Historic yacht gets a reprieve


JULY 20 The postponed restoration of an 1885 schooner at the InternationalYachtRestorationSchool in Newport, R.I., is expected to start up again now that a newly formed organization has agreed to help fund and organize the project.

The organization, called the Coronet Restoration Partners, is made up of San Francisco-based Jeffrey Rutherford of Rutherford Boat Works, and classic boat restorer Robert McNeil, the school says in a press release. The group will take on the completion of the restoration of the 133-foot historic yacht, named Coronet.

“In Jeff Rutherford and Bob McNeil we have found dedicated and capable people who will succeed in our mutual goal of restoring this great American treasure,” IYRS president Terry Nathan says in the release. “The school will be relieved of the financial burden of Coronet, yet the restoration will resume here at IYRS.”

School officials in October announced that Coronet’s restoration would be put on hold so the school could focus more on fund-raising efforts on the restoration of one of its historic school buildings, the 1831 Aquidneck Mill building, which sits on the school’s waterfront campus.

In the next few months Coronet’s hull is scheduled to be prepared for the full-scale restoration, which school officials expect to begin in the summer of 2007, the release says.

In 1888 Coronet became the first American yacht to round Cape Horn, then went on to beat Caldwell Colt’s schooner, Dauntless, in the first trans-Atlantic race. Other milestones include completing two circumnavigations and carrying members of the first joint Japanese-U.S. scientific expedition to Japan to view a total eclipse of the sun in 1896.

— Jason Fell