The once-magnificent Shawnee is a 72-foot wooden sailboat built in 1916. Its skeleton sits in the yard of a California home, where a master shipwright who is restoring it is being sued by the city.
When the Shawnee first hit the water in 1916, she was a striking beauty — a 72-foot sailboat made of old-growth oak and Douglas fir, African mahogany, naturally curved hackmatack and gleaming teak. Her hull had the seductive curve of a wineglass. Her keel was 37,000 pounds of lead capped by a single slab of carved oak stretching stem to stern.
Now the Shawnee sits partially dismantled in Newport Beach, Calif., where master shipwright Dennis Holland is working to restore the boat to her original glory. It's a project six years in the making, with no end in sight.
"I'm a slave to her," says Holland, 66.