In a Long Island potato barn, a legendary Fife 8 meter yacht is being reborn
Photos by Peter Brauné
The agricultural North Fork of Long Island, New York, is known more for wine cultivation than for boatbuilding. So encountering a slender wooden 48-foot 1930s-era racing sailboat under construction in a cavernous potato barn is quite a surprise.
It is by now the stuff of legend: Jon Wilson founded WoodenBoat Publications in September 1974 with the first issue of WoodenBoat magazine, which he published from his cabin — without electricity or running water — in North Brooksville, Maine.
Rear Adm. Sandra L. Stosz is the 40th superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, and the first female officer to hold that post. She was previously director of reserve and leadership at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C., and commanded two cutters — an icebreaking tug on the Great Lakes and a medium-endurance cutter that patrolled the North Atlantic and Caribbean.
The director of Mystic Seaport’s Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard and the man who led the construction of the schooner Amistad and the restoration of the Charles W. Morgan lets us quiz him.
First memory of being on a boat: While my mother would never admit it, I always believed I was conceived on my father’s first boat — an ancient Cape Cod pound-net boat he purchased in Greenport, New York, and rebuilt in the backyard of our brand-new suburban development home in East Meadow, Long Island, before I was born.
She was a beloved member of the French bluewater sailing “fraternity” who earned her nickname as the “Little Bride of the Atlantic” when in 1990, at the age of 33, she won in record time the fourth edition of the Route du Rhum, the solo trans-Atlantic race from France to Guadeloupe. Considered one of the best sailors in the world — a female rock star in a male-dominated sport — Arthaud, 57, was killed in Argentina on March 9 when two helicopters collided during the filming of a reality show for French television. Nine others also died in the accident, including three-time Olympic medalist swimmer Camille Muffat and Olympic bronze-medal-winning boxer Alexis Vastine.
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