I was listening to a Swedish radio program when I heard the song “Buy me a boat” by Chris Janson, it got directly into my soul, I really liked the rhythm from this country style song and of course the lyrics had definitely a strong connection to us. A poor chap wanted to get rich, it might not buy me happiness but it can “by me a boat” he sings. You find the song by clicking on the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fFNrXGt56A. it’s well worth listening to I’m not the only one who liked it, it become no 1 played song for a while in US, very unusual for a country song if I’m rightly informed, especially for a sing a song writer with no record contract.
Well in Newport the J yacht owners do not have the problem to “buy them self a boat”, and I hope they are happy as well. It was WC in J Yacht recently and as I have been reading with great fascination when I was a small kid in very (1930s) old numbers of the Yachting world about the very impressive J Yachts that competed in the Americas Cup during the 1930’s. We looked forward to see them a little closer in real life.
We timed our arrival to Newport to be able to see them when racing, and down below follow many (too many?) pictures of the J Yachts.
Six of them were racing
Ranger was the one we got closest to when they were heading back to Newport
Ranger and Svea, Sveas drawings are made by Thore Holm a Swedish naval architect, she was never built as the Second World War came in between. Several attempts have been made to build Svea, recently and finally this spring she was launched. Svea is the longest J yacht 143 feet l.o.a
Velsheda 1984, now she looks a bit better …
She has now been restored to former glory l.o.a 129 feet 130 ton
Nice place for a morning breakfast before racing. Valsheda was for sale not long ago asking price 17.5 m€. A lot of boat for the money.
I thought this would be a big event, with many spectators and a rather comprehensive program within a “J Yacht event village”, but it was not, one could walk around among the boats but this is just a playground for extremely rich people.
A racing J yacht has a crew of 29 persons to that follow a shore team who manage the repair and service from service containers that are shipped to the different places they are racing at.
Lionehart being washed and serviced after the race.
The Lionehart cockpit
Detail from a tender to a J Yacht, just the chair must cost a bit
The cost to build a J Yacht must be very high, and the running cost must be astronomical, but obviously some have the cash needed.
Interesting is that if one visit the Herreshoff Marine Museum. Herreshoff Manufacturing Company established 1850s, they manufactured steam engines, torpedo boats for the navy, the first one was LIGHTNING from 1876, but I think Herreshoff are mostly known for the some very well-known Americas CUP winners, and maybe the most famous one is the Reliance
A Model of the very beautiful yacht Reliance, a very big yacht, a 90 footer, i.e. water length of 90 fet.
With a lot of sail, 16160 sq. ft. or 1500 m2, all this before synthetic fibers, carbon fiber spars and sophisticated winches, when racing they were 64 persons aboard. The cost to run them was huge, hence they decided for a new and smaller class called J Class to keep costs down??? They 33 crew aboard.
Comparison of different Americas Cup Classes.
Herreshoff was pioneering also with multi-hulls in racing already in 1876
Amaryllis probably the first racing catamaran, who won an important NY race 1876.
Older days cruising standard seen in some older boats built by Herreshoff
Well the J yachts was not the only yachts in Newport, strangely enough we had to look quite a while before we found the J Yachts in Newport, how is that possible? They should be visible for miles with their tall masts. The problem is that it was a lot of sailboats with tall masts, the J Yachts was not the largest yachts in the harbor.
Eleonora a 50 meter Old Classic Yacht built year 2000 from a Herreshoff drawing
Annagine a 34 meter “Classic Yacht” Built 2011.
This dog got his feet’s cleaned before the he was allowed to enter on the very large sailing boat Athene (we saw Athene in English Harbor Antigua, then we found out that she cost 300.000 € plus expenses to rent for one week). I do not think this crew man expected to wash the feet of small dogs as part of his duty.
But big boats need to get on the hard sometimes as well, but I do not think they live aboard as we do
This 56 m sailing ship, look at the furling mechanism for the genua, bigger than a man.
But not all vessels are posh, this fishing boat just near the yacht’s need som TLC
And the dingy jetty…
Is for the agile ones, luckily both Kerstin and I are rather agile.
It was a much hyped eclipse when we were in Newport, we had not prepared but 4 sun glasses solved the issue of looking direct into the sun
Kerstin struggling to put on 4 sun glasses, but it was rather OK solution one could see that ca half of the sun was shaded by the moon it lasted for maybe 15-30 minutes so there was no hurry.
Funny enough we saw this modest sailing boat in Newport
A Fisksatra S30 built in Sweden, we also had a S30 before we bought Kerpa, ours was built 1973, 42 years old when we sold ours.
As mentioned before, the Herreshoff Museum is in Bristol just north of Newport, The Herreshoff are not the only famous families from Bristol another one are the Colt family.
I think most kids which grew up during 60 ’s and have seen a lot of Cowboys movies have heard the name Colt, the famous gun used by heroes played by Clint Eastwood, John Wayne etc. I did not know that Mr Colt came from Bristol. The guide at the museum told us that Bristol was a big slave port and that a lot of families made a fortune on slave trade and that also include the Colt Family.
Slave trade was banned 1807, but it continued well into 1850′ s and after that it continued another decade with Cuba as base.
House in Bristol
An old and nice stone house in Bristol
We had to visit East Greenwich not far from Bristol, as our new dingy from AB already starts to fall apart. We thought we bought a high quality dingy, but obviously not.
The joint between the hull and the tubes started to get lose and the dingy toke in water, the joint could easily be ripped apart for some length, and it was only after several rather angry mails they agree to repair on warranty.
They had an agent in East Greenwich therefore we got there.
Our Spray-hood needed some new sippers and to our luck there was a canvas man in the marina who could fix that in a few hours, really needed when sailing in rough weather, sometimes one get very happy for small things such as a few new sippers.
Again very nice old houses, this one from
1757 if one can believe the sign.
We left the dingy last Friday and could collect it this Monday, now I really hope it will last for a long time, but I cannot recommend anyone to buy an AB Dingy. The repair man told me that it is not unusual that the Ab Dingy with Aluminum hull joints starts to go lose. Our dingy has started to corrode also and that is not a warranty thing either and if one read the warrant one see it is rather poor, a lot of exclusions.
It feels like autumn now, we definitely need a duvet during the night, there is roughly 12-14 degree c during the night, and the other day we were forced to
Put on not only long trousers and a sweater but also socks on our feet’s, time to go south soon?
Sitter i soffan och följer er resa. Fina upplevelser ni har och bilder säger mer än ord. Fortsätt så. Jo, även här i Sverige så känner vi att hösten anlänt, det är dags att dra söderut även för oss. Vi har köpt enkelbiljetter till Lefkas den 9de September. Segla lugnt, det gör vi.
Hello! I’m absolutely nuts for these old gigantic boats! Thanks for sharing!
I read that (I guess in the 70-ies) a boat owned by Lipton (the Tea guy) was supposed to be renovated, but even as the crew volontered to work for free they could not afford to fix the boat to sailing order. I do hope the biar survived and now, wirh all the billionaires around it’s sailing again!