The Herreshoff Forum - Index

Herreshoff Forum => Specific Herreshoff Vessels => Topic started by: Steve on December 31, 2008, 02:00:53 PM

Title: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on December 31, 2008, 02:00:53 PM
There is a guy in Mallorca, Spain who wants to find, purchase, restore, and race Istalena.  She is the canoe-stern M-Class designed by LFH and built by HMC as hull #1131 in 1929.  She had a very successful racing career, and apparently disappeared about 20 years ago.  If anyone knows anything about her, please shout out.

-Steve
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on December 31, 2008, 06:07:47 PM
I just sent an e-mail to the folks at the "M-Class". Well see what they have to say..... :)

http://www.universalrule.com/
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on December 31, 2008, 06:42:17 PM
The last owner I know of was William J. Strawbridge - but unsure when or where (he was a NY'er though). He died a while ago (he was an America's Cup Syndicate head in the 60's & 70's). Got to love Google....

Do you have any info as to the last owner? Location?
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on December 31, 2008, 08:08:30 PM
Yep .. same Strawbridge.  He also owned Mitena.  I think he was the "Strawbridge" from "Strawbridge & Clothier".  The guy who is looking for it says it was last seen about 20 years ago in ......  Venezuela.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on January 02, 2009, 03:05:46 PM
Well Strawbridge is long gone - but his son looks still to be around - and I see his Grandson got married a few years ago. If I can figure out an e-mail contact I'll send a nice note.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on January 02, 2009, 03:19:09 PM
Thanks.  It would be great if we could help this guy out and rescue another boat.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on January 05, 2009, 01:52:31 AM
OK - I received a reply from Dave Fladlien of the "M-Class". I'll forward his response under a separate e-mail as its pretty interesting info on the one remaining original "M" he knows of. Seems he doesn't have much more then us on Istalena - but he notes one interesting item - Seems he was contacted a few years back by the "grandson of a former owner" looking for her. My guess is that would be William Strawbridge's Grandson - Geoffrey Tod Strawbridge. I've located a nonprofit organization he seems to be involved with and I'll try to contact him...

Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on January 07, 2009, 07:35:02 PM
Update.... Well I've been corresponding with Dave quite a bit - he's a very nice guy. He gave me the contact info for Ron MacAnnan who owns the only known "original" - IE wood - "M" still sailing. Ron has owned her for over 40 years and has tried to locate as many of the "M's" as possible over the years - it sounds like with little luck. Ron is not "on-line" so I will actually have to write a letter (do I even own paper?  ;) ).

Dave also confirmed that the "grandson" that contacted him was not Strawbridge but has no record of who it was - so that may be a dead end. I have sent Geoffrey an e-mail just to be thorough...

Will let everyone know what I find.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on January 07, 2009, 09:05:44 PM
Thanks for your help on this one, Adam.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on January 08, 2009, 05:12:17 PM
Some of Rosys pics.... Istalena.....



(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3445/3179130173_028bdfb715_o.jpg)


(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3470/3179966624_86246d9271_o.jpg)
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on January 09, 2009, 02:27:37 AM
I will say this, "Rosie" had a touch.  They are niiiice.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on January 09, 2009, 03:20:47 PM
Somewhere, in the recesses of my memory, I recall some correspondence between NGH and LFH - I believe on Istalena. NGH somewhat chided him on the design - I think he wasn't as fond of double enders as his son. Which I wonder if it was one of the reasons LHF had most of them built elsewhere...There is also a line drawing profile I have somewhere of Istalena. I'm no NA but to my eye she seemed rather - well - "squat" - in the bilges (is "squat" an official NA term  ;) ). Scow like maybe.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on January 09, 2009, 08:51:43 PM
You can find lots of correspondence between NGH and LFH online at Mystic Seaport.  Maybe that's where you saw it ?
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on January 09, 2009, 10:42:34 PM
No it was one of my books - but D@^^N if I can remember.... Read it pretty recently too.....Might have been Jones....I'll check later....

Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on January 12, 2009, 05:43:30 PM
Steve - do you know the guy from this issue of WB looking for Istalena?
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on January 12, 2009, 09:39:57 PM
Yep ... he is the guy I am trying to help.  His name is Mark Street, and he is in Mallorca, Spain (poor guy).
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on January 12, 2009, 09:50:42 PM
Yes I too would rather be here in New England in January then the Spanish Med. He dosen't know what he's missing....  ::)
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Pat on January 28, 2009, 12:04:58 PM
I was reading a nice article about LFH in the #19 ClassicBoat issue.
Page 40 you can find the first picture you post here above, they say printed with the permission of The International Marine Publishing Company of Camden, Maine, USA.
Page 44 they say that LFH tested "new turnbuckles" on Istalena.
What exactly are these turnbuckles? Thanks to help.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on January 28, 2009, 12:55:27 PM
Pat:  A turnbuckle is the piece of hardware typically used to adjust tension on standing rigging :

(http://www.herreshoffregistry.org/forum/images/Turnbuckle.jpg)
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Pat on January 28, 2009, 03:22:35 PM
Oh yes, this is a "ridoir" in french, thanks Steve.
Cant find your website address ...
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on January 28, 2009, 04:25:38 PM
It is:

http://www.herreshoffregistry.org (http://www.herreshoffregistry.org)
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on February 07, 2009, 11:42:25 PM
OK Folks - I heard from Mr MacAnnan - Who sent me a wonderful package of info on his boat Pursuit (thank you!!), as well as a copy of some correspondence he had with Istalena's previous owners Grandson (2005) where he was trying to locate Istalena. His name is Dick Nordberg - I have already sent him off an E-mail...

I will send you a copy of the letter, but here is the meat and potato's :

1. He believes she is no longer in operation
2. In the late 60's and Early 70's she was tied up on the Chicago river in very bad shape (he mentions vagrants were living on her - and someone had died on board).
3. The last owner he knows was a man by the name of David Morrissey (he was a commodities Trader and pilot).
4. Another Gentleman was also searching for her that wanted to buy and re build her - his name was Victor Paul (living in Finland). At the time of writing (2005) he also had no luck locating Istalena. (Note here - There is a Victor Paul who is the current owner of Young Miss the BB30....)
5. She had been re-named SABRE or SABER.
6. Mr. Nordberg also confirmed what we heard - after the great lakes, she went back to NY for a short time, then to South America....

Let you know if I hear anything from Mr. Nordstrom.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on February 08, 2009, 11:48:29 AM
Nice work Adam.  Persistence certainly pays off.  I hope we hear back from Mr. Nordberg.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on February 10, 2009, 03:12:21 PM
I spent some time on the phone with Dick, who was very helpful - this is what we've got....

1. His Grandfather, Bruno Victor Edward Nordberg purchased her in 1938 (I assume from Stockbridge). The family owned her from 1938 to 1949. Great Lakes (Milwaukee area)
2. They sold her in 1949 to Roman Botz who owned her to 1960. Member of the Sheboygan YC. Note here - The SYC has a scale model of her today in their clubhouse. She had a very winning record on the lakes. Note ^2 - He re-rigged her as a Ketch.
3. Botz sold her in 1960 to David Morrissey, who moved her down to Chicago - where by all accounts fell into disrepair. Dicks Father even went to see her there. It appears this is where her name changed to SABRE.
4. This is where the ownership trail kind of ends - He heard she was taken to NY, work was done at one of the yards (Iím guessing late 60's early 70's?) and then to South America.
5. He spoke to Victor Paul some time ago - who was (like Mark) trying to locate her and do a restoration - at last he spoke to him he had not found her. (Victor is from Finland).

Dick did give me Victors Contact info - so I will drop him a note.....Note here - Dick has lots of business contacts in South America - so if we do get some leads there he can possibly help with "boots on the ground" so to speak....VERY nice of him - not only would I like to find her for the Registry, and Marks resto, but Dick certainly has a sentimental attachment.

Steve, can you get some details on the whole South America thing? Who exactly heard she was there? Who actually saw her there? I would like to verify - Note While Dick did hear the same "South America" thing he also heard she was in a real sad state of affairs when she returned to NY - it seems plausible to me that she may never had made it to SA....

One last note - over at WBF someone made note of seeing a for sale ad for her about 20 years ago in Yachting Magazine. Donít have access to Yachting (I assume someone has them on disk or Micro-Fiche....). We shall seeÖ.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on February 10, 2009, 03:17:13 PM
Adam:  I am on my way out for a week's respite from the cold in Florida.  I just sent a note to Mark, as requested,  but I don't know how closely I will be able to follow up until I return.

Thanks for all the leg work!
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on February 10, 2009, 06:16:37 PM
Great - Have a good trip....I'm not jealous or anything. Nope. Nice here - work, weather....yep, I'm fine. Really.  ::)
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: b.beardsley on February 11, 2009, 04:16:25 AM
Victor Paul is the driving force behind the BB30 restorations, and he and his partner also own the NY50 Spartan, currently being restored by Ed McClave and Andy Giblin. Victor and the partner each own one of the BB30s. The work on Spartan is magnificent, clearly Victor has the knowledge and resources to want the very best.

I think I heard years ago from someone (Carleton?) that Istalena was up a river in South America.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on February 11, 2009, 04:46:26 AM
Yep it appears the Victor of the BB30's is our Victor looking for Istalena - I didnt put two and two together at first due to Finland vs ME.....I wonder if he decided to go with Spartan when he couldn't find Istalena? Similar sized and with many of the NY50's later in life being modified to race in the M-Class, it would make some sense....I'll send him a note...
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on February 11, 2009, 12:18:29 PM
Bill:  Do you know when SPARTAN is expected to be ready?  I understand she will be kept in Italy?
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: b.beardsley on February 13, 2009, 03:52:43 AM
I spent some time on Spartan recently with Andy, He says they want to have some trial sails this fall. There are some rigging and other details that have to be worked out when she's assembled, so that's the purpose. Doesn't sound like she'll be fully commisioned until 2010. I don't know about her going to Italy, but I assume they would do the summer circuit here in the summer of 2010.

On another subject, I sailed on Gamecock at the Rockland WB show a few years ago. A nice guy named Matt Griswold restored her, and we sailed her around so Alison Langley could take pictures. Interestingly, Matt had considered Crusader before buying Gamecock.

I know someone who knows more about Crusader's history. I'll get what I can from her
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on March 17, 2009, 03:12:01 AM
Well I just heard from a guy who used to crew on Istalena in the 50's. Not a lot new, but confirmed what I got from Dick. He also heard she went "south".

"I can add a bit more info. In the 1949 "Istalena" was purchased by Roman Brotz in Sheboygan, WI, brought to Lake Michigan and renamed "Sabre." I crewed on her in the early 50s along with numerous other young bucks. She was raced extensively in the Mackinacs, and many Lake Michgan and Lake Huron course races until Romy was killed in an auto accident in Nov. of '59. In the early 50s she was rerigged as a yawl (designed by LFH who came out of retirement) to fit the racing rules favoring that rig. That took the starch out of going to windward but made her more comfortable. She still brought home the silver. Sabre broke free from her mooring on Sept. of '60 in a fierce sou'easter and went aground in the harbor. She was salvaged, refitted and sold. I was living near Chicago at the time and saw her numerous times. It tore my heart out to see her in the Chicago River dirty and deteriorating . She was sold again and the story is that she went south. With a bit more time I could get more info. A gorgeous model of Sabre stands under glass in the Sheboygan (WI) Yacht Club."
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on March 17, 2009, 12:18:49 PM
I touched base with the guy from Spain who is looking for her.  He is busy with a delivery, but promises some more recent information upon his return. 
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on September 09, 2009, 05:05:08 PM
I spoke with Tom Goddard yesterday, grandson of one of the owners of #663 RAMALLAH (ex-ISTALENA).  He was kind enough to provide a copy of an extremely informative letter written by his father to the then-new owner of the boat, Herbert Smith. In the notes accompanying the letter, we see that the boat was eventually scuttled by Mr. Smith in September, 1973 off the coast of Puerto Rico.

I have heard a number of references to losing #1131 ISTALENA in the 60's, 70s, or 80s, "down south", "in South America", "in the Islands", "off the coast of Venezuela", or "in the Carribean".  We seem to agree on the general time and location, but lack specifics.

Is it more than a coincidence that #663, originally named ISTALENA, was lost in the 70's in the Caribbean?  Could somebody have gotten their ISTALENA's confused and perpetuated a myth, or do we have a real coincidence here?
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on September 09, 2009, 05:41:46 PM
While I didn't put it down as you did - this same realization was why I asked who actually saw "it in SA". I always had the thought that there may be a bit of confusion with the two Istalena's.... The last thing anyone could substantiate was that she went "back east" from Chicago (I believe NJ) in the late 60's in very bad condition to be re-built. If I was a bet'n man I'd say she never made it further and was cut up.

But I'd very much like to be wrong!!
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on September 09, 2009, 07:18:13 PM
If it is a "perpetuated myth", it is a good one.  Walter Heinichen, longtime Fisher's Island 31 sailor from Chicago, remembers "SABER" and that she went "south".  Glenn Kim, owner of BAGATELLE and CORINTHIAN, was helping Victor Paul search for ISTALENA some years back, and recalls that she was lost in the islands.

Boy, do wish I could dig out the facts.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on September 11, 2009, 06:44:53 PM
I spoke to Norris Strawbridge today, son of ISTALENA's one-time owner William Strawbridge.  He told me that his recollection is that ISTALENA was back in the Great Lakes about 10 years or so ago.  I'm afraid we still don't have the facts.

He also told me that his father owned the boat only for a few years when he sold it to build MITENA, which turned out to be too slow and under-powered.  He the went on to PERSEPHONE, and LFH design that turned out to be much more pleasing.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on September 11, 2009, 09:29:29 PM
Hmmm... I thought that Strawbridge owned the "other" Istalena and that the listing in the registry was wrong??? Reason I say this is I know that Lanier purchased it directly Pychon (I spoke to Laniers Grandson), who then sold it directly to Victor. Now we have Strawbridge owning her in 1935, but that doesn't make sense - unless he owned her only for one season or less....

1. George M. Pynchon 1928-1935

2. William J. Strawbridge 1935 (??)

2. R.B. Lanier  1935-1938/9
3. Bruno Victor Edward Nordberg 1938/9-1949
4. Roman Brotz 1949-1960
5. David Morrissey 1960-1968?

Do I have things wrong...?
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on September 11, 2009, 09:35:27 PM
OK I think I do have things wrong....

Pynchon owned her to 1933 (According to Mystic). So Strawbridge must have had her 33-35.....

1. George M. Pynchon 1928-1933
2. William J. Strawbridge 1933-1935
3. R.B. Lanier  1935-1938/9
4. Bruno Victor Edward Nordberg 1938/9-1949
5. Roman Brotz 1949-1960
6. David Morrissey 1960-1968(?)



Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on September 11, 2009, 09:38:21 PM
I think this last order is right.  Strawbridge told me his father only owned for a couple of years and then sold her to build MITENA, which was contracted in 1935.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on September 24, 2009, 09:46:04 PM
I think I have this sorted out after corresponding with Don Street and finding some corroborating evidence.  The boat that was lost in Venezuela is not ISTALENA, but rather KATOURA.

KATOURA was sold in 1953 to the personal physician of Gomez, then the dictator of Venezuela.  It was known to be afloat but in poor condition in 1969.  In a book review in issue #190 of Wooden Boat, Llewellyn Howland laments her loss, so I think it is safe to assume she is gone, and is the source of confusion with ISTALENA.

ISTALENA is an interesting story.  The last known owner was David Morrissey in Chicago.  In about 1970, Morrissey either took her on a cruise or sold her, but the boat appeared in New London, CT.  It was stolen from the marina she was in and not heard from again.  It just so happens that a few days after the theft, a boat sank off Cape Hatteras.  The crew was rescued but never really told the Coast Guard what boat they were on.

It would be nice to contact Morrissey, but I haven't been able to find him.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on September 25, 2009, 03:35:16 PM
This is awesome Steve! What detective work  :) .

I too tried to find Morrissey but was unsuccessful.

Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on September 25, 2009, 04:26:32 PM
This may be helpful - From the NYT archives:

"YAWL SABRE IS SOLD; 87-Foot Sailboat Bought by David Morrissey of Chicago"

May 14, 1961, Sunday

Section: SPORTS, Page S16, 82 words

Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on September 25, 2009, 06:28:46 PM
Jeez I may need to think about subscribing to the Times
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on September 25, 2009, 08:25:11 PM
This is also quite interesting. Brotz must have been some yachtsman - between 1950 and 1960 He and Sabre (ex Istalena) won 5 Mackinac's.

http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/pdf/Mac-history.pdf

Well I took a long shot....One of the past Commodores of the Columbia YC in Chicago is a Morrissey - contacted him to see if he was related to David Morrissey  - nope, but he may know someone who sailed SABRE - they'll get back....We're close I feel it  ;)
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on September 26, 2009, 10:48:18 AM
Interesting article.  I like the part about Ted Turner retracting his statement calling Lake Michigan a "mill pond".  I also see that MITENA won in 1963.  She was supposedly a dog.

I hope Morrissey calls you back about Morrissey :)
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: HerreshoffHistory on September 26, 2009, 12:37:50 PM
"87-Foot Sailboat Bought by David Morrissey of Chicago.
SHEBOYGAN, Wis., May 13 [1961] --- The eighty-seven-foot racing yawl Sabre was sold today by the Plastics Engineering Company of Sheboygan.
Ralph Brotz, the president of the firm, said the purchaser was David Morrissey, 36 years old, of Chicago. Morrissey will re-rig the vessel for an extended voyage to South America. Sabre, built in Rhode Island in 1929, is the largest sailing craft on the Great Lakes." (Source: Anon. "Yawl Sabre Is Sold." New York Times, May 14, 1961, p. S16.)

"The yawl Sabre, sold last April by the Brotz family of Sheboygan, Wis., to David Archibald Morrissey of 1645 S. California av., will be sailed to New Orleans via the New York barge canal on Sunday. This route will take the yawl thru the straits of Mackinac and Lakes Huron, Erie, and Ontario.
The yawl, well known winner of the race to Mackinac island for many years before burdened with a heavy time handicap, cannot be sailed down the Mississippi because it draws more than 12 feet of water. The Sabre is 87 feet over-all and has a 100 foot mast. It takes a crew of 18 to sail the yawl.
The Sabre will be on view today at the Wrigley building dock where it will be refurbished before making the trip to New Orleans." (Source: Anon. "Yawl Sabre Will Sail To New Orleans." Chicago Daily Tribune, October 21, 1961, p. B2.)
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on September 28, 2009, 02:14:06 PM
There is a David A. Morrissey of Cook, lll., (born 1925) who died in Harris, Texas (still with a civil residence of Illinois) in 1995. Can't prove it is him, but he's the only one I see....Can't see enough of the records to note if there is a Wife or Children (don't have full access to the Census).
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on September 28, 2009, 04:51:04 PM
If he was born in 1925, he would have been 36 in 1961.  Sadly, this could be our guy.  Herreshoff History provided me with a long-shot contact for someone who may be his son ... I am going to try running that one down.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Adam on September 28, 2009, 04:54:13 PM
Oh please do let me know!! I havent heard back from the folks as Columbia YC yet - so there may be something there as well.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Michael D. Storey on November 14, 2009, 03:22:36 AM
I learned to sail on Mitena on Lake Ontario in the 50's.  She had had a good racing career in Rochester, against smaller competition, under the hand of a talented  yachtsman named Van Voorhis.
Any news about her current whereabouts?

Reagrds

Michael D. Storey
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on November 14, 2009, 11:31:23 AM
Welcome to the Forum, Michael.

I assume you mean MITENA, the 12-Meter designed by LFH?  Our latest information is that she is still in the Great Lakes, owned by Jim Henley of Dearborn, MI.  I understand she has been given a complete overhaul and is in the water.  See the Registry entry for her: http://www.herreshoffregistry.org/get_detail.php?hull=1275 (http://www.herreshoffregistry.org/get_detail.php?hull=1275).

Do you know any more of her?  Was Van Voorhis an owner?
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Michael D. Storey on November 15, 2009, 05:06:33 AM
MITENA US 10, when I knew her, was owned by John & June Van Voorhis of Rochester, New York.  Too deep for the Rochester Yacht Club basin off of the Genesee River, she would have to plow her way out regularly.  I was a kid, he showed me how to sail.  73 feet, a tiller, canoe stern, who could ask for more?  Very fine photos of her do exist in the hands of what I understand is the first owners upon delivery, also a steamy shot of a guy at the tiller and two women relaxing on that velour seating, looking just everso.

Judge Van Voorhis left a nice R, # 57, Shadow, which it is my understanding he owned with two brothers when he bought US 10.  I reckon the early 50's.  I did almost no racing in those days (I was 10), but later, in the twilight of wooden racers on Lake Ontario, she was held in high regard by sailors from Rochester, Toronto, Sodus Bay, etc.  I never heard anyone describe her as slow, as I have seen here.

Very understandably, something of her calibre would most likely not find a new home close to home.  I had been told that she went west, out on the Lakes, but until your very kind post, I never knew where.  I am most pleased to hear that she is well, 50 years later.
Title: Re: The Search Is On
Post by: Steve on November 15, 2009, 11:45:18 AM
Thanks for the information, Michael.