Sunday, December 30, 2018

Manhassett restoration

Saturday January 12:

Cold is here; we are watching the ice in several locations. stay tuned;
Meanwhile, restoration work on Manhasset continues:

It is amazing how many screws George Buckhout put into the Manhasset; Taking them out 107 years later is no easy feat...
Here is the cockpit of Manhasset. We are trying to get to the stick that is the backbone. This needs removal.

Underside of cockpit. Skeg will be removed.
This is tongue & groove  pine, screwed to the backbone. 

We remove each piece of cockpit bed; this is the bow underside.

With no ice here in the Hudson Valley, and with the government shutdown in DC, which stymied a plan to set up FDR's Hawk at the FDR site in Poughkeepsie ( as we did 2 years ago), we are turning efforts to begin restoration of the ice yacht Manhassett. Find her story here. 

We plan to take apart the hollow backbone.  

Hardware is removed - beautiful bronze cleats Buckhout created in Poughkeepsie.
Bronze mast step is already removed - note the light patch at Doc's elbow.

Removing oak bungs to get at bronze screws underneath. 

Some screws came out easily, others not so much...

Nose of the backbone. 

Thanks to club member Jim Kricker for allowing us to use his well appointed wood shop!
See previous restoration posts from 2 years ago HERE.                  More to follow....

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Original! First medal awarded for Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant Race recently rediscovered.

What a treat! At the recent annual meeting of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club, Rick Lawrence brought along this medal he had found in a drawer among his mom's things. 
This is the original medal awarded to ice yacht Phantom after it won the very first race for the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America, on March 5, 1881. Irving Grinnell created the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America in 1875, to signify fastest yacht on ice.  A detailed history of the IYCPA can be found here.    The 30 foot long silk pennant was to ice yachting as America's Cup was to soft water racers (then and now). The pennant went to the victor until the next race. What winning skippers got to keep were these  custom silver medals.   

This medal has been in the Lawrence family for many years and somewhat forgotten for awhile. Rick noted that he knew of it but hadn't seen it for awhile until he came upon it this year. Rick's late father,  Bob Lawrence, received the medal from Captain Frank Drake, an experienced ice yacht racer who  won the IYCPA in 1922.   Drake likely acquired this original IYCPA medal from someone in the New Hamburgh Ice Yacht Club (founded by Grinnell and of which Drake was a long time member), as he was the bearer of the Pennant from the 20s through the 50s. The elder Drake befriended the young Bob Lawrence and at some point the medal came into Bob's possession.  Great to see that it is in good hands still. An amazing piece of ice yachting history!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Ice Yachts sketches

I love the old sketches/drawings/prints of ice yachts from the late 1800s.  Magazines, Newspapers, and other publications employed illustrators to capture the action on the ice. Often the sketch was made from a photograph. Here are a collection of ice yachting sketches from the 1860s through 1900 or so.  Not complete, and I will continue to add to these as I stumble upon more.  Many of these are images I took directly from John A. Roosevelt's (JAR) scrapbooks, which are housed at the FDR Library in Hyde Park, NY.

Probably the oldest of these sketches - this dates to Nov. 1861 and accompanied an article in Scientific American.
This is John A. Roosevelt's Icicle.

The Slee Brothers were photographers based in Poughkeepsie. This is from the late 1860s, maybe 1869.

Well, it is JAR's scrapbook, so many Icicle references can be found. 
This is from a publication called "Spirit of the Times" from 1877. 

 Likely Avalanche - E. Harrison Sandford's lateen yacht.

 Sketch of Aaron Innis' Haze;  curious note JAR added - "Now Gracie - 1875"  -- appears Roosevelt acquired Haze & renamed it Gracie.
 Apparently Ice sailing was popular on lakes and ponds in Brooklyn!   More Brooklyn next:

 Ice Boating perils near Poughkeepsie!!

 Not exactly ice boating, but love this idea....

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Jessie B. off the Poughkeepsie waterfront

I love this shot of the Poughkeepsie waterfront - circa 1890. It is a not-so-common photo of an ice yacht with the Poughkeepsie Railroad bridge in the background, along with the Poughkeepsie Waterfront.  The Vassar Brewery is one of the white buildings beyond the steamboat.
This is also one of the only pictures I've found of the Jessie BJessie B. was owned by Charles Lumb  and named after his daughter Jessie.  She sailed in 4 races for the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America, always sailing with the Poughkeepsie Ice Yacht Club: February 1884; Feb. 14 1885;  Feb. 18, 1885 &   Feb. 14, 1887. In that 1887 race Jessie B. was 12th of 12 yachts entered. I find no entries of the boat in any of the club books, and Pennant race summaries do not note who sailed her.

Photo courtesy of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District; from their Main & Market Collection.  

Here is one other picture that captures the RR Bridge in the background. 

                                       Circa 1900?   Courtesy of Rick Lawrence 

Another great photo from the Poughkeepsie Library collection:   

Ice yachts off Roosevelt's Point, Feb. 1881   
Icicle (John A. Roosevelt)     Uncle Jake     Virginia (H.A. Gildersleeve)     Gypsie (James Winslow)     Fairy (E. Harrison Sanford)     Avalanche (No5)  (E. Harrison Sanford)     Viva  (J.C. Barron)

I have had a copy of this which I had printed up at the FDR library about 20 years ago. 
That photo was labeled as above.     The PPL photo had different boat names, but I believe the above is accurate. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Race of the Ice Yachts - Hurrah for the race! Hurrah!

Photo courtesy of the Poughkeepsie Public Library; from their Main & Market Collection. 

135 years ago this month... 

Ho!  For the Yachts! Hoho!
The ice is smooth,
The breeze is fair,
The day is bright,
Crisp is the air;
Ho for the Yachts! Hoho! 

Hurrah for the race! Hurrah!
Eager they come to win the prize,
Flitting about like butterflies;
Gliding along to try their speed --
Going about (take heed, take heed)
So quickly that each one must need 
A cool head in the willer,
A strong hand on the tiller: 
For perils and dangers
Surround these swift rangers--
Hurrah for the race! Hurrah! 

Read on here for the rest of this cheery poem from March of 1883. 
Who will win?? Scud? Icicle? Aeolus? Jack Frost?.....