Saturday, September 28, 2013



It was 1887 and being built at the Pusey and Jones Shipyard in Wilmington, Delaware was the yacht “Volunteer”, built in 66 days, for a member of the New York Yacht Club, General Charles L. Paine. The yacht had been especially designed for the America's Cup Race by Harvard educated Edward Burgess, 39 year old yacht designer of West Sandwich, Massachusetts, who had already designed two America's Cup winners, The Puritan and The Mayflower.

Volunteer” was the first America's Cup Yacht to be built of all steel frame and hull . She had a deck of white pine and was of 130 ton displacement, 108 foot length overall, 86 feet length at waterline. She had a 23 foot 2 inch beam and a draft of 10 foot and carry 8,981 square feet of sail.

Volunteer” was skippered by Captain Hank Haff with assistance of Captains Terry, Berry and L. Jeffreys and easily beat 1886 America's Cup defender Mayflower and won both challenger trial races. In 1888 she won the America's Cup against the Scottish challenger “Thistle” in two races, first race by a 19 minute 24 second margin and the second race by a 11 minute , 49 second margin.

After the race “Volunteer” was bought by John Malcolm Forbes, who also owned The Puritan. She was altered as a schooner in 1891. In 1910 she was broken up at a New York junk yard .

Source: Wikipedia and San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

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