Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hawk set up on the eve of a New Year....

We met this morning at the Wallace Center, at the FDR Library in Hyde Park, to once again set up FDR's personal ice yacht Hawk. This is the 3rd time we have had the privilege to work with the National Park Service to display FDR's ice yacht. It will be on display through the end of January 2017. Members of the HRIYC will be available to talk briefly about FDR and his passion for ice yachting prior to the guided tours of his home. We are also excited to find out that funding has been made available to go toward the restoration of Hawk. Club members will be working with NPS to inventory parts and acquire, fashion, or build missing  parts. A new sail, gammon strap, sheer leg poles are a few of the items needed.
I've previously posted a bit about history of Hawk HERE.

Boat parts, brought out of warehouse storage at the FDR Historic Site.

Rudder post and stern runner. Finely crafted by George Buckhout, of Poughkeepsie.

Many hands make light work, especially when most of the backs out there are over 50...

28' backbone was brought to the visitors center on top of a pickup; very carefully tied down.
It travelled all of 1.5 miles from nearby NPS storage warehouse. 

Installing the rudder.

Challenge pennants from the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. 

Hat's off to FDR, and his support of Ice Yachting!

Sheer legs could only be raised about 80% of the way.  Ceilings aren't high enough in the Visitors Center.

Not all parts exist; diamond stays will need to be made.

Detailed sketch of fittings for the bow, where the spars meet, by Club member Reid B.

Motley set up crew, with NPS staff. (photo thanks to Frank Wall)

The FDR library has only known of one photo of Hawk - one in which FDR is sailing it on the Crum Elbow stretch of the River. Years ago I acquired a copy of the shot below (from the FDR archives) of a line up before a 1911 race off Hyde Park. I have always assumed the lateen in this photo was a Hyde Park yacht named Dutchess (owned and sailed by Mark Reeves at that point). I had seen a list of the names of the yachts in the photo and the lateen was identified there as Dutchess.  Some talk arose about the photo at the set up. As I look more closely at the photo, I'm more convinced that this is Hawk, not Dutchess. An older photo of Dutchess reveals features that I don't seem to see here. Hawk was built within a year of Dutchess (George Buckhout built both yachts) to the same dimensions. Can't be 100% sure (yet) but I feel this is indeed Hawk, ready to race.
Is it likely FDR is nearby in this picture?  I'd say it is NOT likely.  All race records ( from 1901-1910) I've seen of Hawk have yet to show FDR at the helm of his boat.

Ice yacht line up, off Hyde Park landing, 1911. FDR's Hawk, far left.

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