Discover “The Wizard of Bristol” in Castine

The early twentieth-century yacht designs of Captain Nathanael G. Herreshoff, “The Wizard of Bristol,” are some of the most prized vessels afloat today, and for the first time in more than three-quarters of a century several of the most famous are gathering – and actually racing against each other – in Castine. On Wednesday, August 3, seven restored classics will be on display at the Castine Town Dock. Those yachts, all built by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, include two 44’ NY-30s, Alera and Cara Mia (designed in 1904); the 59’ NY-40 Rugosa (designed in 1915); the 72’ NY-50 Spartan (designed in 1912); the 58’ P-Class Joyant (built in 1911); 49’ Bar Harbor 31 Desperate Lark (built in 1903); and 47’ Nellie (built in 1902).

Nellie and Spartan will be the focus of a symposium on August 3 at 4 P.M. in Delano Hall at Maine Maritime Academy. Both yachts were re-launched in 2010 following multi-year restorations: Nellie at Warren Pond Boatworks in South Berwick, Maine, and Spartan at McClave, Philbrick & Giblin in Mystic, Connecticut. The symposium will illuminate the finer details of these restorations and those of other Herreshoff yachts, all of which relied heavily on the drawings, photographs and files of the Herreshoff archives housed at the Hart Nautical Collections of the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Kurt Hasselbalch, Hart Nautical curator, will chair the discussion among a panel of restorers, owners, and sailors of Herreshoff yachts.

At 11:30 A.M. on Thursday, August 4, history will be made when for the first time in more than seventy-five years yachts representing three of the most famous New York Yacht Club classes – NY-30, NY-40, and NY-50 – challenge each other in the twelfth annual Castine Classic Yacht Race. This twenty-nautical-mile regatta runs from the Castine harbor bell to Camden and serves as a feeder race for the Camden to Brooklin race on Friday, August 5, and the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta on Saturday, August 6.

Classic Yacht Exhibition
Wednesday August 3
Castine Town Docks

Herreshoff Symposium
Wednesday August 3, 4 P.M.
Delano Hall, Maine Maritime Academy

Castine Classic Yacht Race
Thursday August 4, 11:30 A.M.
Leaving from the Castine Harbor Bell

This year’s Castine Classic Yacht Race is sponsored by the Castine Yacht Club. For race notice/entry form and sailing instructions visit or contact David Bicks at 207-326-8607 or via email at [email protected]

Photos courtesy of Benjamin Mendlowitz: NY-30 Alera, NY-40 Rugosa, NY-50 Spartan