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Arabella’s 75th birthday

April 25, 2012

It suddenly occurred to me that I don’t have any photos of the boat on this site yet. So now I do! I’ve added a bunch to the Photos page.1295135_1_thumb-3_med

We’ve owned Arabella since 2006, but Henry has sailed on her since he was 15. We are the 4th owner (although just before us, she was jointly owned by 3 families, so maybe that makes us the 7th owner?). Henry went to school with the son of one of these families, and frequently crewed on Arabella for the sail from Naushon (in Massachusetts) to Mt. Desert island, in Maine. We weren’t really planning on buying a boat in ’06, as we were in the middle of college tuition, and we knew what kind of a commitment, both in terms of finances and time, a boat like Arabella requires, but she’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Arabella was commissioned by Elihu Root, the son of Teddy Roosevelt’s Secretary of State. She was built in City Island, New York in 1936. She was designed by Philip Rhodes, and is a custom design, meaning only one such design has been built. She was an evolution of an earlier design, slightly larger, and slightly differently shaped below the water line. She was built as a Gentleman’s cruiser, but turned out to be very quick, and was a successful racer. She has been sailed transatlantic at least twice (that we know of). One of her transatlantic passages was the first transatlantic passage for Don Street, an author and insurance broker for Lloyd’s of London, and captain of Iolaire. (He’s the author of The Ocean Sailing Yacht, which is sort of the definitive book on trans-oceanic sailing).

Arabella has had about 6 Rosenfeld photos taken of her, over her lifetime, and they are all at Mystic Maritime Museum. Additionally, every summer, a master from St. George’s School, in Newport, Rhode Island, used to crew for the owner, and kept a photo album going of all the summer sailing adventures. These albums are also at Mystic (we saw 2 or 3 of them). They contain newspaper clippings from races she won in Scandinavia! So, she’s had a very full life, which is rich in history, and we view ourselves as her stewards. We have no idea if our girls will want her after our season with her (we hope so), but our goal is to preserve her for the next 100 years, and also make some wonderful memories aboard.

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