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Flotsam & Jetsam: The Golden Age of yachting

Here is an opportunity to own a piece of yachting history. Mariquita is a 95-foot (LOD) 1911 William Fife III gaff-rigged cutter — the only remaining 19 Meter Class yacht. Built for industrialist Arthur Stothert, she was launched at Fairlie on the Clyde in Scotland and raced for three seasons in a new class just prior to World War I. Sold in 1915, she spent five years sailing in neutral Norway.

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Mariquita returned to Great Britain and was decommissioned. Her mast was cut down, keel bolts removed and 40 tons of lead cut into scrap. In 1958 she was moved to a mud berth and used as a houseboat for more than 25 years. In 1991 she was rescued by William Collier and Albert Obrist, which led to her rebuild by Fairlie Restorations. In 2004 Mariquita returned to racing and has sailed in classic-yacht regattas throughout Europe.

Hull construction is mahogany planking over steel frames, secured with bronze fastenings. Mariquita has her original interior but is updated with modern systems, including a 315-hp Yanmar diesel and powered winches. Listed with Edmiston for about $3.7 million, she is berthed in France.

5.57 million …

… the maximum extent, in square kilometers (about 2.15 million square miles), of Arctic sea ice for 2017 — the lowest in 38 years, according to the National Snow & Ice Data Center

Blinded by the light

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Nobska Point Light marks a heavily trafficked area on the southwestern tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, near the entrance to Woods Hole Harbor. Built in 1828, the original wooden tower operated atop a stone keeper’s house until the present cast iron tower replaced it in 1876. In 1911, on a clear, calm August night, the steamer Bunker Hill ran aground off the light station. A passenger wrote: “If the pilot or captain … was trying to hit Nobska lighthouse, he was a very poor shot, as he didn’t come within 100 feet of it, and if he was trying to avoid it he was an equally poor shot, as he had plenty of water in the broad Vineyard Sound.”

“To state the obvious, without adequate waterway access there is virtually no opportunity to go boating. … [We] suggest that investment in facilities that provide access to public lands and waters should remain a priority.”

— Chris Edmonston, BoatUS vice president of government affairs, telling Congress that tough budget times should not jeopardize boating access in America’s national parks

This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue.