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Thread: Who knows about M-class yachts?

  1. #1
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    Default Who knows about M-class yachts?

    My father owned Astrild. She was an M-class sailing yacht ordered by Benjamin Guggenheim in 1911, completed in 1913. Of course he never took deliver as he died on the Titanic.

    She was destroyed (broken into 2) in 1989 in Ensenada Mexico. A hurricane left her bow on one side of the estuary and her stern on the other. By the time he got down there 5 days later, needless to say nothing was left but wood. My brother died a few months after. He was never the same until his death in 2010.

    He had immaculately fully restored her in San Diego to "as-built" condition during the last 1970's/early 1980's. It was like a floating museum. I have great memories of living on her as a baby and young child, although not as many as I'd like, matter of fact they are very few because I was so young. My mom also had a Dragon which they had finished to look like a miniature of my dad's M-boat. Both had the exterior of the hull from the boot stripe up completely varnished only, no paint, they were gorgeous.

    Anyway, it's difficult to find much info about M-class yachts on the internet. Seems J-boats are covered tho.

    I recall Astrild had a sister boat in So-Cal, I have a picture of my mom behind the helm. I can't for the life of me remember the boats name though

    Does anyone have a list of all of the M-class yachts that were built and possibly where they are today? I have lots of original items (steering wheel, binnacle, fire extinguisher, fog horn, etc) that I believe an interested owner may value and take care of.

    I've read that there may be a boat called "Pursuit" which is in San Francisco? Does anyone have contact information for the owner?

    First off, my intentions; it was my fathers life long dream to sail around the world the rest of his life on Astrild. He could not because I came along and he wanted me to have a proper education. He died absolutely broken hearted. IF I can find an original one, I would like to see if I could some how purchase her, god knows how at this point tho lol. The past 10 years I've also gotten the bug to sale around the world when my youngest son graduates high school in 7 years. At that point I'd be willing to sell literally everything I own to find an M-boat and fulfill
    the dream of my father and I.

    Thanks!

    Alex
    Last edited by anguilla1980; 02-20-2016 at 09:21 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Serious II was in Newport Beach at the Ardell marina tell the early 70's . Owned by the Amunsons ( the guy who owned Home Savings ) until he died. She was renamed back to her original name of Barlavinto ( proper spelling unknown )

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Nick Potter's M Boat "Endymion" was re-rigged as a schooner and spent many years in Newport Harbor CA until, sadly she was scrapped. I used to sit in her cockpit and eat my lunch when I had my yard in the sixties. The M Boat "Patalita", once owned by Howard Ahmanson also comes to mind. I believe she sank in the late forties. L. Francis Herreshoff's "Istalena" was a sweet boat but was too complicated in her rig for most of those who sailed her to understand. "Pursuit" is still located in Sausilito.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Thanks for the info!

    BTW, Patolita was renamed to Barlovento in 1957 by Frank Hooykaas. Also Pursuit was originally named Avatar.


    Here is my list so far from what I could find and from what has been said here:


    1) Astrild - Benjamin Guggenheim. Designed by John Alden, built by George Lawley & Sons, Neponset MA. 55 Tons. Ordered 1911 NY yacht club, delivered 1913 to the US west coast. Destroyed 1989 in Ensenada Mexico, owned by Scott Claytor. Had been absolutely meticulously top-to-bottom restored back to original 1913 condition by Scott in the very early 80s. Originally 86' on deck but was extended on the bow and stern for more graceful lines. Coast Guard used her as a training vessel around Catalina during WWII and she was painted battleship grey inside and out. Cynthia was her name after WWII until Scott renamed her back to Astrild.

    2) Escapade II "Serena" - Astrild's so-called "sister" that was in the So-Cal area in the late 70's/early 80's. Original name was Amorilla. Built 1916. 58.25 tons. http://www.aldendesigns.com/99years/....php?ID=58&s=1

    3) Prestige - Harold Vanderbilt. Ordered 1926

    4) Windward - Winthrop Aldrich. Ordered 1926. Broke up on the beach in Yelapa, Mexico in 1958.

    5) Istalena - George Pynchon. Ordered 1929. Renamed to Sabre. Scrapped.

    6) Avatar - 1929. Aluminum Mast. Now named Pursuit and in Sausalito CA, owned by Ron.

    7) Patolita - Renamed to Barlovento in 1957 by Frank Hooykaas. Then named Sirius II, then Formidable. In Holland to be renamed Simba.

    8) Endymion - Donald Douglas. Nick Potter. Scrapped in Newport Harbor.
    Last edited by anguilla1980; 02-20-2016 at 09:21 AM.
    www.ClassicDragons.org
    1955 Børresen Dragon Class, "Tip"

    "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    I wish I had more info to contribute. These are fantastic boats!
    Jay

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Sirius II, ex Barlovento sold in 1980 an renamed Formidable, sailed from Newport Beach to Ft. Laudedale. I was a watch captain for the delivery. The boat had been almost rebuilt from the keel up in the 1970's. I say almost because she was composite built with galvanized steel frames that I believe were not replaced and finally gave up the ghost. Saw pictures of her on the interweb a couple of years ago she was being rebuilt in Europe. Pictures I saw showed her with new keel and all new frames and floors and thats all there was. Waiting for planking, deck, interior and rig.

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Thanks for the extra info! I updated my list above!

    Alex

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Quote Originally Posted by pro from dover View Post
    Sirius II, ex Barlovento sold in 1980 an renamed Formidable, sailed from Newport Beach to Ft. Laudedale. I was a watch captain for the delivery. The boat had been almost rebuilt from the keel up in the 1970's. I say almost because she was composite built with galvanized steel frames that I believe were not replaced and finally gave up the ghost. Saw pictures of her on the interweb a couple of years ago she was being rebuilt in Europe. Pictures I saw showed her with new keel and all new frames and floors and thats all there was. Waiting for planking, deck, interior and rig.
    Its being rebuilt in Holland and back to its original name Simba. It was 2007 when I last followed up

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    But Jay- what ultimately came of Istalena? Does anyone know?/ JC

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    As far as I know, Istalena was scrapped. Sad, she was a fantastic boat that was light years ahead of her time.
    Her canoe stern was, according to her designer LFH, inspired by Viking long ships. Her hardware was innovative as well but foreign to her crew. In short she was too sophisticated for the crews of that time to learn new approaches to sailing. Back then we didn't have Boss Coutts to coach the crew.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Any idea where and when she was scrapped? That is very sad to hear

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Photos, anyone? For those of us who don't know the breed?

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Endymion if I'am correct was built for Donald Douglas by Wilmington boat works in the 30's Origionaly rigged as a schooner, she was the largest boat built by WILBO. Douglas changed her rig to a cutter after he lost a race to his good friend who owned John Deer Mfg,

    Windward was broght to the Wst cast by Cyril Tobinwho was past Commodore of the St Francis Y C. On his Transpac attept Winward lost her mast shortly after the start,Was lost on beach after a rce to Mexico keyboard is crewed up cat correct mistakes sorry

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Photos available if you look up R C Keefs story about Windward

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Bump for anyone else who may have more information to contribute...

    Also I verified that Astrild's sister boat was indeed named Sirena with my mom. Does anyone remember an M-boat named Sirena that was in the So-Cal area in the early 1980s?

    Alex

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Don't know about actual boats but I used to have blue prints for a Mower designed M. I don't remember a date and don't think there is a name on the plan. I could check on that but you might find that data on the Mystic web site with the Mower plans. added: Looking at the Mystic collection the only Mower/M connection is a Rosenfeld image:

    WINDWARD, M Class, #14, undersail, 1933

    PHOTOGRAPHS - SOFT NEGATIVES
    Black-and -white negative
    Rosenfeld and Sons
    1933
    Safety film

    That might well be the boat for which I know the blues. A beauty it looks.
    Last edited by Thad; 09-10-2014 at 12:59 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    I have all of the plans for Astrild and my mom's old Dragon as well.

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    I believe several New York 50s were re-rigged to sail in the class, which was dominated by Istalena. Who designed Astild?

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Bump to the top...

    I can't recall off hand who the designer or builder of Astrild was, I have the plans in a tube in storage 3,000 miles away unfortunately...

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Istalena

    "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

    -Mark Twain

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    I seem to remember mention that "Istalena" was scrapted during WWII for her metal. She sure was beautiful!
    "What fools these mortals be!"
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    A quote by made by Puck in "A mid-summer's night dream"
    Jay

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    The only Universal Rule boat named Astrild that I can find was an R-boat R-46, which would only be about 40 ft. long. Is it possible the boat in question had another name at some point?

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Bump for any more info...

    Would anyone have contact information for Ron who owns Pursuit? My mom is ready to sell some things from Astrild like the wheel, binnacle, fog horn, fire extinguisher, deck mount skeet shooter, etc. They are all original 1913 components.

    Johnw, it is possible Astrild had another name originally. I will ask my mom.

    Alex
    Last edited by anguilla1980; 02-20-2016 at 09:22 AM.
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    1955 Børresen Dragon Class, "Tip"

    "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Bump again!

    I have more info. My mom is 1000% positive our boats born-with name as Astrild. It did have another name though after WWII up until the mid-1970s when my parents bought it and named her back to original. She said when Guggenheim ordered the boat in 1911 it was thru the NY yacht club. The firm that designed her was Alden (spelling?), however the individual who worked at the firm who actually designed her was named Lawley (spelling?). Also she is positive Astrild was completed in 1913 because being that Guggenheim died on the Titanic, the new owner was on the west coast the Panama canal was not complete so she was sailed around the horn. When they did the restoration my father found all sorts of improvised extra ballast that they are presuming was put in for the voyage around the horn.

    I meeting up with her in a couple weeks for my dads funeral and I talked her into brining some choice Polaroids from the giant album she has of the entire restoration. I told her I would scan them high resolution and post them here. I asked for a few of prior the restoration, during, and of course after.

    I asked her if she knew where my dad stashed the plans for Astrild along with the plans for the Dragon (which they called baby lol), and she was unsure. I recall them being in a tube in storage. My mom said after my dad passed away there was ALLOT of paperwork up in his office that were so molded together she couldn't get them apart and they were thrown away. I'm pretty sure these plans were not among them. Most likely just pet projects he was designing during his last years. I recall, even as a boy, I hassled him to keep all the old plans and he promised he would and I even remember him showing me the tube he said they were in.

    Anyway, if anyone has any more info M-yacht info please post it! I have updated my post #4 above with the latest info I have thanks to this thread.
    Last edited by anguilla1980; 02-20-2016 at 09:22 AM.
    www.ClassicDragons.org
    1955 Børresen Dragon Class, "Tip"

    "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
    Its loveliness increases; it will never
    Pass into nothingness; but still will keep" - John Keats

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    I believe the first boats built to the M class were constructed in 1928. Some earlier boats were modified to fit the class, such as the New York 50s, which came out starting in 1915. It is possible that a 1911 design could have been modified to sail in the M-class, and remembered for racing in that class.

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Thanks for the information!!!! Good to know Lawley was the builder! I love correcting old here-say.

    I have been searching their archive, that's where I got the link to post on Serena, but alas I cannot find Astrild or any other boat which would fit the right description between 1909 and 1924 which is where I stopped for now.

    Also great to know M-class wasn't even a thing until 1928.
    I do know that Astrild and Serena were re-rigged/fitted so that would make perfect sense!

    EDIT: I just finished the entire Alden database
    (the downloadable spreadsheet) using process of elimination, and found no sign of a boat which could have been Astrild. Hmmm.

    Here is a great pic of her sister Serena tho from the Alden DB:

    Last edited by anguilla1980; 07-23-2015 at 06:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Quote Originally Posted by pro from dover View Post
    Sirius II, ex Barlovento sold in 1980 an renamed Formidable, sailed from Newport Beach to Ft. Laudedale. I was a watch captain for the delivery. The boat had been almost rebuilt from the keel up in the 1970's. I say almost because she was composite built with galvanized steel frames that I believe were not replaced and finally gave up the ghost. Saw pictures of her on the interweb a couple of years ago she was being rebuilt in Europe. Pictures I saw showed her with new keel and all new frames and floors and thats all there was. Waiting for planking, deck, interior and rig.
    I was crew on the delivery trip across the Atlantic, from Antigua to Plymouth (U.K.) in 1990. We sailed via Bermuda, as had to stop in for a replacement sail. Had endless engine problems, so could never use it, and remember drinking water was short as the tanks got dirty. A beautiful boat, and quite a handfull with only 6 of us, including the skipper, on the passage. If any of the crew or skipper see this thread, it would be good to hear from you again. James.

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    There is a Barlovento undergoing a major restoration as Jesperson's in Sidney, BC. Looks to be about 65'. Different boat? I'll try to get some photos when I'm there in February.

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    "Serena" is sitting on the hard waiting for someone to save her.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lesser View Post
    There is a Barlovento undergoing a major restoration as Jesperson's in Sidney, BC. Looks to be about 65'. Different boat? I'll try to get some photos when I'm there in February.
    The M class cutter is 82 ' long if I am correct. She was called 'Formidable' in the late 1980's and early 1990's and was in Antigua, where we met her in and spent 4 weeks getting her sea ready, before we sailed her back to Plymouth (U.K. ), via Bermuda in Summer 1990, The passage was rough at times and but also we were becalmed off Bermuda, after we caught a Dorado. Saw dolphins, flying fish, a Sperm whale, Frigate birds, and starry nights. The latest I heard was that she is in Holland, undergoing a restoration. (see 'the yachtmarket.com' as there is another thread on her.) If the skipper, Laurie, or any of the crew read this, then be good to hear from you. James

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Ettienne was skipper of her in her "Formidable" years (of course he pronounced it "Formy dah blay". This is his company contact page http://www.atninc.com/contact-atn-sa...quipment.shtml

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    "Serena" is sitting on the hard waiting for someone to save her.
    Jay
    Jay, any idea where she is or how I would contact the owners?!

    Glad to see more responses to my thread!

    Great news too, in going through my father's things, I have found ALL of the photos of Astrild, hundreds and hundreds or her, from before restoration until her destruction. In about a month I will have a scanner and get some posted! Wait until you see her hull varnished stem to stern! I'll post pics of my mom's Dragon too that they also varnished.
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  34. #34
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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Anguilla , you live in Anguilla ?

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    Default Re: Who knows about M-class yachts?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Anguilla , you live in Anguilla ?
    Yes, just moved back last year. Was born here and moved around ALLOT. Good to finally be back home, left when I was just a kid.
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    1955 Børresen Dragon Class, "Tip"

    "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
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    Pass into nothingness; but still will keep" - John Keats

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