THE SLOOP YACHT "PRISCILLA" OF NEW YORKReports from England of Genesta’s success abroad in 1884, her first year, where she was conceded to be the best all-round boat, convinced the officers of the club that vigorous steps had to be taken to get a suitable boat with which to defend, none of the existing ones being considered fast enough, or large enough.
So the flag officers, James Gordon Bennett and William P. Douglas, decided to build a sloop.

Naturally, they turned to A. Gary Smith, then the most prominent yacht designer in this country, for her design. He had turned out the last successful Cup defender Mischief and many other fast boats.

One model was offered by Philip Ellsworth but was not accepted. The centerboard type was decided on, though the new boat was to be much deeper than the prevailing centerboarders of the time, being a “compromise sloop," and she was built entirely of iron, by Harlan and Hollingsworth, of Wilmington, Del. and rigged in this city. He was launched on May 21, 1885.

This boat was named Priscilla, and great things were expected of her when she appeared in New York waters in the early summer.

Her dimensions are: length over all, 94 feet ; on waterline, 85 feet ; beam, 22 ft. 5 in. ; draught, 7 ft. 9 in.

In 1885, she honorably lost against Puritan for selecting the defender. She was only 43 seconds behind her at the finish on actual time, 1 minute 52 seconds on corrected time.

After laying up at her builder's yard, Priscilla was sold in the spring of 1886 to Commodore A. Cass Canfield, Seawanhaka C. Y. C.; under Mr. Smith's direction, her forefoot was cut to a depth of 15 inches, the rake of her sternpost was increased by three feet, a new and shorter mast was shipped two feet further aft, Puritan and Priscilla off Sandy Hookdoing away with her channels, and bowsprit, boom and gaff were lengthened. Captain George Cooley was placed in command and raced through the season, she held her own with Puritan, both being astern of the new Mayflower.

When Commodore Canfield designed and built the schooner Sea Fox he sold Priscilla; she was altered to a schooner and re-named Elma. Later a keel was added and an engine installed, her original name being restored. Her owner, a Western yachtsman, used her for cruising down to 1917.

En 1932, le sloop de Smith est toujours à flot, transformé en bateau à moteur pour les besoins de la Poste entre Nassau et Great Abaco, aux Bahamas.