Classic Sail features sailing craft ranging from traditional working vessels and cruising sailboats, to classic designs from the great age of sail. Kathy Mansfield, whose work is found in nautical magazines, including WoodenBoat, Classic Boat, and Water Craft, brings together American and European boats in this very exciting pan-Atlantic collection.
Classic Sail 2021 monthly wall calendar features: Large blocks for notes | Beautiful reproduction | Quality heavy-weight paper | Deluxe 11- by 14-inch size
Few boats can stir the imagination as completely as the classics from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The racing yachts of this formative period have not only great power in their enormous sail area, but a grace and style of hull that has never been equaled. The finest yacht designers in the world strove to win the America’s Cup, and their names have become legendary—Nathanael Herreshoff, Starling Burgess, Olin Stephens, William Fife, Charles
Nicholson and others. These supremely functional boats were also works of art, a creative marriage of form and line, of wood and cloth and metal, of great craftsmanship. If we widen the word “classic” to encompass other boats of enduring value, we find elegant cruising boats, some many decades old and some modern; magnificent traditional boats like the schooners and pilot cutters; and even humble workboats that were designed to face the harsh rigors
of the sea and coastline, and yet were imbued with a timeless beauty. They inspire and appeal on many levels: the light on the wood and water; the skills of their boatbuilders, riggers, sailmakers, and sailors; their histories and stories. Yet many were abandoned when fiberglass and plastics revolutionized boat construction in the 1970s. Since those days, a new appreciation of these boats, their history, and craftsmanship has attracted enough interest that each
year there are a few new painstaking restorations, each summer a few new launchings, a few more opportunities to enjoy the sight of these classically beautiful craft. Let them stir your imagination.
Vessels featured in the 2021 calendar include:
• A duo of traditional rigs on new hulls: The black-hulled gaff cutter Vela was built in Boothbay, Maine in 1996. It was designed by Havilah Hawkins who is also its captain. The schooner Juno, launched in 2003, was designed by Nat Benjamin of Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts.
• In the foreground at the Eggemoggin Reach Race in Maine: the 1959 Concordia 41, Irian, is leading Cuilaun, a Scottish ketch designed and built at McGruers of Clynder on the River Clyde in 1970, and Isla, a Sparkman & Stephens New York 32 built in 1936.
• From the historic golden age of yachting and still under sail, the 59-foot Marigold was built at Camper & Nicholsons’ yard on the south coast of Britain in 1892. She was the first of Charles Nicholsons’ big yacht designs; note her straight stem and long counter stern.
• The 28-foot Beetle Cat, Kathleen, was built in 2006 to lines drawn by C.C. Hanley in 1917. She has a generous 12-foot 4-inch beam. While she can fly 910 square feet of sail, there are four reef points to reduce sail should the wind demand it. She’s said to be well balanced and is steered with a traditional tiller.
• The spinnakers may be new, but the boats are classics. Siren is one of Olin Stephens’ favorite designs: the New York 32 class was built in 1936 when he was 27-years-old. Wizard is a Herreshoff-designed Fishers Island 31 launched in 1930.
• Virginia is a 33-foot Ariminta ketch designed by L. Francis Herreshoff in 1985. The smallest of his clipper-bow ketches and said to be his favorite, she is double-planked of Honduran mahogany over white cedar, around laminated oak and mahogany frames
• Ellen is a 63-foot cruiser-racer built in 1931, and designed in France by Talma Bertrand. She rates as a 12-Meter class. She sails here at the French classics race Les Voiles de St Tropez.
• The lovely 33-foot gaff sloop Posh is a Herreshoff design. She was built in 1996 at Maine’s Brooklin Boat Yard.
• This William Fife-designed gaff cutter, Viola, was built at the Fife Fairlie yard in 1908. Sailing for more than a century, Viola’s home port has moved from Scotland, to England and, after a restoration in 2000, to L’Ile-d’Yeu. She is owned by an enthusiastic French consortium and sails here at les Voiles de St. Tropez.
• Built originally in Scotland at the Fife boatyard in 1898, the 48-foot Kismet raced until the 1940s, and then spent five decades in the mud of an estuary in Essex on the English coast. Her hull was recovered by Richard Matthews of Southampton Yacht Services and turned over to Adrian Wombwell for restoration. Now sailing in good form, her rebuilt hull is pitch pine over oak.
• Orianda is a Bermudian staysail schooner designed in 1937 by Oscar Dahlstrom and built by C. Andersen Shipbuilders in Faaborg, Denmark. Seized by Nazi forces during World War II, she was later found abandoned. After a series of owners and a recent restoration in Italy, she now sails in many classic races and is owned by Classic Yacht Experience in Rome, Italy.
• Constructed of mahogany, African iroko, and teak in 1908, Mariska was designed and built by William Fife as a 15 Meter class gaff cutter. She is long and lean: 90-feet long overall, and a beam of 13-feet 7-inches, with long overhangs which add to her speed and beauty. Four Fife-designed 15 Meter gaff cutters are now restored and sailing in the Mediterranean.
About Author Kathy Mansfield
Kathy Mansfield comes originally from Massachusetts and lives now with her husband in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, near the River Thames. After a career on the sales and marketing side of academic publishing, she returned to her interest in traditional and classic boats, writing and photographing for magazines such as WoodenBoat and Cruising World in the United States, Water Craft magazine, and numerous others in the U.K. and France. Her photography has also been used as book and magazine covers, in exhibitions, and on posters.