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All ports November” has become “antique/classic December.”   Defining these terms is not clear cut with vessels.   The Antique and Classic Boating Society defines “antique” as built between 1919 and 1942, “classic” between 1943 and 1975,  and “contemporary, are boats built from 1976 and on.  Does that make a vessel built before 1919 . . . a restoration project?  antediluvian?

If you take automobiles, you get another definition:  25 years old or more is antique.    And for The great race, here were the rules for 2015:  “Vehicle entries must have been manufactured in 1972 or before.”

According to a friend who is a lawyer and knows these things, the US Customs sets a higher standard for antiques:  they must be over 100 years old,  can be refinished or restored,  but cannot have their “essential character” changed;  nor can the restoration exceed 50% of the value. [Vague!]  The counselor goes on:  “So does a steamship which has been converted to diesel have its “essential character” changed?   Does adding an engine to a sail training ship destroy the essential character?  Customs has also wrestled with the issue of essential character vis a vis what is an American ship?  Does sticking a new mid-body into a vessel in a foreign country make the ship a “foreign” ship?  These are the things -trivial and boring as they may be-Customs lawyers wrestle with.”

So my NEW very accommodating definition is  . . . built before 1975.  Or if younger, must have already had at least five owners, and may or may not still be intact.

I stumbled upon Kensington while up in Clayton earlier this month, and she’s a stunner from 1924.  The 57’4″ x 11’4″ yacht is a product of Smith and Williams Company Marine Railway in Salisbury MD.   She spent most of the 20th century in the Puget Sound, but in 2003 she was trucked back to the East Coast.

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The separate “rear cabin” reminds me of separation between driver and passengers in this limo of the same era.

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I hope next summer to see this unique yacht plying the waters of the St. Lawrence.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here, here,  and here are posts devoted to equally stunning vintage wooden yachts.

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