Classic Boat

FOUND IN A BARN

We’re all familiar with the fantasy – a long-forgotten barn slumbering away in the back acres of an old estate. You crack the doors open. Daylight streams in at slanted angles, pointing to a mounded tarp in the centre bay. There’s a sense of mystery, and you pull the canvas off. As the dust settles, the sweep of a boat’s shape appears – unseen for decades – still wearing her crisp paint and varnish

Donn Costanzo of Wooden Boatworks in Greenport, New York had such a dream come true when he discovered a flawlessly restored 1947 Sparkman & Stephens sloop. He found the boat in a very unlikely place – a barn only 30 miles east of New York City. Costanzo often talks about magic, no matter how many fine yachts he has encountered in his considerable career. This 26-footer (7.9m) has a remarkable story; one might say, a lot of magic.

The little yacht in the Long Island barn was commissioned as design number 773, intended to establish a racing class that could also serve as a fleet of comfortable after Arthur Knutson’s eldest child. With her easy diagonals, long waterline and light displacement, was fast. Her spacious cockpit made her the comfortable dayboat they desired. was everything the club hoped she’d be. However, her final price was more than expected, so was declined and the racing fleet never materialised.

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