Hi Sarah and all, as requested here is where we're at figuring out which Yankee One Design is in my yard:
In the process of un-mothballing this project I've been reviewing the info I dug up on this yankee back in 2016-2018. Below you'll find the email thread between Sarah, Dan and I when we started down this road. I'm hoping that we can use it as a place to re-establish what we know.
A couple things to start with: I checked with Pat Lown at the register for wooden boats and confirmed that the entry for this boat, most recently Pocahontas, is in fact older than 2016. I later happened across a copy of the 1996 register and sure enough there she is, "Pocahontasex Royal Savage II, Y31, built 1946 at Qunicy Adams and listed to Guy Lewis at PO box 325 Gloucester Point VA, 23062" . I snapped some photos, if anyone wants I can email them. I feel fairly confident that this registry entry is for the boat sitting in my yard, but I'm basing that only on the name and general geographic location. I suppose it's possible that there were two Pocahontas YODs in Virginia, but it seems unlikely, and the mainsail that came with the boat carries a 31. So we know that the Guy Lewis and Royal Savage II connection goes back further than someone at the museum making an assumption. Sarah, did the Lewis' show up in your 2010 research?
Sarah, you state in that July 29 email that she's certainly not Y31, was that based on Maynard Bray's comment that he had seen Y31 after she'd been sheathed in glass? Or does Y31 have a known fate somewhere? This boat does have a glassed deck, BTW, if that narrows things down, but I haven't a clue when that was done.
Does anyone know when Royal Savage II left the lake? In an email chain started with the Lake Champlain boat folks Dan Page said of Y31 "Venture Y31?, Fred Allen, then Dewey Mead(e), sold to the Mid-Atlantic, maybe the Chesapeake. Paul D. Raine may have owned it before Fred Allen." This boat definitely came from the Deltaville Maritime Museum in 2012, donated by a guy named Frank Hardy, who told me he bought her in Mathews County VA, which is on the Chesapeake.
There's no proof of a VT connection here, beyond being listed as ex Royal Savage II in that old registry, so we may need to go back to the master list and start crossing boats off and see what we're left with. It would also be helpful to start by firmly establishing whether or not this is ex Venture/Royal Savage II, as far as I can tell that is the simplest explanation.
I'm excited to see where the sleuthing leads! Sarah, feel free to send me whatever seems relevant from your archives and I'll poke around in the evenings.
look forward to hearing from you all
On Jul 29, 2016, at 7:05 AM, Daniel Page:
Charlie and Sarah,
I wonder if the boat is Y25 Havoc. There was a Havoc YOD in Shelburne Bay on Lake Champlain that John Dinse owned. Steele Griswold was his neighbor and also owned a Yankee, maybe the same boat or maybe Y31 Royal Savage. I will keep trying to reach Mary Griswold at Shelburne Shipyard to see if she knows.
Charlie, see you Saturday at the boat festival in Burlington. We will be on the last finger dock out in front of the Leahy Center. We are sailing down this afternoon from Malletts Bay. Hope the wind continues as forecast or it's a long paddle!
This is fantastic news! I’m so glad you’re taking ownership of Y46 — though let’s not call it that anymore. John asked to call the boat Y46 for sentimental reasons, but that racing number is out of order from the other boats. It’s also certainly not Y31. I’m hoping that we can soon figure out which boat this really is, as we have a lot of clues. That would be so exciting, especially as it’s being put back together.
Would you do me a favor and document as much as you can of your boat in photos? I am far away, in Seattle, but I’d like to see the cradle that you build, and I’d like to see the boat at Pease, and its current condition, and the whole endeavor to bring it home and put it back together. Would you please take a zillion photos and share them with me via Dropbox? I would be infinitely grateful and if it’s ok I will eventually put your photos on the YOD class website too. I’m wrapping up an 8 month project at work right now, then after that my agenda for the summer is to update the YOD website.
I get really excited about your particular boat, because it’s both a mystery and a treasure. There are a couple of Yankees that have been recently scrapped, and you can tell from the photos that there was absolutely nothing left of them but the lead keel. They were totally sailed out and the hardware had been removed years ago. So the boats that are good restoration candidates like yours are the treasures of our class, and my impression is that you have the best of them all. So congratulations. It’s probably going to be a ton of work, but when you’re done you’ll have a Yankee One Design to sail, and oddly enough, very few people in the world can say that.
I love my Yankee. I didn’t get to sail it for about 2 years recently, and now I’m sailing it again, and I’m just in awe of it. I don’t quite believe this is my boat sometimes, We sailed for 8 hours today and I could comfortable could walk away from the helm at nearly every point of sail, even with the chute up. The boat sails itself, and it does so really well. Also, when you’re running downwind, the cockpit sole is exactly at water level, so it feels like you’re standing on the water, or standing on a giant surfboard with sails.
Yankees handle like a dream in anything from a breeze to a gale. I don’t even know how that is possible. Every point of sail is extraordinary. The bow cuts through waves like they’re not even there. Plus, the low initial stability and higher secondary stability means that the Yankee will heel over into its sweet spot in a slight breeze, and pretty much stay at that same angle right up through a gale, if you’re using the right sails. It’s an incredibly solid boat. Though I wouldn’t want to hit a log. I wonder what it would do to the boat if I sheathed the forward waterline in kevlar? But I digress.
Back to the history of your boat. I find the histories of all the Yankees to be infinitely fascinating. Dan Page and I have been researching them together, and I did a lot of phone interviews around 2010 when I was researching an article. I spoke on the phone to two of the owners of your boat who predated the the Maritime Museum, going back to the 1970’s, I think. I will have to look for my interview notes to be sure of the details.
John erroneously thought your boat was Y31 based on an entry in the register of wooden boats that was created in 2013. Someone named Guy Lewis at the Virginia Maritime Museum did that, but I doubt he properly researched it. http://www.woodenboat.com/register-wooden-boats/pocahontas. Dan Page and I looked at photos when Pocahontas was for sale prior to being donated to the museum, and we guessed that your boat was built at the Quincy Yard in 1946 based on certain aspects of the aft toerail and hardware. If a YOD hasn’t been altered too much, you can often tell which builder made it.
We know that your boat is one of the Yankees the YOD Directory that is listed as “location unknown” and we can rule out some of them based on where they were built, where they were known to be sailing during the last decade, or because they’ve been altered or fiberglassed. We know that your boat has been in Virginia for two decades or more, and we know it was built by the Quincy Yard, so that rules out quite a few of the “location unknown” Yankees, including Y31 Royal Savage. We know for certain that Royal Savage has been fiberglassed, and it was known to be been sailing in VT while your boat was in VA.
Maynard Bray at Wooden Boat Magazine recently emailed me with the same opinion about your Yankee: "As to the boat's history, I'm very sure she's not Royal Savage because that boat had been sheathed with fiberglass last time I saw her. Based on the high quality of the repair work I observed when inspecting Pocahontas in Deltaville, Seth Persson came to mind. He used to own a YOD and it may have been this one.”
I believe Maynard is right about Seth. I spoke to Seth in 2010. So we’re pretty sure that your boat was in the Virginia area for a long time. I feel like the puzzle will soon be solved.
Also, btw, if I had to guess I’d say that when Guy Lewis made that entry in the Wooden Boat Registry, he first looked at the YOD registry of boats http://yankeeonedesign.com/blog/yod-sailboat-directory/ and considered all the names listed as “location unknown” to try to figure out the identity of the Yankee that had been donated. He was the boat broker for the museum, and I am guessing that he chose “Royal Savage” because in a sense, the historical figure Pocahontas was an indian princess, a real royal savage. He might have though that someone changed Y31 from “Royal Savage” to “Pocahontas” in an effort to be more politically correct. The coincidence of the two names makes me strongly suspects that this was his logic. However, I recall that the man who owned your boat for 7 years prior to donating it to the museum named it Pocahontas simply because he liked the name. I will dig around for my interview notes to be sure.