Type: Gaff Schooner
America (Recreation Number 1) Specifications:
LOA: 101’10″ / 31.03m
LWL: 90’8″ / 27.63m
Beam: 22’10” / 6.95m
Draft: 11’6” / 3.50m
Design Number: 1897
Designer: Recreation Sparkman & Stephens
Original Owner: Rudolph Schaefer, Jr F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Co
Year Launched: May 3, 1967
Built By: Goudy & Stevens in E. Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Hull Material: Double planked frames on laminated double sawn oak frames
Gross Displacement: 92 tonnes
Mr. Alan Schuster – Once the World’s Fair assignment ended in the fall of 1965, it was back to work in Brooklyn. A few months later, another call from Marion, telling me that Mr. Schaefer would like to see me. At this stage, I still wasn’t certain that any invitation from him to visit his office would mean an assignment. And so – having nothing else to do at the moment! – I arrived quickly and took a seat. He came to the point right away, asking me in these exact words: “Alan, do you like to go sailing?” I didn’t – and I told him so, very carefully. His reply was a bit of a shock: “Good,” he said, “I have a project in mind and I’d like you to oversee it.” He went on to say that he would be building an exact replica of the schooner yacht “America” which won a race in England in 1851, leading to the series now known as the “America’s Cup.” Before I could ask ‘why me?’ he explained that this was a job, not a pleasure cruise, and he wanted someone who would treat it that way.
Shortly after this meeting, he took me to lunch at the New York Yacht Club where we were joined by Olin Stephens, one of the yachting world’s foremost designers, and Everett Morris, a prominent sailing historian. That’s when I realized what an enormous undertaking this would be. Not only would it have the same design and specifications of the “America”, but it would be constructed by using many of the original tools that existed during that time. Of course, below [deck] would be a slightly different story, most notably Mercedes Benz engines and the usual 20th century comforts and conveniences.