Welcome Gemini, the newest Yankee One Design in the Port Townsend fleet. On Wednesday to the good wishes of the crowd, Gemini met the water for the first time, floated on her lines, dry, glistening, and quite lovely. When last seen on Thursday around noon, Gemini was on closest to land finger of Dock C in Boat Haven while her mast is getting stepped and rigged.
As I understand the story, Gemini was brought to the Boat School in need of a complete restoration. After the survey it was decided that she had gone down too far and the decision was made to use what few parts that could be saved and build a “new” boat. The name Gemini refers to her twin being – the spirit and memory of her old self, and the new, glorious boat from the hands of the talented shipwrights at the Boat School.
Yankees were originally designed as a 3-person boat, and as a step up from the Star class, one which would be sufficiently seaworthy to survive on blustery Buzzard’s Bay with its strong currents and wind chop. These conditions would often swamp the MB (Marblehead-Buzzard’s Bay) Class that the YOD replaced for local day racing all around New England.
There were 19 proposed designs submitted by the various naval architects of New England. A panel, Herreschoff, Burgess, and Paine, each of whom was involved in designing a boat for the America’s Cup in 1937, was in charge of the project. The Yankee was supposed to be affordable, so various elements of construction were considered to save money, for this Volks-boat, a boat for ‘everyone’.
These days, Yankee’s are fairly rare and not often seen unless you are in Port Townsend and racing on the Bay, in which case you are likely to see Sirocco and Tarfon. And soon we hope, Gemini.
More information on the Yankee One Design is available at the class website here.