I have attached photos of a wooden model
yacht that we are selling at auction for a client. We have no history
of ownership, nor is there a ship's name or makers mark. Except for
the bowsprit, there are no other spars, fittings or sails - what you
see in the photos is all there is.
The boat measures: 89 1/2" LOA, 74" LOD and has a 16" beam. The keel, to me, is unusual - I assume there would have been a weighted keel in the
form of a bracket hanging from the center of the hull. As seen in the photos, there are the impressed numbers 1,2,3 and 4 at the four junction points
for the keel.
The pine hull is plank-on-frame with scribed deck lines.
Anything you can offer by way of identification will be greatly appreciated.
This was one of our more interesting enquiries which sparked a transatlantic debate - extract of emails below - webmaster
This from Earl Boebert, US VMYG
"My guess is that it is a designer or builder's model of a Sonder boat, possibly to help find the proper keel placement. The Sonder class originated in Germany in the late 1890's as a "poor man's" racing class with a mandated upper limit on cost. The first US Sonder boat was built in 1902. The class was popular in the Marblehead area, and international races between Germany, the US, and Spain were held up until WWI. The rating rules were:
Length plus beam plus draft no greater than 32 feet.
Max sail area 550 feet.
Min weight 4035 lbs
Max cost $2400"
This from Russell Potts, VMYG
"I think you are probably right that it's a model of a full size
craft, but the hull form doesn't seem to chime with the drawings of
SonderKlasse boats that I remember from looking at German yachting journals from before 1914. Unfortunately, none of the pages I copied has a Sonder boat on it, so I may be wrong.
In a later email:
I've now found a couple of designs, one German, one American and it looks a bit more likely, in terms of length/beam ratios and depth of hull, though both the boats that I know to be SonderKlasse have a relatively deep fin of narrow chord set with the leading edge at or aft of 50% LWL, quite different from what seems to be implied by the vestigial keel piece on the model. My verdict is 'not proven' though it does seem likely that she relates to some full size project, rather than being intended as a model in her own right."
Unless you can give us any more information I doubt if any further identification can be made.