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See the name on this black-hulled yacht?  Note the simple upper helm?

Check again as we pass.  I took these two photos back in July 2016, making that the Mt. Hope Bridge and beyond that, the Brayton Point cooling towers, now gone.  Pilar?  Maybe you’ve heard of it in relation to Hemingway and currently in Cuba.

Pilar was hull #576 from Wheeler Yacht Company, launched in 1934 and taken to Key West, not a water delivery until Miami.  April 5, 1934 was the day Hemingway himself went to Coney Island to order his new boat, a 38′ Wheeler Playmate.  That day is described well in this post.  If you want to read hundreds more pages about the boat and Hemingway, read this tome by Paul Hendrickson.  I read the 700-page book, hoping to learn more about Coney Island, but besides that, I learned the minutiae of all of Hemingway’s trips on the boat, which he last saw in 1960, when he was advised to leave Cuba and not long before his death.  Pilar is still in Cuba, one of two Wheeler boats there.  More on that at the end of this post.

The “Pilar” shown here was launched in 1933 as Elhanor, hull #527 and five feet shorter than Hemingway’s boat, a 38-footer that cost him just under $7500 in 1934.

Besides yachts, Wheeler on Coney Island Creek built vessels for the US Army, Navy, and Coast Guard.  They built over 200 patrol boats for the USCG, like the one below.  Click on the photo for more info. One is being restored in Seattle.   Howard Wheeler opened his shipyard on Coney Island Creek in 1910, but by 1950, this facility and another in Queens, were gone. 

Here’s the general location.

It’s a tidal waterway adjacent to the water portion of Gravesend  Bay.  I rowed up in and its many wrecks some years ago here and here. If you’ve never seen the yellow submarine aka Quester, here are photos. 

Let have a look at the Wheeler Shipyard then and now. The b/w photos are all from  Mystic Seaport, Rosenfeld Collection. That’s the Cropsey Avenue drawbridge open with a yacht coming through from the shipyard, looking from SW to NE.  For a closer up look at the photo below, click on the photo.

Beyond that bridge, this was the exterior of the shipyard in January 1944;  around a shipyard that builds wooden boats and ships, you’d expect to find lots of lumber.

And inside, you’d expect scenes of curved, clamped, and glued wood.

Here’s a photo I took of Cropsey Avenue Bridge, looking SE to NW, because it’s the shot I could get. Just off the left side of the photo is the Starbucks.   From my location, I then shot SW to NE

to where the buildings of the shipyard would have been.  Absolutely nothing of the yard remains.  To the left is a parking lot and supermarket;  to the right is a furniture store.

More info on Wheeler Coney Island can be found here. The other Wheeler boat in Cuba is Granma, the vessel that in 1956 took Fidel Castro and his fellows from Mexico to Cuba.  The captain of the vessel then was Norberto Collado Abreu, who had received US Congressional recognition for his service with the Cuban Navy in WW2. For a long read on the boat and Capt. Abreu, click here.

All photos othjerwise uncredited, WVD, who visted Hemingway’s Key West house here almost a decade ago.

And if you’re interested in buying a replica of the Wheeler 38, you can.  See here. More on the original Coney Island boat here.

A similar post on a marine service business (MSB) I did here not quite two months ago.

 I took these photos back in early August 2019 in the village where I learned to swim . . . Sodus Point.   When I asked a few people about it, I heard that it was a wreck, it was done  . . .  etc. 

The small schooner clearly had been loved at one time.

Last week I learned the good news that the lift had loaded it onto a trailer to take it to a yard for  . . .

restoration!  So I finally googled it, which I’d not thought to do before, and lo and behold . . . it has pedigree!  It was designed by William H. Hand, and launched in Rocky River OH in 1918.  The S. S. S. means “Sea Scout Ship.”  Thirty years ago, it had been trucked to Rivendell Marine, in Monument Beach MA in 1991. 

All photos, WVD, and story to be continued.

Photo and discussion below can be found on FB, John Kucko Digital . . .  December 21, 2020.  By the way, John Kucko is a legend up in western and central NYS. Tugboat in the background is Donald Sea.

Since this post features a sailing post, let me share what I’ve been watching, based on a suggestion of a reader from South Africa.

First a trip from the Falklands to Capetown on an impressive boat this past summer.

Then I learned the name of the boat and the concept developer, Skip NovakHere‘s more Skip Novak.

Then I learned of his latest project . . . 2020 into 2021, appropriate for these days.

Thx, Colin.  This is good winter fare.

When you see lettering like that, you know it’s either old, or pretending to be.  In the case of this Prudence, it’s the real deal.

All kinds of details can be found in this article, but if you want to hear it from me . . .

She dates from 1911, all wood, built at the Irving Reed Shipyard in Boothbay ME as Madeleine, and is one of less than a handful of “coastal steamers” still extant.

She survived the 1938 hurricane.

In 1921, she was sold from Maine to Bristol RI interests who named her Prudence.  At one time and possibly still, she has rope steering.  That I’d love to see.  Once steam, she was dieselized more than a half century ago.

All photos, WVD.

Some more eye candy today . . . Portofino . . . Italian made?

 

Miss St. Lawrence is a beauty.

Is there an echo in the blog software maybe  . . . ?

Elusive is a Hacker beauty based on a 1920s design, I believe.

Another Italian bella passes us, or maybe it’s the same one traveling at speeds not permitted in the lagoon.

Legend is a beauty.  There’s a definite echo.  Let me say “exquisite.”

To avoid the echo, I’ll call Rumrunner just plain elegant!

 

I hope you’ve had your fix of post-summer summer refined craft.  All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Behold a 90-year-young boat!

Drool if you like.  Click here for more info on the classic Elco cruisettes.

 

Click here for the specifics on KaRat!

Here’s another . . .

but

all I can say about Flox of Montreal is that she is la tres belle Flox of Montreal.

Ditto this beauty.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

This post follows on a similar one based on St. Clair River traffic .  . here.

Would the captain below qualify as a “back seat” driver?

He with his attractive runabout was taking part in this event . . .

Wood like this truly makes attractive vessels.

Zipper is a beaut,

as is Glacier Girl.  Look closely at her stern . . . I should have taken more pics after she passed.

G4 below is 1993 built Riot, a 25′ Clarion boat powered by a 585 hp Mercruiser.

She’s a beauty at speed or slower . . .

Pardon Me has the claim to being the world’s largest mahogany runabout, consuming 100 gallons/hour, and she’s spawned another . . .

Pardon Me Too is Hacker built, 1956.

that even golden retrievers approve of.

I’m redundant and say . . .  no boats are prettier than wooden ones, whether they’re varnished like Karen Ann below or

painted….

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Compare the verticality of Evelyn Mae’s “windshield” in the photo below with the rake in the next photos.  The photo was taken in April 1946.

The interior photo below shows the helm and the modified “raked” windshield.

Here Evelyn Mae gets some emergency work done at the floating dry dock at Matton’s in Cohoes in July 1947.

In 1959 Evelyn Mae made a trip to the Champlain Canal.

 

Here’s a closeup of the whole crew.

During that trip, she went up on the marine railway at Velez Marina in Port Henry.

Steve continues with his narrative:  “Circe was a sister boat to Evelyn Mae. She is up on beach in Mill Basin Brooklyn after hurricane of Sept 1944. I was told by my uncle that these pics were taken after hurricane of 1946 or 1947, but apparently no hurricane hit NY in those years as per internet.”

 

“[This was] the last year the yacht club was at Mill Basin because the City of NY condemned the property so a builder could build lots of houses. So the vacant land in background of pic is now all houses. In 1955 the yacht club moved to Paerdegat Basin. My grandfather, Frank, was instrumental in obtaining a 99 year lease from the city as he was working at the NY Dock Company in Brooklyn and “knew” NY City Marine and Aviation people to help with obtaining the land. Midget Squadron Yacht Club is still there today (internet) as well as the Hudson River Yacht Club on the other side of Paerdegat Basin, which was there in the 1950s also.”
Many thanks to Steve for this look to the past, when summer boats” were just gorgeous wood.
More decades-old sixth born photos to come.

There are summer yachts, and then there are summer yachts of yore,  those ones magnificent back then  and then magnified by time.  Evelyn Mae, platform for these posts from last month, is of this second and extraordinary sort.  Photos and reminiscence come from Steve Munoz.

Enjoy the photos and I’ll tell you more later in this post and in subsequent ones.

 

These photos were taken at the Midget Squadron Yacht Club in Canarsie, Brooklyn. 

 

When I asked Steve if he knew the manufacturer, here’s what he said:  “The builder’s plaque at the steering stand said built by Fleetwing, Greenport, LI, NY, built 1928, 5 of them built as sisters. My grandfather bought it (used) after hurricane of 1947 when it was up on the beach.”
I search for “Fleetwing Greenport”  brought up this Motorboating article from November 1928, p. 154.
A few pages farther on 159, I found this unrelated but stunning image for a GarWood advertisement.

Anyhow, a bit of farther searching tells me I’ve been inside the old Fleetwing Shipyard building in Greenport.

More Evelyn Mae to come.  Many thanks to Steve for sharing these stories and images.

 

Never did I think a report from a federal judge of United States District Court, Northern District, New York dated January 31, 1955, would make such an interesting read.  It  emerges from two separate but related incidents that occurred in the port of Albany in late September 1953.  One of the companies involved still works in the region with a different boat by the same name, Ellen S. Bouchard, the 1951 boat.  I’m sure an image could be found of that boat, since it was scrapped under a different name as late as 1953.

What emerges from the report and fascinates me is an image of the past when a different type of vessel (see image below) plied the waterways and trade patterns were quite unlike today.  Frank A. Lowery, the vessel below, is described in different places here as a steamer, a motor vessel, and a canal propeller.  It’s a wooden barge built in Brooklyn in 1918 for a company called Ore Carrying Corp and –I assume–called OCCO 101.  In 1929 it was made a self-propelled barge, presumably looking like the photo below taken in 1950 in Lyons, NY.  Lowery at the time of the incident in Albany was loaded and had six barges in tow.  Note in the photo below you see the bow of one barge.

Below you see the particulars on Lowery throughout its lives.

The other thing that intrigues me about the legal report embedded in the first sentence of this post is the trade route alluded to. Lowery, her barges, and no doubt many like them transported wheat from Buffalo to Albany and scrap from Albany to Buffalo, via the relatively newly opened Barge Canal.  Folks working on the barge Canal would have no idea what to make of traffic on the canal in 2018 such as this, this, or  this.

Yesterday’s post featured a black/white photo of the image below.  Posting it, generated the helpful background info contained in the comment by William Lafferty.  It also generated the image below.

Many thanks to Dave Lauster and Edson Ennis, who generated the initial questions and these images, and to Bob Stopper for the tireless relaying and much more.  Somewhat related to today’s post is this set from Bob in 2014.

One of the goals I’ve had for this blog for some years now has been an effort to bring into the public domain images of years past exactly like these when –to repeat the points above– vessels and trade patterns were different.  I look forward to continuing this effort.  With your assistance, more “far-flung” posts are just around the next bend.

An organization with some overlapping goals is the Canal Society of New York State.  Click here to see the list of presentations at the winter symposium planned for March 2 in Rochester NY.  I plan to be there.  They also have a FB presence where they frequently post photos similar to the ones in today’s and yesterday’s posts.  Consider joining in one or more of these.

Wel . . . for starters, it’s beautiful.

Paquet V (1982) would not look quite the same if the same form were in fiberglass.  Make sure you look through the gallery here.

She was southbound here.

Shirean looks like she was built almost a century ago, because she was, 1930 by Morton Johnson of Bayhead NJ.  Click here for another Morton Johnson beauty.

 

Rumrunner has a 1949 Hacker design, but

I believe this one was launched in 2006.

But she is beautiful.

In the Erie Canal, I encountered Dolphin, and it turns out that tug44

who claims he went aboard and drank up all her wine.  Whether that’s exaggeration or not, he did take a lot of cool photos.  Thanks, Fred.

Seriously, she’s the real deal, an immaculately maintained 1929 Consolidated Commuter yacht.

I hope you enjoyed this warm look at summer past, summers past, as the temperatures begin to drop.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who thinks . . . cooler temps equals clearer air and sharper pics.  But if you stay inside when it’s cold, here’s a set of wooden yachts associated with City Island rich enough to take you until the spring to go through.

 

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