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Spring 2010 (Issue No. 47)

1916 SEA BIRD YAWL 26'

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1916 SEA BIRD YAWL 26'. Owner says, "LADY was built in the beginning of the 1900's and launched in 1916 off the mud flats of Los Angeles Harbor, California. Her builder was Robert Lee, member of the LA Yacht Club with membership #17. I found her in the late 1950's dying in an old boat yard named Hanchets, later on changed to Cabrillo Boat Yard & Storage. I was in middle school and in the Sea Scouts at the time and already had the maritime hook set deeply into my soul. At the age of 9 or 10, I already knew what she was, and I knew the Sea Bird history; I am now 65. Anyway, later on in life still bouncing around, I finished up in Crawfords Maritime Academy of Wilmington. I revisited the old haunts of San Pedro and found the old girl still withering on her crutches, drying out but not losing her figure. I remembered shoring her up long ago when I first saw her and was alarmed that she was not propped up at her bow and stern. So I did so then. The story is over 94 years old, and there is a lot to tell:

"She was launched LADY GWENDOLINE and her name remains the same to this day; her friends just call her LADY. She was restored by me, Eddie Hollister. She is now glass laminated over 1/4 inch 5 ply birch wood ply over plank. Sea Bird was designed by naval architect CD Mower, the same man that designed Slokum's SPRAY. He palled around with the Wizard, Nat Herreshoff. Sea Bird was created at the same time as Herreshoffs H-28, and Sea Bird was designed without an engine. Later on, Day, the editor of Rudder mag came along -- (Thomas Fleming Day was the founding editor of The Rudder Magazine for Yachtsmen, 1891 to the 1950's) -- and commissioned Bird with an inboard. Henceforth, the Bird squatted on her end, but still did a remarkable passage from the U.S. East Coast to the Azores -- about 3,000 miles in a little over 17 days at an average of about 7 knots. LADY has done 30 miles in 3.5 hours, her fastest time for Catalina. LADY has no engine and no through-hulls; she just sits on her intentional lines -- sweet!

"This gaff-rigged Sea Bird Yawl was handcrafted by David Lee, Sr. and launched via horse drawn wagon in San Pedro, CA. Unique to this Sea Bird is an aerodynamic half bulb keel that helps the boat track to weather. An excellent racer, she has won many regattas. Very seaworthy, new hull and bottom paint. Included with purchase is the full history of LADY GWENDOLINE's 94-year sailing career, including photos, news articles, and regatta history. Rigging in good shape. Sails are newer and in good shape: 2 spinnaker sails, a spinnaker pole, 2 twin heads. 6hp Evinrude outboard." Asking $2500. Contact Eddie at 310-821-5926 or mdrboatworks@hotmail.com. Lady is living the good life at Del Rey Yacht Club in southern California. (CA)

 

 


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      Bone Yard Boats     ***     P.O. Box 1432     ***     Marblehead, MA  01945 42° 30.20'N   70° 50.20'W  
     
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Bone Yard Boats is the quarterly newsletter -- and website -- whose mission is to save old boats.
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