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  • 09 Feb 2022 5:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Bill Rhone

    By George Eggerton, Canadian Fleet

    Sometime a few years ago, I was down in the engine room bilge of my boat, Mysterion, struggling to resecure a bilge pump at the right height. It had come loose and had to be attached at a level that coordinated with the main bilge pump and would be easily accessible, not requiring a snorkel to locate if there were problems in future. It was hard work, in a tight space, lots of smudge all-round. And my legs weren’t as young as they used to be 79 years ago. As usual the job took more time than anticipated and, as I worked deeper and deeper into a narrowing space and as jumpy stainless steel screws kept falling into the bilge water in distressing numbers, I began to wonder if I might be stuck vertically in the shrinking space without a preplanned exit backout and without access to my cellphone, which also had a distressing habit of falling into the bilge water. Could I defy gravity and wiggle myself back to safety? How long could one survive if jammed head-first in a bilge? Should I have gone on the diet suggested by my wife many times? Suddenly I heard a gentle noise above me, a head with thick white hair peeked through the wheelhouse door, asking if I was ok. As it turned out I was ok, was able to extract myself, and the bilge pump allowed itself to be corrected and has worked well ever since. But I was grateful for the query as to my wellbeing. And I decided to go on a diet.

    This was my first meeting with Bill Rhone. Subsequent meetings were under much happier circumstances. Bill has become a recognized and welcome presence at many of the marinas in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia where classic yachts and historic boats are moored.

    Recently, I received a brown paper envelope addressed to the owner of Mysterion. In the envelope were two beautiful sketches of my boat. (See the illustrations.) In thanking Bill for these fine pictures, I invited him for lunch on the boat, and a chance for him to view the insides. He eagerly responded positively, and we soon shared a clam chowder, spiced up with candied maple-smoked salmon while immersed in conversation, where we lost all sense of time as we discussed our interests and experiences.

    Mysterion, Heritage Harbour Figure 11 Mysterion, Heritage Harbour

    I grew up in Winnipeg, with a love for rivers and lakes, notably Lake Winnipeg and the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. My best friend lived right on the Assiniboine, at the bottom of my street. What a magnet for learning about river life, especially during the floods of 1948 and 1950, when schools were closed, and education turned to more interesting paths. Our families had to evacuate, mine to Rabbit Lake, near Kenora Ontario, where I found I was a born-obsessive fisherman. I also of learned that fishing and boats went together, but I caught my first fish, a Northern Pike, or Jackfish as we called them, off the end of the peer at Rabbit Lake, after approximately 5000 castings. I was eight years old, but I was persistent.

    After university studies in History, I took my first appointment at Memorial University in Newfoundland, in 1969, and spent two happy years there where my office had a view over the turbulent North Atlantic Ocean, and where winter blizzards sometimes left snowdrifts on my office floor. The sea was ever-present and yearly iceberg flows jolted spring warming back to winter chills. Then, in 1972, I was invited to join the History Department at the University of British Columbia, where I now had a view on the Pacific Ocean as it joined up with the mountains and the city. I soon bought a large inflatable boat for local rock cod fishing and a lot of pumping.

    After some forty years of teaching more than 4000 students, research and publishing that had little to do with boats (except for the Royal Navy in the Great War), I retired from UBC in 2008, and thought it was now time to take up fishing again. So I went on-line to look for a small boat suitable for local fishing. As it turned out, my eye accidentally wandered to classic yachts for sale, at unbelievable prices after the financial crash of 2008 and the New Orleans hurricane disaster. Thank goodness for financial crashes sometimes. I looked at on-line sales of fantastically beautiful classic yachts, going for unbelievable prices, not knowing that boat is an atavistic and true acronym for ‘bring on another thousand.’ Naïve and seduced, I soon became the owner of Mysterion, built in Vancouver, launched in 1927, later moored in Blaine and La Conner, Washington, full of history, believing all my experience in amateur restoring of heritage houses could easily be transferred to restoring boats. Twelve years later, the many thousands of dollars poured into the boat, but with no regrets, were in my memory as Bill and I enjoyed our chowder on Mysterion, with restoration still an on-going process, without end, financial and otherwise.

    Mysterion moored at Heritage Harbour, Vancouver. By permission, Per Furst Figure 12 Mysterion moored at Heritage Harbour, Vancouver. By permission, Per Furst

    Bill grew up in California and took advantage of support from the American military to study architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1952. His deferred draft meant that he was required to put in some 21 months of military service. Being a university student in 1950 meant that he avoided being sent to fight in the Korean War. After graduation and service as a Junior Officer in the US Army, he undertook post-graduate studies in London, England. Then, in 1956 he migrated to Vancouver and with a professional partner, Rand Iredale, set up the firm Rhone and Iredale Architects in 1960. Over the next decades, this firm would flourish, when there was a powerful market for innovative architecture. Indeed, Vancouver is marked by the iconic architectural legacy of Rhone and Iredale buildings, including the Science Buildings at Simon Fraser University, the Westcoast Transmission Building, the Crown Life Building downtown, and the False Creek Housing Cooperative.

    After a very distinguished architectural career, Bill was able to pursue another passion – sketching boats set in the harbors and marinas of British Columbia. Of course, sketching went hand in hand with architectural design, but when asked how long he had been sketching, the answer is most of his life. All it took to begin was a pencil and a sketch pad. But his son, a software specialist, years ago introduced him to what could be done more effectively on an iPad. Here the interest and focus could remain the same, mainly classic boats at moorage in beautiful harbours. But in various perspectives of daylight, weather, and scale, the iPad offered improvements of speed, background variations, erasure and resketching, together with easy portability and sharing.

    Mysterion, Heritage Harbour Figure 13 Mysterion, Heritage Harbour

    In late 2020 and into 2021, the Vancouver Maritime Museum mounted an exhibition of Bill Rhone’s artwork, dozens of favorite sketches of boats set in local seaside locations. Despite the covid pandemic, the beauty of this exhibitions brought pleasure to many visitors, some recognizing their own boats as an added bonus. To share a view of Bill’s iPad gallery is to see many hundreds of sketches, each with a distinctive view and setting.

    It is interesting to compare photographs of boats with Bill’s sketches. Each have their attractions: photos capture the realism, the colours, the changes overtime with restorations, and equally the weathering and deterioration which also occurs, alas. Bill’s sketches strike me as having a distinct sense of dynamism, movement, abstract lines which grip the viewer’s imagination. And happily, the image is fixed in time, defying deterioration.

    Why does Bill do this? Not for any commercial result. As he says, it’s just for fun. Few artists have had so much fun, judging from the results. Readers can see for themselves from the several sketches we include with this article.

    S.S. Master, Vancouver’s Last Wooden Steam-Powered Tugboat, Being Restored for its 100th Birthday, 2022

    Figure 14 S.S. Master, Vancouver’s Last Wooden Steam-Powered Tugboat, Being Restored for its 100th Birthday, 2022

    The above article is excerpted from the Canadian Fleet Newsletter, January 2022

  • 14 Jan 2022 4:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Capt. Jay Niederhauser, former Pacific Northwest Fleet Commodore
    From Classic Yachting – Winter 2022

    Capt Jay Niederhauser is a retired Puget Sound Pilot and tug captain with Foss Maritime. He owned and operated Savona, a 40-foot Ed Monk bridge-deck sedan for 23 years, and was Commodore of the PNW Fleet of the Classic Yacht Association in 1981. He still is an active sailor cruising on Puget Sound and to Alaska in the summer on Westerly, a 37-foot cruiser.


    IN THE BEGINNING, there were beautiful classic yachts, inspired by designers and owners, built by skilled craftsmen, and operated by owners for whom boating enjoyment was a chosen lifestyle. (It still is for many of us.)

    EARLY ON, while navigating the primordial seas, there was little fear of collision. Of greater concern, rocks and sandbars were the problems. Later, when beautiful classic yachts and other vessels became plentiful, the possibility of collision with other vessels became of greater problem. Safe navigation became dependent on keeping a good lookout, seeing other vessels that might obstruct your course, and assessing through periodic observation the possibility of collision. It was during these early times that international navigation rules came into existence to govern the actions of navigators to produce a safe cruising outcome. We should have all learned these “Rules of the Road” to ensure our safe cruising.

    THEN THERE WAS RADAR, designed to help navigators see other vessels. But there were, and are, challenges in seeing beautiful classic yachts with radar. First, many boats have a relatively low profile, and second, they are constructed of materials that do not reflect radar beams. From many years of experience manning radars on commercial vessels, I can tell you that low-profile boats and small sailboats can be very challenging to see on the radar. It takes an experienced hand on the radar adjustments (tuning, gain and sea clutter) to consistently detect and then properly assess what maneuvering actions may be necessary.

    Note on radar. Traditional pulse radars use high-powered magnetrons to generate microwave signals with very short pulses of applied voltage. New solid-state X-band radar technology utilizes FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave) techniques. These systems provide target detection superior to pulse radars while transmitting at far lower energy levels and provide target detection from 20 ft to 48 nm or more. Newer systems even include a Doppler effect allowing you to discern moving targets and their direction.

    RADAR REFLECTORS CAME NEXT. These devices help radars to see beautiful classic yachts (and sailboats). These provide an order of magnitude improvement in radar detection; however, this aid has been slow to be adopted probably because defectors are an ugly appliance and not consistent with original intent of our vessels’ designers. And yet, in Canada, there is a regulatory requirement that boats less than 65-foot LOA be fixed with a radar reflector. From my view, any low profile wooden vessel less than 65-foot should be equipped with one.

    Note on radar reflectors. There are passive and active reflectors. Traditional reflectors are passive and their effectiveness is proportional to their size. They should be sufficiently large to reflect radar waves (2.5” or 4” wave heights) and their effectiveness is increased by size; thus, larger is better. Active reflectors sense incoming radar signals and transmit a return signal.

    Canadian Shipping Act 2001. (excerpt) Rule 40 Radar Reflectors (a)....a vessel that is less than 20 metres in length or is constructed primarily of non-metallic materials shall, if practicable, be equipped with a radar reflector or other means to enable the vessel’s detection by other vessels navigating by radar at 3 GHz or 9 GHz.

    AIS (Automated Identification System) electronics have now arrived. These enable all AIS-equipped navigators to see all nearby boats equipped with an AIS transponder/transmitter. This information can be used to provide excellent information that greatly assists in making collision avoidance assessments. The concept of AIS provided information to a navigator is a vast improvement in situational awareness and navigation safety. The expense of acquiring and installing a Class B AIS is generally less than one boating unit and is generally sufficient for inland and coastal navigation.

    Even though there are inherent limitations in AIS information such as frequency of reported position, and the inaccuracy of course over ground (COG) vectors in the vicinity of strong tidal currents (it’s important for all AIS users to know about these), the improvement in being seen and helping to make correct and safe navigation decisions is remarkable.

    So, if you have a beautiful classic yacht, and you don’t have a radar reflector, please install one. It is still needed for radar equipped vessels that do not have AIS to be able to see you. And if you have navigation software that can incorporate AIS data, it is a relatively easy step to avail yourself of technology that will greatly improve the safety of boating with your family and friends, and enjoyment of your beautiful classic yacht.

  • 01 Dec 2021 12:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Excerpt from Fall 2021 SC Fleet Newsletter:

    In sailor folklore, mermaids represent both good fortune and disaster. As sailors spent months, sometimes years travelling across vast oceans, it's not surprising that beliefs and superstitions of figures controlling the unpredictable weather appeared in nautical stories over the centuries.

    The mermaid's conflicting personalities as both a beautiful and seductive maiden and a monstrous sea creature that dragged sailors to their deaths is a fitting representation for the wild, violent yet fascinating nature of the sea itself.

    Mermaids often appear as figureheads on the front of nautical vessels. The figurehead, which was popular between the 16th and 20th centuries is a carved wooden decoration located on the bow of ships. While many different decorations have been used, mermaids proved popular with the sailors as they were believed to appease the sea, ensuring good weather and finding a safe way back to land.

      

  • 16 Oct 2021 3:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Margie and Jim Paynton, PNW Fleet [Excerpted from Fall 2021 Classic Yachting]

    A history of the Pacific Northwest Fleet’s Bell Harbor event needs to begin in 1983 with its predecessor, the Port Ludlow show. It was called “Port Ludlow by Land and Sea”, with non-competitive participation by the Classic Yacht Association, the Classic Car Club of America, Rolls Royce Club, and the Antique and Classic Boat Society. Free moorage for two nights was provided, public viewing was included as was an outdoor barbecue, initiated by Classic Yacht Association member Ramp Harvey. The Port Ludlow by Land and Sea event continued for 13 years, through 1996 under the leadership of various Classic Yacht Association members, including Monty Holmes, who was able to attract antique air and float planes, adding “Air” to the “Land and Sea” event. In early 1997 challenges arose indicating that after fourteen years at Port Ludlow changes needed to be made. Fleet members wanted a new location for an event that would allow us to show our wonderful wooden vessels to the public and provide a regular meeting for our members.

    At the Seattle Boat Show in January of 1997, we met Jody Burke, Facilities Manager for the new Bell Street Marina at Pier 66 on the Seattle waterfront. We told Jody that the local Classic Yacht Association fleet was looking for a location to showcase their wooden, pre-World War II vessels. Jody became quite excited about the possibility of such an event. The Marina’s state shoreline access agreement included guaranteed public access, and a boat show could satisfy that policy. By the time our conversation concluded, a plan had been hatched for a show of classic boats at the Bell Street Pier in Seattle that very summer to celebrate the Marina’s first anniversary!

    Since the Port Ludlow event had typically taken place in June, Father’s Day weekend was chosen as the date for the classic boat show. The weekend would include things that had taken place at Port Ludlow, including a boat parade, a communal dinner for the boat owners, and an invitation for public viewing. Like its predecessor, the event would not be judged, but would include a “People’s Choice” award for the visitors to vote on their favorite classic.

    The committee contacted various media outlets for publicity, resulting in coverage by The Seattle Times, a television helicopter, evening newscasts, local boating magazines, and interviews on KVI’s weekly marine radio program. These activities resulted in large crowds coming to the Marina.













    In addition to holdover activities from Port Ludlow, the Bell Street Classic Rendezvous began a tradition of using fleet members to carry out the many on-site tasks necessary to ensure a successful event. A printed program was created to educate the visitors on the docks about the unique features of each vessel present.

    Since 2001, member David Huchthausen has created annual collectible commemorative posters for the event. In 2002, the Chief Seattle fireboat began a tradition of coordinating its monthly water display drill during the sail-in of vessels on Friday afternoon. Also in 2003, the Saturday and Sunday arrival of huge cruise ships at the Pier66 terminal brought more crowds of onlookers to the docks. Because of security concerns on the Pier, it was necessary to eliminate the car clubs at the event.

    Many milestones have been celebrated during the Bell Harbor weekend. Here are some of them:

    • With the help of a Friday front-page article and photo of Wahoma, on Saturday Monty Holmes spotted an older woman standing at the bow, her hand extended to touch the boat. When Monty approached her, she explained that she had dated the son of the first owner and had very fond memories of a boat trip on Wahoma. 
    • Also at the first event in 1997, Mike Passage and Laura Shifflette warned each other while visiting the event that they would NOT be purchasing a classic boat. By weekend’s end, they were the owners of Faun! (They have been active members of the Classic Yacht Association since. Laura has served as Commodore of the Pacific Northwest Fleet. By all accounts they’ve had wonderful summer cruising since.) 
    • In 1998, meteorologist Walter Kelly of Channel13 delivered his evening weather forecast from the helm of Jim and Margie Paynton’s Maranee. 
    • In 1999, the arrival of Deerleap from southern California would coincide with the Bell Street event. By 2004, Slim and Carolyn had moved Deerleap to the Pacific Northwest for good. 
    • In 2005, the show’s centerpiece was Glorybe, resurrected from an ashen, watery grave, and restored following a horrific fire at the Seattle Yacht Club in 2002.
    • Several boats have hosted multiple owners at the waterfront weekend, including three sets of owners aboard Lawana, and three families representing Comrade’s caretakers, including two generations of the Birdseye Family for a total of 50 years followed by Kathy Weber and Bill Shain. 
    • An Engine Preservation Award has become a part of the weekend, recognizing the labors and dedication of classic boat owners in maintaining their vessel’s decades-old power plants. 
    The event has been the occasion for celebrating milestone birthdays, including 80, 90 and even 100 years (Lawana the boat and Lake Union Dry Dock Company -- the original designers and builders of Lake Union Dreamboats).  Crowd size has increased over the years, and there are typically over 40 Pacific Northwest Fleet yachts in attendance. A record of 54 boats filled the marina in 2006. With four sets of organizing chairs over the years (Paynton, Shugart, Kochel and Lander), the weekend continues to lure guests from throughout the Classic Yacht Association, the maritime community, and visitors from around the world. Enthusiastic businesses sponsor the moorage and other components of the weekend- it could not happen without their support!

    As they say, the best is yet to come - June 17-19,2022 will mark the 25th anniversary of the event! Mark your calendars now; we will stuff as many boats as possible into the Bell Harbor Marina! As for visitors, there are several hotels in the immediate area, or better yet, enlist as a crew member on a classic for the weekend.


  • 01 Jun 2021 6:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Excerpted from SC Fleet Classic Times, Summer 2021

    "Wooden Ships", a song written and composed by David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Paul Kantner, was recorded by both Crosby, Stills & Nash and by Jefferson Airplane. Both groups performed the song during their performances at Woodstock in 1969.

    The song was written and composed in 1968 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, aboard David Crosby’s boat Mayan. The melody and harmonies of “Wooden Ships” are beautiful and people often include the song in “yacht rock” compilations to enjoy listening to while on the water. However, if you listen carefully to the lyrics, the song actually imagines the quest for survival in a postapocalyptic world. It evokes the enduring human spirit that motivates the living to remain positive and rebuild from the ashes of a destroyed civilization. Wooden Ships As wooden ships are devoid of metal that would become radioactive, the songwriters imagine them carrying the survivors away from the ravaged shores. . . . . Another good reason to keep our wooden ships “on the water very free”. David Crosby reminds us that in times of “hassles, confusion, and pain . . . the boat helps, because the boat has great beauty and constancy and meaning. It has grace and comradeship. And all of those things get to your head.” 

    David Crosby at the helm of Mayan.

    The Mayan, a 59-foot John Alden–designed wooden schooner, came to the capable hands of Wayne Ettel at the Boatswayne Shipyard for its most recent restoration. - photos by Wayne Ettel

    Wayne Ettel and his crew of wood specialists assessed and rebuilt Mayan with replacement of the brass fasteners with silicon bronze, the centerboard trunk, 70% of the frames, and 100% of the planking. Once she was put back into the water, the shoddy work of a former restoration was no longer acceptable and the decks, bulwarks, and covering boards were also replaced. Wayne said, “She outlived her builder and now she will outlive us. She is stronger and more seaworthy than she was when she was new.” Although leery at first, Wayne came to know and respect David Crosby as a true man of the sea.

    Rock ‘n’ roll icon and seaman David Crosby @ Wilmington 

  • 16 Nov 2020 4:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Rick Etsell, N.A.

    Steam Yacht El Primero, c. 1910 El Primero

    Built in San Francisco in 1893, El Primero was the first steam yacht built on the West Coast. At 120’, and very luxurious, she was a mega-yacht of the era when she arrived on Puget Sound in 1906. She had a 5000-mile range, steam heat, an ice machine and accommodations for 30 including 8 crew. In 1911 she changed hands when her owner, prominent Tacoma civic leader Chester Thorne, lost her in a card game to S. A. Perkins, Tacoma capitalist, newspaper publisher, philanthropist, and Commodore of the Tacoma Yacht Club.

    Aquilo


    Steam Yacht Aquilo,
    at SYC Dock 4

    Aquilo was built in Boston in 1901. In 1910 she sailed 17,000 miles around the Horn to San Francisco, before ending up on Puget Sound and British Columbia under a variety of owners. She was also quite luxurious, and boasted a crew of 15. Both steam yachts had triple expansion engines, El Primero’s at 8 x 12 x 20” with a 12” stroke, and Aquilo’s 11 x 17 x 27” with an 18” stroke. Both hulls were built of riveted steel.

    The Big Race

    In 1919 Aquilo was owned by H.F. Alexander, president of the Pacific Steamship Company. Alexander was also a TYC member, and he and Perkins were well acquainted. One night while Perkins was dining aboard Aquilo, one of Mr. Alexander’s guests wagered $1000 that Aquilo was a faster ship than El Primero. Then, according to an article in Pacific Motor Boat Magazine (Dec 1919):

    The EL PRIMERO skipper laughed and declared he did not want to rob anyone but someday he would show them what his craft could do. Now be it said that the EL PRIMERO was going to cruise to Hoods Canal [sic] and the AQUILO to Victoria. The word was passed among the crew and when the EL PRIMERO came out of the Canal she found the AQUILO waiting for her with the result the AQUILO sped by the PRIMERO and then the PRIMERO took after her.

    There is an engineer by the name of Miles Coffman running the PRIMERO and it is said he has raced boats in old days and he did not forget to pat the PRIMERO on the back on this occasion.

    From Foulweather Bluff to West Point the craft raced and in that distance, the EL PRIMERO had overtaken the larger boat and cut a complete circle about her. The skipper of the EL PRIMERO modestly claims that his ship is the fastest steam yacht on the coast and that while he usually runs his boat at economical cruising speed, she can get out and step 18 m.p.h. when necessary.


    The 1919 race between El Primero, l, and Aquilo, r. [Photo-shopped by R.E.]

    Aquilo’s Fate

    Alexander sold Aquilo in 1934, and she kicked around the Sound for many years. Eventually, in 1962, an eccentric physics professor named John Campbell bought her to reside aboard while teaching at the University of Washington. (Campbell’s 1999 obituary is quite an entertaining story: John Campbell; Eclectic Teacher, Writer, Inventor and Composer - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com))

    At the time, my grandfather, Professor Bryan T. McMinn, was a thermodynamics specialist in the UW Mechanical Engineering Department. (He was also the owner of the well-known Lake Union Dreamboat Orba.) Campbell consulted with him regularly on maintenance and improvements to the steam power plant aboard Aquilo, which was then moored at South Lake Union, near the City’s steam power generation facility, where my grandfather also was a consultant. I was a young teenager then but I remember my grandfather telling me about his “nutty professor” friend who owned and lived aboard the steam yacht Aquilo. His big idea was to create giant billboards on Aquilo, and cruise up and down Southern California beaches for advertising revenue.

    The rest of that story comes from The Seattle Times, 7 September 1966:

    The yacht AQUILO, which had been plagued with trouble for nearly two weeks, caught fire, and sank about 2 miles off the N. California coast, near Fort Bragg, 6 Sept. 1966. The four men aboard were rescued without injury by a Coast Guard cutter which responded to an S O S from the 150-footer.

    The CG said it had assisted the AQUILO three times in recent weeks. The first time was 25 August, when she was taking on water at her moorage in Lake Union, Seattle. On 4 Sept the vessel reported she was disabled 10 miles west of Rogue River, OR, and a CG lifeboat was dispatched. However, the AQUILO said the steering difficulties had been repaired and she would continue on her own. Later that day the CG was asked to escort the vessel into Crescent City, CA because the operator was not familiar with the waters of that area.

    Save A Classic!

    Surprisingly, El Primero is still afloat, and she is currently in Astoria, Oregon, and listed for sale. There have been a number of restoration attempts in recent years, but there is still much to be done.  How great it would be if she could be put back in near-original arrangement and show up at Classic Yacht Rendezvous around here! Check out her listing at https://www.apolloduck.com/boat/motor-boats-classic/651448  

    Such amazing histories! Let’s hope El Primero finds a new caretaker who can set her up for another 100 years!

  • 03 Feb 2020 5:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    (c) Stephen Wilen Feb 2020 [Excerpt from Classic Yachting]

    Cyprus on sea trials in Puget Sound, Washington, 1913, in her original configuration by Irving Cox of Cox & Stevens.  Puget Sound Maritine Historical Society photo, 694-5.

    In 1912, 42-year-old Col. Daniel Cowan Jackling of Salt Lake City decided to become a yachtsman.  By anyone’s account, Col. Jackling (1869-1956) was a highly complex, accomplished and extremely wealthy man. (1) Among numerous achievements he accomplished by the time he was in his 30s, he was president and general manager of the Utah Copper Company that he founded in 1903 and which became the largest firm of its type in the world.  When Utah Copper was established many mocked it as “Jackling’s Folly,” but by 1910 the company was producing close to one-half of the world’s copper.  Its Bingham Canyon copper pit was the world’s greatest man-made crater. Col. Jackling ran the company until 1923 when, as a consequence of Kennecott-involved Guggenheim financing, it became a division of Kennecott Copper Corporation, a marriage not completed until 1936 and one that greatly vexed the colonel.  Jackling’s once-controlling role as head of Utah Copper was continually marginalized by Kennecott corporate bureaucrats in New York, culminating in his forced retirement in 1942, an embittered man.  Jackling was also general manager and chair of the executive committee of the Ray Consolidated Copper Company in Arizona, and president of the Nevada Consolidated Copper Corporation.

    1906 caricature of Col. Jackling by Alan Lister.Having made the decision to experiment with yachting, as reported in the September 1914 issue of The Marine Review, Col. Jackling determined that “by experience with a not too large or costly yacht just exactly what he would ultimately require in the way of a larger vessel to meet his permanent needs.”  If he was inexperienced in this undertaking, as might be assumed was the case, he surely engaged proficient advisors.  Jackling did not select a yacht designer from the yellow pages of the Salt Lake City telephone directory; he went right to the top, Cox & Stevens, the prominent yacht design and brokerage firm in New York City, founded in 1905.  As his trial yacht to test the waters, Jackling gave carte blanche to Irving Cox to design a steel hull steam yacht with a LOA of a “not too large” 231 feet, LWL of 215 feet, beam of 28 feet and draft of 12.5 feet.  At the time of her launching in 1913, she was the largest yacht ever constructed on the west coast, a title one wonders if she still holds.  (A Google search did not find any other yachts constructed on the west coast to date exceeding even her original LOA, let alone her extended LOA, to be discussed following.) (2)

    To build this vessel, Seattle Construction and Drydock Company was chosen (3). Although Jackling had business that took him to the West Coast periodically, including north to Alaska where Kennecott had operations, it may not be simply coincidence that his having been vice chair of the Utah Commission of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle’s first world fair held on the campus of the University of Washington in 1909, may have influenced his decision to have the yacht built in Seattle.  Cost of construction was reportedly $500,000.

    The completed yacht had a plumb bow, a counter stern and a graceful sheer.  Col. Jackling had his new yacht christened Cyprus from the ancient Greek khalkos or kyprios, meaning ore, copper or bronze.  She was the first steam yacht built to burn fuel oil.  Powered by two four-cylinder triple expansion vertical inverted reciprocating engines built by Seattle Construction and Drydock Company, she had a total of 3,500 horsepower.  She had four Babcock & Wilcox boilers with a total heating surface of 10,000 feet that supplied steam at 225 pounds pressure.  Astoundingly, all machinery was installed in duplicate to preclude immobilization at sea.  Fuel oil capacity was 260 tons.  Her two scews were three-bladed, eight feet, four inches diameter with a pitch of nine feet, eight inches, giving Cyprus a cruising speed of 18 knots.

    Line drawing by Cox & Stevens of Cyprus in her original configuration, 1913. Daniel Cowan Jackling papers, 1911-1956, Stanford University Archives.

    The yacht had nine watertight transverse bulkheads.  An auxiliary dynamo was capable of lighting the entire vessel, including two powerful searchlights, and the wireless equipment.  Ample battery backup could maintain the electrical system when the dynamo was not being used.  A large cold storage plant, a complete telephone system, call bells, and hot and cold water, both fresh and salt, were featured throughout the yacht.

    Cyprus carried one large lifeboat and three 22-foot launches, one of which was high speed, the other two being heavy service boats.

    Palatial does not begin to do justice to the accommodations onboard Cyprus.  In addition to the owner’s full-width stateroom with fully equipped bath, located forward on the main deck, Cyprus featured ten other master staterooms with shared baths between.  A passageway between these staterooms terminated aft at a full-width music room, 21 by 26 feet containing a piano, Victrola and a massive fireplace.  Overhead was an immense domed skylight of translucent glass that included an indirect lighting system to create an impression of sunlight at night.  The music room had large plate glass windows one inch thick.

    Abaft the music room was a library, also full width at 24 by 16 feet.  The main saloon was referred to as the gunroom and was fitted out as a sporting room, displaying a variety of hunting and fishing equipment.  Both of these spaces also had one-inch thick plate glass windows.

        

    Two views of the music saloon with its huge glass dome.  New York Yacht Club collection.

    At the after end of this deck was a huge lounging room, 30 by 20 feet.  This space was left open on the sides, protected from inclement weather by the deck overhead and the high steel bulwarks, so it was essentially an out-of-doors space.

    Amidships was the galley for the crew, a bakery and a second large and well-equipped galley for the owner.

    On the upper deck considerably forward was a steel deckhouse containing the dining saloon, 29 by 14 feet and a pantry.  The pilothouse that appears to have been of wood construction, containing quarters for the captain, was placed atop the steel deckhouse.  A smaller deckhouse abaft the mainmast, 12 by 12 feet, served as the entrance to the quarters below and contained space for the wireless equipment and operator.

    Cyprus’ dining saloon.  New York Yacht Club collection.

    Appointments throughout the yacht were impeccable, utilizing oak and exotic woods not found on many other yachts: Tibet mahogany and India, Burma and Java teak.  Surfaces not varnished or oiled were painted ivory white enamel.  The overall design was described as Colonial.  Bathrooms – one hesitates to use the term “head” – featured tiled floors and bulkheads.

    Launched in late summer 1913, Cyprus went into commission November 20th.  She carried a crew of 48, including officers, engineers, firemen, water tenders, oilers and service staff that included cooks, stewards and waiters.

    Seattle’s Railway & Marine News for December 1, 1913 recorded that, “…considerable unauthorized talk had been indulged in by irresponsible parties along the [Seattle] waterfront as to the performance of the yacht on her several preliminary trials, but on the arrival in Seattle of the owner this irrelevant gossip was quickly suppressed by the removal of the [initial] captain who had been engaged for the yacht.”

    Following sea trials in Pacific Northwest waters, Cyprus left for her new homeport of San Francisco, most likely in December 1913, where Col. Jackling was a member of the San Francisco Yacht Club at Tiburon. (4)  During the voyage down the Pacific coast she encountered one of the most severe southeasters ever recorded, but rode out the storm admirably under the command of Capt. W. E. McNelley of Seattle.  Although Col. Jackling began the voyage from Seattle, because of an important business engagement in San Francisco he had to “jump ship” en route to preclude any possibility of a weather-related delay, and continue his trip on land, probably in his private railroad car that was also named Cyprus.  Upon reaching San Francisco, Capt. McNelley remarked that he was “…highly pleased with the conduct of Cyprus on the trip…[she is as] worthy as they make them.  I wanted to test her and we gave her a good test with bucking a very stiff southeaster all the way down.  She went through like a duck…” 

    Conflicting with Capt. McNelley’s positive assessment of Cyprus’ voyage from Seattle to San Francisco is the inclusion in Horace W. McCurdy’s 1966 Marine History of the Pacific Northwest: “…the large ocean-going steam yacht Cypress [sic]…was found to have insufficient stability for offshore cruising, but following extensive alterations proved an excellent sea boat, making a voyage to the East Coast via Magellan Straits.”  It is assumed these alterations were made as part of the lengthening of Cyprus by 35 feet, as her only known circumnavigation of South America occurred after her lengthening.

    Once settled in San Francisco, Cyprus continued to cruise the Pacific Coast venturing south as far as the Panama Canal.

    Railway & Marine News (op. cit.) also noted that upon reaching San Francisco Cyprus undertook a pleasure cruise to the Hawaiian Islands, returning to Seattle in February 1914 to convey Col. Jackling and business associates to visit property of the Alaska Gold Mines Company at Juneau.

    * * *

                Col. Jackling’s impression of his “not too large” yacht was obviously positive, and he was paraphrased in the September 1914 issue of The Marine Review as being “…not only entirely satisfied with her performance, but astonished at her remarkability to maintain a high speed at sea with entire comfort to those onboard.”

                Having determined by the close of winter cruising 1913 and a brief spring and early summer cruising season 1914 that the life of a yachtsman was to his liking, Jackling decided to have Cyprus enlarged if it could be done maintaining the same amount of comfort.  In consultation with naval architect Irving Cox, it was suggested that Cyprus could be cut in half amidships and lengthened 35 feet, thereby increasing desired accommodations while forfeiting minimal of her cruising speed of 17 to 18 knots.  (An earlier consideration to sell Cyprus and order a new yacht had been dismissed.) Thus, a contract was signed with her original builder, Seattle Construction and Drydock Company, to accomplish this work, that appears to have been completed by late August or early September 1914.

    Cyprus cut amidships.  Note supports for heightening the fo’c’s’le bulwarks. Popular Mechanics, December 1914.

    Cyprus’ joinery was removed first from the area where she was to be cut in half.  She was then placed in drydock preparatory to cutting through the steel plating of her hull directly between her engines and boilers.  A launching cradle was placed under the forward end of the yacht, strong cables were attached to the bow and the forward section was winched the precise needed distance of 35 feet, the planning having been done with such precision that only one haul was required.


    Line drawing profile of the extended Cyprus from The Steam Yachts, Erik Hofman, 1970.

    The lengthening allowed for the installation of additional fuel oil tanks, new quarters for 12 of the crew and three assistant engineers, plus four additional staterooms for guests.  As can be seen in before and after photos, the fo’c’s’le  bulwarks were heightened significantly, giving Cyprus a more distinctive profile (although compromising her sheer) while also helping to prevent substantial bow wash over the foredeck.  Also adding to her distinctive profile was the addition of a second rakish funnel abaft the original funnel and just forward of the dome over the music room.  The only other large American yacht with two funnels was Vincent Astor’s Noma.



    Press photo by Webster & Stevens of the lengthened Cyprus on sea trials off Vashon Island, Puget Sound, Washington, July 7, 1914, with naval architect Irving Cox aboard.  Author's collection.

    Another photo of the lengthened Cyprus on sea trials in Puget Sound, possibly taken the same day as the previous photo.  Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society photo 694-6.

    Col. Jackling often conducted business while onboard Cyprus.  Therefore he had his own quarters forward on the main deck at some distance from those of his guests.  In addition to a full bath, a personal library opened off his stateroom, as well as a private office and an office for his secretary.

                During 1915, Cyprus steamed south enabling the colonel and friends to visit mining operations along the west coast of South America.  Jackling and his guests departed ship at Valparaiso and crossed the lower part of the South American continent by rail to Buenos Aires, while the yacht navigated Cape Horn.  Perhaps they were concerned about a possible encounter with pirates, for which two brass guns had been mounted on the foredeck.  While the yacht was not attacked by pirates, the trip was “not without excitement,” as reported in Pacific MotorBoat in July 1916, as the bridge was carried away in a storm near the east end of the Strait of Magellan, taking the pilot and first officer with it.  Both men were rescued at considerable difficulty.

    On June 1st, following an 83-day voyage, the yacht dropped anchor near the Statue of Liberty where she was filmed before steaming up the East River at 18 knots en route to anchorage at the 23rd Street pier of the New York Yacht Club, giving harbor workers a thrill as she passed.  Col. Jackling, in resplendent yachting regalia, stood on the bridge, accompanied by his wife and 12 guests, watching the New York skyline pass by (5).  Jackling maintained an office at 25 Broad Street and after attending to business in New York a second cruise along the east coast was planned. 

                Whether this second cruise took place is unknown, and from this point Cyprus’ history becomes hazy.  H. W. McCurdy (op. cit.) notes under events of 1916 that Jackling sold his yacht to John N. Willys of the Willys-Overland Company following the voyage around South America.  Pacific MotorBoat confirmed in its September 1916 issue that John Willys had entered into a contract with Jackling to purchase Cyprus for a trial run up the Hudson River, and Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper on September 28, 1916 included a photo of Mr. Willys sitting aboard his new yacht Cyprus

    However, the Los Angeles Herald reported on April 11, 1917 that Jackling had sold Cyprus to the Russian government for the sum of $650,000 for use as a scout cruiser; this sale occurred not only during World War I hostilities, but one month after the Russian Revolution had begun.  That being the case, transfer of ownership of the yacht to Willys was evidently not finalized.  The Herald went on to note that the yacht arrived in New York from the West Indies where she had been under charter to steel magnate Price McKinney of Cleveland. 

    The New York Times on January 29, 1917, noted that a contract to convert Cyprus for the Russian navy had been awarded to Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, MA.  One can only commiserate over the removal of all the luxurious appointments from Cyprus during her conversion to a Russian navy scout cruiser, and perhaps it is less troubling that little is known about that part of her life.  It is not uncommon that once a vessel is sold out of American ownership tracking it often becomes laborious, if not outright impossible.  In the case of Cyprus, her ownership had become rather muddied even before passing into foreign ownership.

                What caused the middle-aged Col. Jackling, who, in a metaphorical sense, had belly-flopped into the world of yachting at great expense to himself (as it is to most, although Jackling’s financial commitment was astronomical), had declared himself a committed yachtsman after one cruising season, then sold Cyprus a scant two-plus years after taking possession of her?  The answer to this question after more than 100 years most likely will remain an enigma.

                It was reported succinctly by Lawrence Perry in an article titled They’re In the Navy Now, published in The New Country Life in August 1918 that the former steam yacht Cyprus ended her brief life “lost on the Russian coast” at less than five years of age.

    A scan of all war-related shipwrecks during 1918 failed to disclose any that were definitively the former steam yacht Cyprus.  On November 10th, the Admiral Kornilov was lost.  It was described as a “steamer…being used as headquarters ship by General Bicherahov…destroyed by fire at Petrovsk…possibly arson/sabotage.”  While a fire or sabotage would suggest the ship likely was not at sea when lost, Petrovsk is on the Medveditsa River and nearer the Caspian Sea than what would normally be described as the Russian coast.   While the exact location of her loss remains undetermined, the former steam yacht Cyprus was never seen again.   Sic transit gloria celox.


    Col. Daniel Cowan Jackling

    In fact, Col. Jackling’s years as a yachtsman did not end in 1917.  His fourth biological cousin, Daniel Eliot Jackling, is in possession of a 12-page journal in which it was recorded that the Jacklings sailed from New York in April 1929 aboard the RMS Olympic, sister ship to the ill-fated Titanic, on a voyage that now seems apparent was to take possession of a new yacht in Germany.  The journal traces a European combination land vacation through various countries with cruising onboard the new yacht, also named Cyprus that continued to March 1930 and encompassed over 50,000 miles.  Bill Robinson’s 1970 book, Legendary Yachts (see reference list), has a photo of a clipper bow yacht that is not the steam yacht Cyprus, but with the name Cyprus legible on the port running board.  On the same page are included three interior photos that are clearly of the 1913 steam yacht although they are presented as being interiors of the clipper bow yacht.   

    The second Cyprus on sea trials at Kiel, Germany, 1929, with what may well be Krupp yard cranes in the left background.  Another photo taken the same day reveals that she carried what appears to be distinctly a machine gun on her foredeck.Daniel Elliott Jackman photo.

    A check of the 1930 edition of Merchant Vessels of the United States revealed that in 1929 a second Cyprus was commissioned of Cox & Stevens, a 227 LOA steel diesel yacht constructed in Kiel, Germany that year.  The owner was listed as International Exploration Corporation (Delaware) with an address of 25 Broad Street, the precise address of Col. Jackling’s New York office.  The new Cyprus bore an amazingly similar profile to Max Fleishmann’s 218-foot Haida (see footnote 1).


    Max Fleischmann’s Haida, also designed by Cox & Stevens and built by Krupp in 1929, bears a strong resemblance to the second Cyprus.  Author photo.

    The second Cyprus remained in Col. Jackling’s ownership slightly longer than the first Cyprus, but in 1934, by then in his mid-sixties, it seems he reached a decision to “swallow the anchor” and sold her to Italian ownership. (6)  For the remaining 22 years of his life, Col. Jackling did not own another yacht. 

    * * *

    (1) Col. Jackling was one of a small number of civilians ever granted the U. S. Military Distinguished Service Medal following, in 1916, his discovery of how to make smokeless powder.  The medal was presented to him by President Woodrow Wilson on July 9, 1918.  He was awarded the title of Colonel by the Utah National Guard following his participation in quelling anti-union violence against miners during the Cripple Creek, CO uprising in 1894.  On April 19, 1955, the year before his death, Col. Jackling was promoted to Honorary Brigadier General in the Utah National Guard.

    (2) At 218 feet LOA, the diesel clipper bow yacht Haida, built for Santa Barbara resident and yeast heir Max Fleishmann, also designed by Cox & Stevens and still in service in 2020, is a close contender for this distinction, but she was constructed in Kiel, Germany 13 years after Cyprus was launched.  Haida was a frequent visitor to the Seattle Yacht Club during the 1930s.  A second Cyprus, commissioned by Jackling from Irving Cox in 1929, and, like Haida, built by Krupp in Kiel, Germany, could almost be considered a sister yacht, although Jackling’s yacht exceeded Fleischmann’s by nine feet LOA.  Nonetheless, it begs questioning whether Cox might have earned two salaries for what was essentially one design!  It is interesting that by 1929 the clipper bow that reigned during Edwardian age steam yachts had largely been replaced by a more plumb bow for yachts well before the commissions for Haida and Cyprus.

    (3) The firm had begun as Moran Bros. Shipyard, that could trace its beginnings to 1882 and whose most famous launching was the battleship USS Nebraska in 1904. The Morans sold the yard to SCDC in 1906 that in turn ceased operation in 1918, when it became Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation.  Vigor Shipyards purchased Todd in 2011.

    (4) Col. Jackling’s first wife died in 1910.  A daughter born of this marriage died at just one year, and Jackling, heart-broken by the death of his child, had no other children.  In 1915, he moved to San Francisco, initially living in the Saint Francis Hotel on Union Square and later in a penthouse atop the Mark Hopkins Hotel.  Eventually, remarried to Virginia Jolliffe, in 1925 he commissioned a large residence in Spanish Colonial style in nearby Woodside, designed by noted architect George Washington Smith.  The house contained a four-manual, 55-rank George Kilgen pipe organ that had been enlarged from an earlier two-manual, 14-rank Aeolian player organ of 1930.  Following the death of Virginia Jackling in 1958, the house remained largely empty and was occupied by squatters.  This sad situation continued until 1984 when Steve Jobs purchased the property.  Jobs leased out the mansion until 2000 when he stopped maintaining it.  By 2004, it was seriously deteriorated and Jobs petitioned to have it demolished.  Both the Superior Court and the State of California Court of Appeals denied permission, but in 2009 the Woodside Town Council granted permission to have the house moved to a new location, allowing Jobs to build a smaller house on the site.  However, eventually, the case having been returned by the Court of Appeals, the Superior Court allowed Jobs to destroy the house.   This was surely a case of demolition by neglect and does not speak well for the late Mr. Jobs.  In January 2011, the pipe organ, in very poor condition by that time (a homeless man had set fire to the console in 2010), was removed and the following month the entire house was demolished.


    Organist Virginia Allen at the console of the Kilgen pipe organ in 1940. Organ Historical Society pipe organ Database.

    (5) If her bridge – assuming that to be the wooden pilothouse – had been swept away in the Strait of Magellan, one must ask how Col. Jackling managed to be standing on the bridge as the yacht cruised up the East River.  It is questionable that a sufficient amount of time out would have been taken from the long cruise to allow repairs to be made at a shipyard somewhere between Florida and New York.  Also, she was filmed in the Hudson River upon arriving in New York and the photo shows her pilothouse 100 percent intact.

     (6) In the late 1930s, Cyprus (she retained her name while under the Italian flag) was under charter to the Baron Maurice de Rothschild of Paris.

    References:

    Daniel Eliot Jackling, Bullhead City, AZ, 4th biological cousin of Col. Daniel C. Jackling

    Tim Noakes, Head of Public Services, Special Collections, Stanford University

    McCurdy, H. W., Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, Superior Publishing

                Company, Seattle, 1966

    Robinson, Bill, Legendary Yachts, The MacMillan Company, New York, 1971

    Hofman, Erik, The Steam Yachts: an Era of Elegance, John DeGraff, Inc.,

                Tuckahoe, NY, 1970

    Brown, Ronald C., Daniel C. Jackling and Kennecott: a Mining Entrepreneur’s

                Adjustment to Corporate Bureaucracy, Mining History Journal, 2003

    HistoricImages.com

    Museum of History and Industry, Seattle

    Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society

    Organ Historical Society Pipe Organ Database

    Engineering and Mining Journal, Vol. 101, no. 21, January 1916

    Form: Illustrated Journal of Leisure, February 7, 1914

    International Marine Engineering, September 1914

    Pacific Marine Review, San Francisco, November 1913

    Pacific Marine Review, San Francisco, Vol. 11, 1914

    Pacific MotorBoat, September 1916

    Popular Mechanics, December 1914

    Sausalito News, December 20, 1913

    The Marine Review, September 1914

    Yachting, August 1913

    The New Country Life, August 1918

    The New York Times, January 29, 1917

    Los Angeles Herald, April 11, 1917

    Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper, September 28, 1916

    Railway & Marine News, Seattle, December 1, 1913

    Merchant Vessels of the United States, United States Department of Commerce,

                Washington, D.C., 1930 and 1934 editions

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