The 1926 Nathanael Herreshoff-designed NY40 Marilee recently underwent a complete restoration by French & Webb in Belfast, Maine. This two-year-plus restoration was tremendously successful due to the collaborative effort of many artisans, engineers, curators and crew whose passion and commitment to the project were beyond compare.
This was not your ‘typical’ restoration of a wooden classic. Modern innovations and engineering were combined with meticulous and artistic craftsmanship. With access to the original Herreshoff Manufacturing Company’s building plans and documents archived at MIT’s Hart Nautical Collections, this restoration turned out to be an amazing yacht with an equally amazing story.
This film has been made available to the public by the current custodian of NY40 Marilee, with the purpose of sharing the amazing story of a piece of American history and the genius of the yacht designer, Nathanael Herreshoff.
The NY40 Marilee story
Nathaniel Herreshoff’s aim, when designing the NY40 class, was to construct a boat that was able to excel on the racecourse, while being comfortable for cruising. The previous Herreshoff New York Yacht Club classes were tailored for racing. There was a desire, at the time, for slightly smaller boats that required fewer paid hands, and that would have Corinthian skippers. Herreshoff’s response to these sentiments was the twelve forties launched in 1916.
In the spring of 1926, Marilee, the first of two additional forties was launched. Unfortunately though, just around the time of Marilee’s launch, tides were turning. Interest in the world of sailing was shifting away from larger boats and onto smaller classes. 1926 was both Marilee’s first season, and the last true season of NY40 class racing. By summer of 1927, many of the forties had been sold out of the New York Yacht Club, and only two of the fourteen raced. A class trophy was not even awarded that summer.
In the years that followed, the boats cruised, and raced inconsistently. In 1933, Marilee was given an engine, and a few of the forties, including Marilee, traded their gaffs and massive sail areas for more easily manageable Marconi rig setups. Read the full story on NY40 Marilee website.
Copyright 2018 ©ALISON LANGLEY FILMS
Copyright 2018 ©S/Y MARILEE
Copyright 2018 ©ALISON LANGLEY PHOTOGRAPHY