John G. Alden SUMMERWIND

Sail Number: 412

Type: Schooner, Full Keel

Ex, Queen Tyi, Sea Gypsey, Sea Gypsy

LOA: 78’5″ / 23.90m
LWL: 61’9″ / 18.82m
Beam: 18’4″ / 5.59m
Draft: 10’2” / 3.10m
Design Number: 412
Designer: John G. Alden
Original Owner: Arthur Crisp, New York, NY.
Original Name: Queen Tyi
Current Owner: USNA
Year Launched: 1929
Built By: C.A. Morse, & Son (now Lyman-Morse) of Thomaston, Maine
Hull Material: Wood
Gross Displacement: 179,200 / 81,284
Sail Area:

 

Historical:

The Schooner Summer Wind was launched as the Queen Tyi in 1929 from the yard of C.A. Morse (now Lyman-Morse) of Thomaston, Maine. Designed by the John G. Alden Company of Boston, Massachusetts (design no. 412), considered by many to be one of the top design firms of this type of craft, she was built for Arthur Crisp, a Wall Street banker who lost the vessel in the Market Crash of 1929.

Renamed Sea Gypsy, she was to become a well known schooner yacht, racing and cruising the waters of New England and serving her country during the Second World War as part of the Coastal Picket Patrol with her designation CGR-1989. As the noted historian Samuel Eliot Morison wrote, “( these vessels) had the arduous task of patrolling areas around Nantucket Shoals, west to Shinnecock and down to 40 degrees North…They kept at sea for a week of more and took everything that old man Neptune uncorked.”

She was part of the development of the classic yachting movement that began in the late 1960’s as older vessels were joined by newly built replicas as evident in a 1967 New York Times article with the by-line “Block Island waters to drip with nostalgia June 28 as schooners compete” about a gathering of schooners as part of the Storm Trysail club’s recently created Block Island Race Week. By the 1980’s she was chartering in the Mediterranean and her classic gaff rig was converted to that of a staysail schooner.

She had several refits during her career as a charter vessel, but her lifespan was nearing its end when she was purchased in Spain in 2006 and transported to Palm Beach Florida where a massive restoration was undertaken. Almost entirely replanked; every structural element was evaluated and either restored or replaced and her engineering systems redesigned. Her sailing rig was again updated, this time to make her a champion racer on the extremely popular classic racing circuit. The efforts of this tremendous two year undertaking were rewarded when she took first place in her class at the 2009 Newport Bucket. Renamed Summer Wind, she is a classic vessel in new condition ready to embark upon a new career.

At the academy she will be used by the Varsity Offshore Sailing Team and by the Off Shore Training Squadron during summer training blocks. Summer Wind can hold 12 midshipmen along with a skipper and an executive officer vice the Navy 44’s which hold eight midshipmen, a skipper, and an XO.

After long service as a privately owned vessel and commercial charter craft both stateside and abroad, SummerWind was purchased in Spain in 2006 and transported to Palm Beach, Fla., where a massive restoration was undertaken.

Almost entirely replanked, every structural element was evaluated and either restored or replaced, her engineering systems redesigned, and her sailing rig updated. The total cost of the restoration is rumored to have been in excess of $8 million.

In most every way Summer Wind is a museum piece, the finest example of a classic schooner. However, she is also, in all probability, the “newest” 1929 vessel afloat due not only to her extensive rebuild and modernization of equipment from 2006-2009, but also to continuing meticulous care and upgrades, including replacement of the entire rig (both masts and booms) in carbon fiber by Jim Grundy.

She was chartered to the Merchant Marine Academy in 2009 for three years. The craft was used extensively for sail training of midshipmen in various events: racing events, local navigation training, overnight and offshore voyages and indoctrination training of first-year midshipmen.

 

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