Built in 1905, the stunning 78-foot sloop DORIS #625 (ex Vayu, Huntress, Astarte) is the largest all-wood sailing yacht ever built by the Herreshoff Mfg. Company of Bristol, RI. (photo by James Burton © Mystic Seaport, Rosenfeld Collection)

A New Beginning

Languishing in a boat yard in New London CT for 30 years, DORIS was scheduled to be scrapped at the end of August 2013.  Given a one-year lease on life by the generous collaboration of a good friend and Taylor & Snediker Yacht Restoration of Pawcatuck, a search for a new owner was spearheaded. Now, thanks to an enthusiastic client, DORIS has been…

Making the Molds Work progresses on DORIS#625

Work keeps a jaunty pace at Snediker Yacht Restoration as molds for yacht DORIS take shape.  This author could write many words on the process of making molds in Wooden Boatbuilding and how this is specifically being tackled in the DORIS restoration but, wouldn’t you rather see the process?  Here’s a video that offers a quick, introductory peek behind the closed doors of the DORIS restoration as production ramps up.  Enjoy!

The Illustrious, Elusive Louise N. Grace

Not much is known to us about Louise N. Grace, the third owner of DORIS (1920 – 1933), however what we do know paints her as a fascinating, and distinctive, independent woman, artist, and entrepreneur of the early 1900s.  One of eleven children, Louise was the 9th child born to William Russell Grace and Lillius Gilchrist Grace on Dec 23,…

DORIS can come alive again…

DORIS/VAYU owner David Revenaugh expresses his sentiment about the restoration of DORIS – the yacht he owned and loved for aprox. 20 years.  A very special thank you to the Mercanti Family for sharing their slides detailing adventures aboard VAYU (Jim Mercanti, owned DORIS/VAYU from 1957 to 1974 and ran her as a Charter Yacht). 


Beautiful Decline of VAYU

“I remember the day I saw her…” recalls ex-owner Jacques Thiry, “she was a magnificent sight out in the distance, I saw her from the pier. She was beautiful, a very striking boat, floating high up in the water. Her interior had been torn out and she was being packed with hay.  She was going to be sailed out into deep water, set on fire and scuttled. Her name was VAYU. I couldn’t imagine the loss of such a beautiful yacht and wanted to save her. “

Jacques went on to buy VAYU and tried to organize a volunteer effort to restore her.   These photographs, taken by A. Vincent Scarano, are of VAYU docked at City Pier in New London, CT while under Jacques ownership in 1979.

For the full gallery please go to A. Vincent Scarano’s website here


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Photos © A. Vincent Scarano


Doris or Not Doris? Questioning Archive Photos

It seems like research should be a linear progression – you discover information, and throw it into your big basket of known things.  The problem, as I learned well running the boat shop at Mystic Seaport for 13 years – researching boats and boat types – is that much unearthed information is contradictory.  Sometimes the individual memory of someone who…

Agnes Muller Herreshoff’s photo album

A research trip to the Herreshoff Museum revealed a collection of wonderful artifacts. The first of these exciting discoveries, all of which will be shared in upcoming blog posts, include several photos taken by Agnes Muller Herreshoff.  Found within Agnes’ personal photograph collection were several photos of the 1916 New York Yacht Club Cruise, King’s Cup Race.   The daughter of Nathanael Herreshoff, she (presumedly)…