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Thread: Hopper sailboat in The Long Leg - cape cod

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    District of Columbia, USA

    Default Hopper sailboat in The Long Leg - cape cod

    I am looking for plans - or at least to learn more - about this sailboat. I am seeking to build a 1:12 model, the option to build larger would be intriguing too.

    While I would be pleasantly surprised to be able to acquire lines or plans for this design, something that looks quite like it would be an acceptable alternative. I have a few clues.

    1. The painting The Long Leg dates from 1935 so something at least that old.

    2. This is almost certainly a Cape Cod boat. Hopper spent important time there and would not have needed to repurpose an alien boat for his paintings.

    From one book—
    In the teens and twenties he spent summers in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and Ogunquit and Monhegan Island, Maine-all favorite retreats for vacationing artists. ... In 1934 they built a summer house in South Truro, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, where they spent six months out of almost every year for the rest of their lives. says, “The locale is Long Point Light at Provincetown, not far from the artist's summer home in South Truro.”

    3. Hopper himself built a boat as a boy on the Hudson River and sailed too, so would have personal hands-on appreciation of a boat. Whether this means his painting is faithful to reality or that he knew what he was doing as he took liberties, I cannot say.

    From a biography—
    Edward Hopper was born [in 1882] ... in Nyack, New York, ... Saturdays he spent in the Nyack shipyards where he studied the building and rigging of yachts with a boy's enthusiastic attention to detail. And, of course, he drew — and so continuously that his parents were persuaded to send him to a school for illustrators in New York after he had finished High School.

    4. Another painting The Lee Shore (1941) has an intriguingly similar boat. The color scheme varies, but #1 it is dated six years later so that is entirely possible, plus #2 artistic license allows for that too.

    5. Hopper had a similar boat in a painting called The Martha McKeen of Wellfleet (1944) , sometimes rendered McKean.

    “Although, according to Jo Hopper's notation in the record book, The "Martha McKeen" of Wellfleet represents a late August morning off Cape Cod and Hopper began this painting on 10 August, he did not complete the canvas until after he returned to New York in December 1944. Jo also recorded a subtitle, "Where Gulls Fill Their Gullets." When Hopper was asked about the title of this painting by the publisher of a small monograph of his work, he responded emphatically: "I should like to retain the title 'The Martha McKeen of Wellfleet' if possible. The young lady that the picture is named after has taken us sailing in Wellfleet harbor so often that the title has a sentimental value for us and Martha McKeen also. The title was given purposely to please her and I think it would make her feel badly if it were to be changed. There is no vessel with this name as far as I know. It was named after our friend."

    6. While I am here, allow me to affirm that the man knew his catboats.

    Cat Boat, 1922

    Ground Swell, 1939

    Thanks for any leads.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    West Boothbay Harbor, Maine

    Default Re: Hopper sailboat in The Long Leg - cape cod

    Hopper's sloop looks pretty similar to a Muscongus Bay sloop (aka Maine sloop boat) such as this one:

    You could either contact the people who built and advertise that boat above for a reduced scale set of their plans or pay for a set available from the Maine Maritime Museum (where you can see the actual boat).
    If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, eventually they would find me attractive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Hopper sailboat in The Long Leg - cape cod

    Not sure whether you might find plans for the Hopper boat. A suitable model design might be the Dulcibella gaffer, with some re-shaping of cockpit and cabin to meet the appearance of the boats in the drawings/paintings:

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