Classic Sail News from 1885-1935 to present

the Largest Steel Schooner Yachts Built Between 1890 and 1931

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  • Ailee; 167′ 7″ LOA 1928  3M Staysail, Des. Chas.   Nicholson, Blt. Camper & Nicholson. Near sister to Sonia II.  Blt. 1931.
  • Alcyone;168′ LOA. (Length on deck) 1907. 3M Gaff, Des.  Clinton Crane.  Blt.  Geo. Lawley & Son.  Became commercial in Central America.
  • Atlantic; 185′ LOA. 1903. 3M Gaff, Des.  Gardner & Cox.  Blt. Townsend & Downey.  Replica now sailing on the Med.  For news of her larger sister go to Sea Call below.

_JRT6598ATLANTIC - james robinson taylor _JRT3939_JRT3881_JRT3430 (1)_JRT3170_JRT3141 (1) photos taken by James Taylor, reproduced with permission.

  • Arcturus; 169′ LOA. 1896. 3?M Gaff, Des St. Claire Byrne, Blt. Ramage & Furgeson.
  • Black  Douglas, Aquarius, now El Boughaz I. 153′ LOA. 1930. 3 M Staysail, Des. Gielow, Blt.  Bath Iron Works.  Was sold recently to a Moroccan owner.
  • Creole, Magic Circle, Vira now Creole. 191′ LOA. 1927. 3M Staysail, Comp. Construction. Des.  Chas. E. Nicholson.  Blt.  Camper & Nicholson.  currently owned by Italian sisters.  Sailing on Med.
  • Cressida, Pioneer, now Yankee Clipper; 172′ LOA.  1927. Orig. 2M Sq. Fore Top.  Was later 3M Staysail. Des. Cox & Stevens.  Blt.  Krupp.  Her plans were probably  evolved from the 1903 Intrepid.   We have interesting information from the 1920’s and 30’s about this fine vessel.  This vessel has now been broken up.  Jan. 7, 2017.
  • Czarina, 3M Sq Fore Topsail Sch.  May have been Benjamin Nicholsons largest steam aux.  sailing yacht design No details yet.
  • Flying Cloud, Fantome; 203′ 6″.  1929. 4M. Gaff, Des.  J. S. Barbour.  Blt. Cantieri Navale Orlando.  Lost in hurricane Mitch, Central America.
  • Genesee; 148′ LOA.  1900.  2M. Gaff, Des. A. C. Smith & Barby.  Blt. Cressent Shipyard.  Known to have survived WWI, no details.
  • Goodwill; 161′ LOA.  1922. 2M Gaff,  Des. Henry J. Gielow.  Blt. Bethlehem Shipbuilding.  One of the last large schooners to be seriously raced.  Lost with all hands on the Pacific coast of  Mexico.
  • Gleniffer; 157’6”. 1899. Orig. 2M Gaff, later 3M Gaff.    Des G. L. Watson Blt D. W. Henderson.
  • Guinivere (1), Orig. Visitor II; 197′ LOA. 1908. 3M Gaff. Des. A. L. Swasey & Raymond Page.  Blt.  Geo. Lawley & Son.  Wrecked while in US Naval service during WWI.  A side note. The first Visitor was a steel steam yacht Blt. 1904.
  • Guinivere;  (2); 195′ LOA. 1921. 3M Gaff. Des.  A. L. Swasey.  Blt. Geo. Lawley & Son.  Last seen on the Med, 1960’s (?).
  • Hamburg II, Ex. Rainbow ; 134′ or 158′ (?) LOA. 1897 or 1900(?). 2M Gaff. Des. G. L. Watson.  Blt. Hendeson & Co.
  • Hussar, Vema, now Mandalay; 202′ 6″ LOA. 1923.  Orig. 3M Gaff, Now Staysail, Des.  Cox & Stevens.  Burmeister & Wain.  Recently sold, (May 2012) to be refit for service in the Eastern Carribean.
  • Intrepid, Invincible, 163′ LOA.  1893.  3M Gaff, Des.  J. Bevor Webb.  Blt.  Neafie & Levy.
  • Intrepid, Uvira; 171′ 6″ LOA.  1903. 2M Gaff, Des.  J. Bevor Webb.  Blt. T. S. Marvel.  Broken up about 1937.
  • Kalisto, Fisherman II; 180′ LOA.  1921.  3M Sq. Fore Top, Des. Max Oertz.  Blt. Krupp.  Rig removed and repowered, was motor yacht as Fisherman II.
  • Karina, Undaunted, Dauntless; 200′ LOA.  1911. 3M. Gaff, Des.  Theo. D. Wells.  Blt.  Staten Island Shipbuilding.  Built to beat Atlantic. Wrecked 1951.  Plans for her are reportedly at Mystic Seaport and at South Street Seaport.
  • Katoura, Elfay, Magdalen II; 162′ LOA.  1914. 2M Gaff, Des. Nat. Herreschoff.  Blt. Herreschoff Mfg. Co.  No report after about 1951.  Last known to be in Gibraltar.
  • Kihna; 183′ 9″ LOA. 1930. Rig not known, (probably 3M Staysail.) Des. Chas. Nicholson.  Blt.  Camper & Nicholson.  (Was she actually a motor yacht?)
  • Lancashire Witch; British steam aux.  No details yet.
  • Meteor III, Nordstern Aldeberan; 161′ LOA.  1902. 2M. Gaff, Des.  A. Cary Smith  Blt. Townsend & Downey.
  • Meteor IV, Ailee; 129′ LOA.  1909. 2M Gaff, Des. Max Oertz.  Blt. Krupps Germaniawerft.
  • Meteor V, Feid el Bihar; 156′ LOA.  1914. 2M Gaff, Des. Max Oertz.  Blt. Krupps Germaniawerft.  L. Francis Herreschoff thought she was an enlarged version of Westward.   Last known to be King Farok’s yacht , Egypt, 1950’s
  • Migrant; 223′ LOA.  1929. 3M. Gaff, Des.  Henry J. Gielow, Inc.  Blt.  Geo. Lawley & Son.  Logs from her years as a yacht have very recently come back to City Island from, of all places, Las Vegas, Nevada.  They have not yet been read.  Reportedly blew up about 1953 while in commercial service.
  • Sea Call; 215′ LOA.  1915. 3M Gaff, Monel plating over steel frames. Des.  Wm. Gardner.  Blt.  Geo. Lawley & Son.  While it was claimed that she was built only for world cruising, it is more likely that she was actually built to beat Atlantic, Karina and Katoura. She was the World’s Largest Battery.  Scrapped after only 6 weeks afloat.   One of the greatest schooners ever.  Easily reached 14 knots in trials.  It may be possible to reconstruct her lines.  A 6′ long half model of her, used to prepare her plating diagram, Ref # ML-X-AZ-60 ; and a photo of her at anchor, Ref # GO.2.537 ; are at the Hart Nautical Collection at MIT, some plans available elsewhere, also see Recent developments section.
  • Sakara, Kirin, Magdalene, Kirin, Primivera, Kyra; 98′ 9″ (111’9′?) LOA, 82′ (?)  LWL Beam 22′ 9″ Draft 12′ 6′ (14′ 7″ ?). Orig Gaff now 2M Staysail Des. J. Bevor Webb.  Blt.  Geo. Lawley & Son.  Smaller than others mentioned in this section, but significant because she is one of only 2  J. Bevor Webb Designs still sailing (on the Med.) that we know of. The second is Partridge; 49′ LOA, Gaff Sloop, Blt. by Nicholson in 1885.
  • Sonia II; 166′ LOA.  1931.  3M Staysail, Des. Chas. Nicholson Blt. Camper & Nicholson.
  • Sunbeam II, Flying Clipper,Eugene Eugenedies now Eugenios Eugenidis; 195′ LOA. 1929. 3M Gaff Sq. Fore Top, Des.  G. L. Watson  Blt. Denny.  Has reportedly been taken over by the Greek Navy for use as a sail training ship.  Funds lacking for restoration during current economic situation.
  • Sultana; 190′ LOA.  1890. 3M. Gaff, Sq. Fore Top, Des.  J. Beavor Webb.   Blt.  Handren & Robins. Rig may have been removed later.
  • Utowana; 190′ LOA. 1891. 3M. Gaff, Des.  J. Beavor Webb.  Blt.  Neafie & Levy.
  • Sultana and Utowana; May have been sisterships.
  • Vergemere; 162′ LOA.  1903.  Des. A. Cary Smith.  Blt. Harlan & Hollingsworth.  My have been a sistership to Meteor III.
  • There probably were other very large  schooners we don’t yet know of.
  • We have additional information on most of these vessels.                                                         Last Edited  Jan. 7, 2017.

Designers of Large Schooner Yachts, 1895-1935

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John G. Alden, J. H. Barbour, Edward Burgess, A. S. Canfield, A. S. Chesbrough, Cox & Stevens, Clinton Crane, Theodore E. Ferris, William Fife, William Gardner, Gardner & Cox, L. E. Geary, Henry J. Gielow, William H. Hand, Jr., Nathaniel G. Herreschoff, Max Oertz, Charles E. Nicholson, Arthur B. Raymond, A. Cary Smith, J. M. Sopher, W. C. Storey, A. L. Swasey, Swasey, Raymond & Page,  Tams Lemoine & Crane, G. L. Watson, J. Bevor Webb, Theodore D. Wells, H. C. Winteringham. Winteringham & Wells.        Who did we miss?  Last update Feb. 11, 2010.

Written by classicsailnews

October 15, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Posted in yacht designers

11 Two Masted Racing Schooners Built In Germany the U. K. and the U. S. A. for or acquired by German Owners 1900-1914

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  • Cicely, 134′ LOA, 1902, Des. Wm. Fife, Blt. Fife. Originally British Owned.
  • Clara, 1899 (1900?), Des. J. M. Sopher, No specs. yet. Des. for a German Owner.
  • Germania, Exen, Half Moon, 122′ LOA, 1908.  Des. Max Oertz, Blt. Krupps Germaniawerft.  In 1908 Germania sailed a 47 mile course around the Isle of Weight in record time.   Wrecked in Florida hurricane, 1930.   Construction of replica began in 2009 at the same yard that built the new Elena.  Now sailing on the Med.
  • Hamburg, Ex Rainbow, originally British,  158′  LOA, 1897, Composite Const. Des. G. L. Watson, Blt. D. & W. Henderson.  Finished second in the Trans-Atlantic Race of 1905.   Scraped 1927.
  • Hamburg II, Originally U. S. owned, then British as Westward, and again after WW I. 136′ LOA. 1910, Des. Nat. Herreschoff, Blt. Herreschoff Mfg. Co.  Replica sailing as Eleanora.
  • Iduna, 135′ LOA. 1887 (1891?)  Des. A.  Cary Smith.   Originally Blt.  U. S. By Harlan & Hollingsworth as Yampa, British owned as Yampa again after WW I.
  • Lasca, 120′ LOA. 1893.  Des. Cary Smith. Blt. Pipgras.  Returned to the U. S. and became a cargo schooner in 1918 or 1919.
  • Meteor III, Nordstern, Aldeberarn, 161′ LOA, 1902. Des. A. Cary Smith, Blt. Towsend And Downey.  U. S. owned after WWI.
  • Meteor IV, Ailee, 129′ 11″ LOA, 1909.  Des. Max Oertz, Blt. Krupps Germaniawerft.  Meteor III and Germania were near sisters.  Meteor III was slightly huskier.  Owned  Spain (France?) after WWI.
  • Meteor V, Feid el Bihar, 156′ LOA, 1914. Des. Max Oertz.  Blt. Krupps Germaniawerft.  Owned Italy after WWI, Egypt after WWII.
  • Susanna, No details yet.
  • We have additional information on most of these vessels.
  • Last updated July 24 2011.

Written by classicsailnews

October 5, 2009 at 10:19 pm

18 Two Masted Racing Schooners Built Or Owned In The U.K. Between 1895-1914

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  • Adela, Heartsease, 140′ LOA (Length On Deck),  1903, Des. W. C. Storey,  Blt. J. G. Fay.   Adela, A wonderful and entirely new boat retaining some elements of the original design was built in 1992. 
  • Cetonia; 1889, No details yet.  1902 Composite, 120 LWL (?) ex L’ esperance.
  • Cicely; 134′ 1902,  Des & Blt. Wm.  Fife
  • Clara; 107′ LOA, 1899 or 1900 (?), Des. J. M. Soper, Blt. P. T. Harris for a German owner.  No details yet.
  • Gertrude; No details yet.  (There was an 1864 ketch of this name.)
  • Gleniffer; 1899, 157′ 6″  Des. G. L. Watson.  Blt. D. W. Henderson.  Clipper bow. Largest 2M sch. at that time.  Later 3M sch.  She kept her original masts, added a short mizzen, thus reducing the area of her mainsail by about 40%.  This was done to several other large 2 masted schooners.
  • Golden Hind; 1931, 104′ 9″, Des. A. Mylne, Blt. Alexander Stephen and Sons.  Have photo.
  • Julnar; No details yet. (Fife ketch of this name built in 1909.)
  • Leander; 1904 (?),  No details yet. (There was a 96′ ketch of this name.)
  • L’Esperance; 1899 (?) J. M. Soper.  No details yet.  A still confused picture.  There seems to have been a 1902 composite C&N schooner, 120 LWL (?) of this name.  The 1902 boat may have become Cetonia.
  • Margherita, Davida; 133′ LOA, 1913, Des. Chas. Nicholson, Blt. Camper & Nicholson.   Said to be one of Chas. Nicholson’s favorites. 3M sch. as Davida. Some recent talk of a replica.
  • Namara; No details yet.  There was a 81′ 3″LOA yawl 1894 Des. G. L. Watson Blt. D & W Henderson.   Is this the same boat?
  • Ocania; No details yet.
  • Rainbow, Hamburg; LOA, 133′ or 158 LOA’, 1897 or 1900, Des. G. L. Watson, Blt. Henderson.
  • Susanne, Lamora; LOA,93′ 7″ ,  1904, Des. & Blt. Wm. Fife.
  • Sulvana, Diane, Pays (Pais?) de France, Le Matin, Diane, Vira, now Orion; 110′ 4″ (129′? 148′?) LOA,  1911, Des. Chas. E. Nicholson,  Blt. Camper & Nicholson.  Sailing on the Med.
  • Westward, Hamburg II, Westward; 136′ LOA, 1910,  Des.  Nat. Herreschoff, Blt. Herreschoff Mfg. Co.  Was also owned in Europe first by German and then, after WWI,  by U. K. owners.  Replica now racing as Eleanora.
  • We have additional information on some of these vessels.
  • Latest update August 19, 2010

21 U.S. Built Racing Schooners by Other Designers

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  • Ariadne, Cutty Sark, Mary Pinchot;  131′ (147’10”?) LOA, (Length on deck.) 1902.  Des. Tames, Lemoine and Crane.  Blt. Harlan & Hollingsworth.  Mizzen added, also square foretopsail.
  • Constellation; 134′ LOA, 1889.  Des. Edwd. Burgess.  Blt. H. Piepgras.
  • Elmina; 99′ 2″LOA, 1901  Des.  A. Cary Smith.  Blt. Townsend and Downey.
  • Elmina; 125’LOA, 1905.  Des. A. Cary Smith.  Blt. Geo. Lawley and Son.
  • Enchantress, Katoura II, Enchantress; 136′ LOA,  1911  Des. A. Cary Smith and Ferris.  Blt. Geo Lawley & Son.
  • Endymion; 135’9″LOA, 1899.  Des. Tames, Lemoine and Crane.  Blt. Geo. Lawley and Son.  Said to be one of the best looking schooners of her size.  In 1900  set the trans Atlantic record, 13 days 20 hours 36 minutes, Sandy Hook to The Needels, 145 miles east of the Lizzard, that was broken by the schooner Atlantic in 1905.
  • Etak, Vega, Te Vega, Juinita, Te Vega, now Deva; 134’2″ LOA, 1930.  Des. Cox & Stevens.  Blt. Fried Krupp Germaniawerft.  Owned by an Italian and  sailing on the Med.
  • Goodwill; 161′ LOA, 1922.  Des.  Henry J. Geilow Inc.  Blt.  Bethlehem Ship Building Corp.
  • Hardi Biaou, Valor; 110′ LOA, 1928. Des. John G. Alden.  Blt.  Geo. Lawley & Son.
  • Hildegard; 135′ LOA, 1897.  Des. A. S. Chesbrough.  Blt. Harlan & Hollingsworth.
  • Lasca, 120” LOA, 1893.  Des.  A. Carey Smith.  Bld. Pipgras.  Returned to the U. S. after WWI and became a cargo schooner in 1918 or 1919.   Details wanted.
  • Infanta, 120′ LOA, 1930. Des. L. E. Geary.  Blt Craig Ship Building Co.
  • Intrepid, 172′ LOA, 1903.  Des.  J. Bevor Webb.  Blt.  T. S. Marvel.
  • Invader, Nancy Lee, Empress, Invader, 135′ 0″ LOA, 1905.  Des.  A. S. Chesebrough.  Blt.  Geo. Lawley & Son.  Did well in ocean racing.  Currently for sale.
  • Meteor III, Nordstern, Aldeberan; 161′ LOA, 1902. Des. A. Cary Smith. Blt. Townswnd & Downey for Kaiser Wilhelm II.
  • Sea Fox; 115′ LOA, 1888.  Des.  A. Cass Canfield.  Blt.  Harlan & Hollingsworth.  Iron Hull.  L. Francis Herreschoff  (L. F. H.) thought she was the best boat designed by an amatuer designer.   Later became a commercial vessel.
  • Starling; 126’6” 1926.  Des.  John G. Alden.  Blt.  Rice Bros.  Corp.
  • Thistle; 150′ LOA, 1901. Sq Fore Top.  Des.  H. C. Witheringham.  Blt.  Townsend & Downey.
  • Vergemere, 162′ LOA, 1903.  Des. A. Cary Smith. Blt.  Harland & Hollingsworth.  Near sister to Meteor III.
  • Wanderer, 139′, 1922.  Des. William H. Hand Jr.  Blt. J. F. James.  Built of wood.   May have become a fishing schooner.
  • Yampa, Iduna, Yampa; 135′ LOA, 1887. Des. A. Cary Smith.  Blt. Harland & Hollingsworth.  Sold to German owner, sailed as Iduna, brought back to the U. S. after WW I.  Sailed again as Yampa.   L. F. H. says she was one of the best schooners of her day.
  • And a 22nd.  A special category for a single special boat.  We concentrate our yachting oriented efforts on large, slightly later,  bronze, composite, iron or steel vessels.  The wooden schooner Coronet was built during the transition years to the next generation of construction techniques. She deserves special mention here because of her ongoing exacting restoration.  She is 131′ LOA, 1885.  Des.  William Townsend,  Blt.  C. & R. Poillon.
  • last update June 18,2010.
  • We have additional information on most of these vessels.

Written by classicsailnews

September 26, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Posted in Other designers

Five Racing Schooner Replica Candidates

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  • We have been looking for other schooners that are about the same size, 130-140′ LOA and age, 1900- 1930 as those already mentioned.  Endymion, 135′ LOA, 1899, Des. Tams Lemoine and Crane. Blt. Geo. Lawley & Son.  Onetime holder of the trans Atlantic record; and  Enchantress, Katoura II, Enchantress, 136′ LOA, 1911, Des. A. Cary Smith, Blt. Geo. Lawley & Son.  Are two more that come to mind.  We have culled a number of names of European schooners from various sources and are now gathering information on them.  We  are now adding Cicily, 134′ LOA, 1902, Des. & Blt. Wm. Fife.  And Margerhita, 133′ LOA, 1913 Des. Chas. Nicholson, Blt. Camper & Nicholson.  Yet another addition should be Meteor IV, 129′ 11″ LOA, Des. Max Oritz, Blt. Krupps Germaniawerft.   If we Amp things up a bit, we could add Goodwill, 161′ LOA, 1922 Des. Henry J.  Geilow, Blt. Bethlehem Shipbuilding, and the first  Katoura, 162′ LOA, Des. & Blt. Herreschoff 1914.    Last update Feb 13, 2010.

We have additional information on each of these vessels.

Written by classicsailnews

September 21, 2009 at 10:42 pm

The 9 Herreschoff Steel Schooners

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During the period from 1903 to 1923 Captain Nat. designed and the Herreschoff  Manufacturing Co. built 9 two masted steel schooners.


Elena, now sailing under her enlarged rig off St. Tropez, October 2012.

  • Ingomar, 127′ 1903.  After a very successful life, the original was wrecked, largely due to outdated charts, off the Carolinas in 1930.   A replica is now under construction by the van der Graaf brothers in Dordrecht, Holland.  These photos were taken and sent to us by John Lammerts van Bueren  and show the three sections of her hull together for the first time, on March 29, 2012.


A recent photograph of the Ingomar.

INGOMAR - 191112- JLVB DSCF0662 BB

  • Queen, Irolita, Queen, 126′ 1906 (L. F. Herrechoff’s favorite boat.)  Burned in the fire at the Robert Jacob Shipyard, (now Consolidated Yachts Inc.) City Island, NY, Feb 20 1920.  Later broken up.
  • Two  sisterships, Westward, Hamburg II (or III), Westward; 136′ 1910 (New Eleanora) & Elena, 1911  Elena was under U S documentation until Jan. 20,1943 when she was sold to foreign  interests and went under the British flag.
  • Three other sisterships, Vagrant; (actually the second Herreschoff schooner of this name, the  earlier  smaller one is of composite construction and is currently in Japan.  She is badly in need of a new home.  If you are  interested in  details please ask us) 109′ 1913.  Sailing on the Med. 2010, may be currently rigged as a staysail schooner.  Reportedly undergoing a major refit.  Will she now be returned to her original gaff rig and join in the races?   Mariette, Cleopatra’s Barge II, Gee Gee III, Evening Star, Guinivere, now Mariette; 109′ 1915.   Sailing on the Med.  Ohonkara, Ramona, Lady Phillis, Ramona; 109′ 1920, Was wrecked and sunk on the reefs off  Bermuda on Dec. 2, 1967. 5 lives were lost.  Subsequently raised,  she was found to be damaged beyond repair and junked.   Her original owner also had Migrant built.  Perhaps a new version of her could be built to race with her sisters.
  • Katoura, Elfay, Magdalene II; 162′ 1914. (L. F. H. thought she was the fastest schooner ever built.)  Probably ended her days in Europe, perhaps Gibraltar, in 1951.    Katoura, as Magdalen II, had several happy years during the 1930’s sailing from the south coast of England, based from the Isle of Wight.  These photos show her people during that time.  The steam yacht is her predicessor, Magdalene,  the seated gents are, from left to right, her professional captain, and the Jameson brothers.  We don’t know who is at the wheel.       In April, 2012 we heard a rumor that there is interest in Europe in building a replica if her.

  • Wildfire, now Atrevida; 95′ 1923.  Currently  sailing in Brazil as a staysail schooner.
  • At least 3 of the original schooners are still sailing.  (What was the fate of Katoura?) Two others have been replicated.   Is it time for a Herreschoff  Schooner Owner’s Association?
  • We have additional information on most of these schooners.  Last updated June 7, 2012

Written by classicsailnews

September 21, 2009 at 9:41 pm