Two mew 12 meter yachts, both potential defenders of the America's Cup, are under construction in the United States.
Two mew 12 meter yachts, both potential defenders of the America's Cup, are under construction in the United States. By the end of this week (17 April) both were fully planked and decked and workmen were finishing them up. Both are to be launched in the middle of May.
Constellation, owned by a syndicate headed by Walter Gubleman and Eric Ridder, is being built at Minneford's Yacht Yard on City Island (City Island, at the wend of Long Island Sound, is in the Bronx within the city limits of New York). She was designed by Olin Stephens of the firm of Sparkman and Stephens. He also designed Columbia, who won the America's Cup in 1960. In the Minneford Yard, Constellation's hull had been smoothed out, and primer for the bottom paint put on. Workmen are busy building interior bulkheads, installing interior fittings, and building deck hardware and metal part. The yard expects to have the boat painted shortly, and she is to be launched 16 May.
In appearance, Constellation resembles Weatherly, the boat which defended the cup in 1962 and the older Columbia. Certain parts of her underwater structure are, however, radically different. Details are still confidential. She has a small cockpit aft for the helmsmen -- who will be Eric Ridder -- and a larger one immediately forward of it for the crew. Her lead keel is narrower and deeper than on previous 12's. Her cabin decking is made of styrofoam sandwiched between two thin sheets of fibreglass, making a surface that is stronger and lighter than wood -- and one impervious to corrosion.
She measures about 70 feet over all, 46 feet waterline, with a 12 foot beam. She weighs 30 tons.
The other new 12 meter, as yet unnamed, is being built at the Luders Marine Construction Company in Stamford Connecticut, about 30 miles from New York City. The Luders yard has never built a 12 meter before, but three of the five existing US 1GBP's are stored there under one roof - Weatherly, Easterner and Columbia. The Luders boat is owned by the Aurora syndicate, whose guiding spirit is Pierre S. DuPont. She will be managed by her helmsman, William Cox, by her designed, A.E. Luders, Jr., and by Mr. DuPont.
She too is fully planked and decked. Workman however are still smoothing her outside planking and smoothing off the rough lead casting of her keel. The yard says she will be a lunched 19 May. The Luders boat like Constellation, has some radical underwater structure -- but details are similarly confidential. Her stern lacks the unusual transom, the deck flowing back in a kine of turtle-back shape.
Perhaps her most unusual feature is her deck -- it is as flat as billiard table. A normal deck is cambered -- higher amidships than at either side. The flat deck will make it much easier to move winches and other fittings, since special curved mounting blocks will not have to be constructed for them each time they are moved. The mast height permitted by the 12 meter rule is, however, measured from the deck. Since the Luders boat has a flat deck, she would stand lose two feet in mast height -- but Luders has placed a "bump" in the deck right by the mast. The bump is as high as the deck would have been had it been cambered.
Her dimensions are similar to those of the Constellation. She is Mr. Luders first 12 meter sloop.
Both vessels, as required by the 12 meter rule, are of conventional construction with double hull planking over bent and laminated frames. In preliminary tank tests on models of the hulls, both appeared of equal potential.
Both yachts will competed in a series of trial races throughout the summer, in which four boats are expected to be entered -- the two new ones, and Columbia and Nefertiti. The latter, an unsuccessful contender in 1962, is understood to have been somewhat altered.