“The best thing you could do would be to leave it alone” Halsey Herreshoff

As Halsey Herreshoff noted, some things are best left alone.  Halsey, a boat designer and builder and grandson of Nathaniel Herreshoff, was speaking of the design of his grandfather’s famed Long Island Sound sailboat, the S-Boat, more about which in a minute.  Halsey’s advice, however, might apply more broadly to Long Island Sound itself where Eulalie honed her racing skills while in high school and where forty years later, Elizabeth Jean relaxed and recreated for much of this July and early August.  Our time in the sound offered Eulalie a poignant trip down memory’s wake spurred by her encounter with the proud and patient owner of an S-Boat.  Later, as we sashayed up the Sound, an array of stakes poking above the water kept us alert.  “Oyster Stakes” our charts informed us.  More abundant than Eulalie recalled, the stakes signify an oyster boom.  The Sound’s restoring health, much the same as the S-Boat’s Phoenix-like renewal warmed Eulalie’s return to her early proving grounds.

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Our arrival at the Brewer Post Marina in Mamaroneck, New York coincided with the marina’s annual barbecue.  There we met Bill who showed us the S-Boat he was restoring.  The vessel’s age–well over sixty–can’t hide its sleek form (I should look so good).  According to Susan Buck, the S-Boat is the oldest one-design class still actively racing with its original boats.  In three years the S-Boat Association will celebrate its 100th season.

S-Boat

The S-Boat transported Eulalie back in time to the 1970’s when she often saw the S-Boat fleet as she raced out of the American Yacht Club in Rye and the Huguenot Yacht Club in New Rochelle, a short drive from our Mamaroneck berth.  Photo credit: Herreshoff S Boats of Long Island Sound Facebook Page.

Herreshoff_S_17_20_and_22

Iroquois (#17) leading, Allegro (#20) and Kandahar II (#22).  In all Hereshoff built 95 S-Boats.  Many are still racing.

For more about the S-Boat see:

http://www.herreshoff-s-wlis.org/History.html

 

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