had good stories bout her. In many ways I regret not have bought her then, but in the end having someone else restore her seemed a better idea!

    Jon
    That's cool, I have some regret about not getting it but the 6' draft really isn't my thing; it was probably fate. I sailed her a few times (with not-great sails), fun, wet!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    Re Lampshade: My Aunt Virginia Aldridge (Thorndike) was last in possession of it. I asked her to find it for me, but no luck. I remember it well in Virginia Paine's Library. It had all the boats that FCP owned at one time or another, most, but not all, to his design. Notable exceptions being Alastor, an Alden R boat, Dispatch, an LFH launch, Barbara a NY 50 and Yankee which he designed but was not the owner of record. I just wish I could remember them all. He was no sentimentalist, and did not keep boats for very long.

    Jon

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    Hello, I realize that this is quite an old thread (it is now 2020!) If you are still seeking information about someone who knew your grandfather, Frank C. Paine, my father sailed for him in the 1940s-50's on Gypsy. Please contact me, he would love to share his stories. He's an old man, but those stories are emblazoned in his memory as though they were yesterday. He had great respect for your grandfather.

    Liz (Sailorsdaughter)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    I love it when these old threads come to life with new information!
    If you don't make the connection here, try social media, google searches, check the WoodenBoat Index. The son in law of the builder of my boat found me through Facebook and visited my boat last year. Good luck, keep us posted.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    I suggest going here (see link below). The 8000+ photos related to yachting will keep you busy. There is an excellent chance your father will recognize the content and the people in these photos. Your dad might even be in them! I have found several that include my grandfather. I will also suggest one more thing. Each photo has an accession number. If your dad has content to add, then please write down the accession # along with his comments, and forward them to me. I have been slowly feeding the archivist who is responsible for them with corrections, updates, dates & names that I have either obtained from my dad or from research from contemporary sources. The content I provide is then independently vetted before they update the photos. HTH.

    https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/...lds&q=yachting

  16. #16
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    Excellent! Indeed I will. Dad will narrate the whole way, I am certain. At first glance I already think I see one photo with him in it!
    Thanks for the tip and the link.
    Liz


    Quote Originally Posted by xkdrolt View Post
    I suggest going here (see link below). The 8000+ photos related to yachting will keep you busy. There is an excellent chance your father will recognize the content and the people in these photos. Your dad might even be in them! I have found several that include my grandfather. I will also suggest one more thing. Each photo has an accession number. If your dad has content to add, then please write down the accession # along with his comments, and forward them to me. I have been slowly feeding the archivist who is responsible for them with corrections, updates, dates & names that I have either obtained from my dad or from research from contemporary sources. The content I provide is then independently vetted before they update the photos. HTH.

    https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/...lds&q=yachting

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    FYI one of the links above in the ancient-portion of this thread mentions the Paine Collection at MIT. They still have it but it's not digitized yet for online viewing in the same way the Herreshoff and Owens collections are. But the C.H.W. Foster collection there has many R-class boat photos including Gypsy, and those are visible from the web.
    My grandfather sailed in Marblehead and Boston from 1914 to the early 1950s (in 210s, including a test drive & fix on #2 Harpoon !), and my dad was aboard during some of those adventures circa 1938-1953. They didn't raced in R's (that I know of) but were in 30 sq m boats. I'll ask him if he remembers Gypsy from 1948-1953.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    OBTW according to my incomplete list of R boats, Gypsy was R-13. HTH.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    Again, thank you. I can't wait to share this information with Dad.


    Quote Originally Posted by xkdrolt View Post
    FYI one of the links above in the ancient-portion of this thread mentions the Paine Collection at MIT. They still have it but it's not digitized yet for online viewing in the same way the Herreshoff and Owens collections are. But the C.H.W. Foster collection there has many R-class boat photos including Gypsy, and those are visible from the web.
    My grandfather sailed in Marblehead and Boston from 1914 to the early 1950s (in 210s, including a test drive & fix on #2 Harpoon !), and my dad was aboard during some of those adventures circa 1938-1953. They didn't raced in R's (that I know of) but were in 30 sq m boats. I'll ask him if he remembers Gypsy from 1948-1953.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    Hey, xkdrolt, many thanks for your good work!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    Thanks

  22. #22
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    I have not checked out this forum for some time, and am pleased to see that this thread is back on track. I have been slowed down in my writing projects by the demands of both work and fatherhood. I am an old dude to have a 9 year old, but there you are. Of course, my greatest source of information was Louie Howland, friend, mentor, de facto cousin, and all around fine chap, now sadly gone along with his stories. It has been a tremendous kick in the pants to me to have Louie's book on Starling Burgess, Stan Grayson's book on C.R. Hunt and, of course Roger Taylor's books on LFH. All three men were very important to Paine, and I would like to think he was important to them as well. You may all be interested to know that my son and I have begun restoring an experimental air boat designed and built by FCP in the late 40s or early 50s.

    Deciphering the Paine R boats is a bit daunting as he designed three, all named Gypsy. Not to be confused with the eight meter, Gypsy, the the Marblehead 36 Gypsy or the improved Marblehead 36, Gypsy! The last of which was designed in 1939 and built in one month by Brorr Tamm and the crew at Lawley's. She was strip planked over 5 bulkheads. I have a marvelous painting of her from 1947 when she sported an experimental synthetic mainsail that was black. I also have numerous Rosenfeld's of her as well as some of J boat Yankee and numerous Rs and Qs. I think that FCP's favorite boat was probably Highland Light.

    I have not had a chance to check out 'Topaz' but it is gratifying to me that she shows a good turn of speed from time to time. As for myself, after many years out of New England, I am now back in the Homeland and sail out of the Manchester Yacht club, one of FCPs many club affiliations.

    Thanks for listening,
    Jon (Great grandson of Frank Paine, and occasional biographer)

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    Welcome back Jon!

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Frank C. Paine

    Thank you Thad! Point of clarification of R boats. Paine designed three for himself named Gypsy. There were numerous others as well. The records from MIT are not straightforward as to the origin or assigning of work at the Burgess and Paine, Burgess, Swasey and Paint, Paine, Belknap and Skene etc offices.. I have not yet figured out all the Rs. The Qs I have a handle on.

    Sailorsdaughter, If your dad is who I think he is, I met him in Thomaston ten or twelve years ago, and indeed did get some marvelous stories..

    Jon

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