Author Topic: The Search Is On  (Read 51153 times)

Adam

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #30 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."

Steve

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 804
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #31 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. 

Steve

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 804
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #32 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?

Adam

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #33 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!!

Steve

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 804
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #34 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.

Steve

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 804
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #35 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.

Adam

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #36 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...?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 09:26:01 PM by Adam »

Adam

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #37 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(?)



« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 09:26:15 PM by Adam »

Steve

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 804
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #38 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.

Steve

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 804
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #39 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.

Adam

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2009, 03:35:16 PM »
This is awesome Steve! What detective work  :) .

I too tried to find Morrissey but was unsuccessful.


Adam

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #41 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


Steve

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 804
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2009, 06:28:46 PM »
Jeez I may need to think about subscribing to the Times

Adam

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #43 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  ;)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 09:25:25 PM by Adam »

Steve

  • Administrator
  • Registered Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 804
    • View Profile
Re: The Search Is On
« Reply #44 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 :)
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 10:52:10 AM by Steve »