William Townsend CORONET

Sail Number:

Type: Schooner

LOA: 190″0″ / 57.91m
LOD: 133″0″ / 40.53m
Beam: 27’0″ / 8.22m
Draft: 12’0” / 3.65m
Designed by: William Townsend
Original Owner: Rufus T. Bush
Current Owner: International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS)
Port: Newport, Rhode Island
Year Launched: August 17, 1885
Built By: C. & R. Poillon Shipyard, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Hull Material: Wood
Displacement: 75 tons
Sail Area: 8,500 ft2 / 789.67 m2
National Register of Historic Places: Schooner Coronet
Coronet Restoration Blog: Coronet1885.com



The 131-foot (40 m) schooner Coronet was designed by William Townsend and built for Rufus T. Bush by the C. & R. Poillon shipyard in Brooklyn. Bush then put forth a $10,000 challenge against any other yacht for a transatlantic race. The ocean race between Coronet and the Caldwell Hart Colt’s yacht Dauntless in March 1887 made Rufus T. Bush and the victorious Coronet famous—the New York Times devoted its entire first page for March 28, 1887 to the story (as seen at left).

After winning the 3,000-mile race and the $10,000 purse, Rufus T. Bush decided to sell Coronet and listed the vessel in England for $30,000. Rufus and his son Irving T. Bush then circumnavigated the globe on Coronet in 1888. Coronet was the first registered yacht to cross Cape Horn from East to West. After crossing the Pacific Ocean and stopping in Hawaii, Coronet made port in China, Calcutta, Malta and elsewhere.

Coronet was sold before Rufus’s death in 1890 The vessel then passed through six different owners (Arthur E. Bateman, John D. Wing, Arthur Curtiss James, Fred S. Pearson, John I. Waterbury, and Louis Bossert) by 1905. The Coronet circumnavigated the globe several times and was used for a Japanese-American scientific excursion during an eclipse.

The Kingdom, a religious organization founded by Frank Sandford, purchased the ship in 1905 for $10,000 and took it around the world on prayer missions, including to Palestine. Coronet took a poorly planned missionary voyage to Africa in 1911 which resulted in six persons on board dying of scurvy. After the voyage, The Kingdom kept the yacht moored at Portland, Maine as well as Gloucester, Massachusetts and owned her until 1995.


The Wall of Remembrance – The Owners, Crew & Notable Guest:

Owner: Rufus T. Bush (1885-1890)
Owner: Arthur E. Bateman, (1890-1891)
Owner: John D. Wing, (1891-1893)
Owner: Arthur Curtiss James (1893–1898)
Owner: Fred S. Pearson (1898–1899)
Owner: John I. Waterbury (1899–1901)
Owner: Louis Bossert) (1901–1905)
Owner: The Kingdom (1905-1995)
Owner: International Yacht Restoration School (1995-)


WSD EXTRA Coronet project 1 from John Stanton on Vimeo.


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