Category: GRACIE

GracieVSource: MotorBoating august 1944

Gracie was built in the yard of James E. Smith at Nyack on the Hudson, from a model cut by Abraham A. Schank, who goes down in history as the owner of a paint store in Nyack and a painter of yacht portraits. Her builder was A. G. Jolernus, also of Nyack, of whom little is known except that ...

... he also collaborated with Schank in the building of the big schooner Tidal Wave, known from her great breadth and fine ends as “the snake with a toad in her Belly." Both of these yachts were built for William Voorhis of Nyack, a member of the New York Yacht Club.

Gracie was launched in June 1863. She made her debut in the fall regatta of the New York Y. C. of 1868 for prizes given by Vice Commodore James Gordon Bennett, Jr.

00119S2The first dimensions on record are:—length for tonnage, 58 feet 3 inches; breadth, 16 feet 3 inches (obviously an error); depth, 4 feet 8 inches. In 1863 she was altered by J. E. Smith, and again in 1874 and 1877. By 1872 she had grown to 65 feet over all; 58 feet 6 inches waterline; 13 feet 9 inches breadth; 6 feet 6 inches depth; and 5 feet 6 inches draft. By 1875 her overall length had increased to 72 feet 6 inches; her waterline to 65 feet; breadth to 21 feet 3 inches and draft to 6 feet 3 inches. In 1878 she was rebuilt by David Carll at City Island :—length over all, 79 feet 10 inches; waterline, 69 feet 9 inches (this was printed for years as 60 feet 9 inches) ; breadth, 21 feet 6 inches; depth, 6 feet 3 inches; draft, 6 feet 6 inches.

In 1880 she was sold to Joseph P. Earle and Charles R. Flint, two young men who had just joined the New York Y.C., and for the next 19 years she sailed under the blue and white diagonal stripes of Mr. Earle. For much of this time she was under the professional command of Captain Sam Gibson, and most of her Corinthian races were sailed with I. Frederick Tams at the wheel. In the Cup match of 1881, after being defeated by Mischief in the trial races, she was widely criticized for sailing over the course as an outside boat against Atalanta and Mischief.

 Designer   Abraham A. Schank
 Builder   James E. Smith at Nyack
 Owner (1881) Ch. R. Flint - Joseph P. Earle
 Club   N.Y.Y.C.
 Cup   1881
 Skipper   Captain Sam Gibson
 Afterguard   I. Frederick Tams
 Launching   1868
 Type   Centerboard sloop
 Hull material   Wood
 Mast material   Wood
 L.O.A.   79' 9"
 L.W.L.   70' 8"
 Beam   22' 5 1/2"
 Draft   6' 4 1/2"
 Mainmast   20,38 m
 Mainboom   19,66 m
 Bowsprit   9,25 m
 Maintopmast   12,29 m
 Maingaff   11,28 m
 Displacement   776 T
 Sail area   5400 Sq Ft


Wide and shoal, with the flimsy construction of the day, by 1886 she had developed a hinge-joint at each end of her centerboard trunk, with other weaknesses, so she was placed in the hands of Henry Piepgrass, at Pottery Beach, Long Island City, where l saw her.

The rebuilding, under the personal supervision of Mr. Tams, was described as follows:

“Her sides will be raised one foot amidships, reducing the sheer, as the height at bow will remain unchanged and the height aft will be increased but little. The stern will be narrowed in and altered in shape to conform more nearly to modern ideas; and a new deck and cabin house will be added. Sister keelsons will be worked along the keel, jogged down over the heels of the floor timbers, as this part of the boat has been weak ever since the alterations to her centerboard trunk. The new trunk, a large one put in a few years since, will be cut down two feet on the after end. The interior will be refitted throughout."

05201In these days when owners change so quickly and the racing life of a yacht is limited to a few seasons, it speaks well for the spirit of the owners of Gracie that they were willing to spend a very considerable sum in attempting to bring the old boat up to modern form.

After the alterations her dimensions were given as 79 feet 10 inches over all; 72 feet 2 inches waterline; 21 feet 6 inches breadth; 8 feet depth; 6 feet 6 inches draft. Later her waterline was reduced to 69 feet 4 inches to bring her into the limit of the 70-foot waterline class.

Without going into her record in detail it is safe to say that Gracie made more starts and won more prizes than any other American sloop; during the battle of the cutters she held the van of the home fleet. In addition to the unique record of 42 years without change of name or rig she never had a capsize.

In 1909 she was sold, to be converted to a twin-screw freight boat plying between Milton Point on the Sound and New York.


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