Skip to main content

Historic mast gets refit

NOV. 20 — The 115-foot steel mainmast of the two-time America’s Cup-winning yacht Columbia, now a flagpole in New York, is being refurbished and workers hope to have it back up before Thanksgiving.

The mast has been used as a flagpole in the privately owned Queens, N.Y., community of Forest HillsGardens since 1915, news reports say. The flagpole was taken down and workers were sanding and repainting it.

“It just wasn’t looking good,” says Bruce Easton, president of the Forest Hills Gardens Corp., in a news report. “You could see some rust on it here and there.”

“Any preservation of the legacy of the America’s Cup … is well worth the effort, and important in terms of protecting and promoting the history of the city,” America’s Cup spokesperson Peter Rusch says in the report.

A fin keel sloop, Columbia was a Herreshoff design and the first yacht to win two consecutive America’s Cup races, according to information on the America’s Cup Web site . Columbia took top honors in 1899 and 1901.

After plans fell through to convert Columbia into a floating restaurant the yacht was sent in 1913 to the Hawkins Yard on City Island, N.Y., for scrap, according to the Web site. Her mainmast was saved and converted into a flagpole two years later.

? Jason Fell