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Author Topic: Herreshoff Istalena  (Read 8749 times)
Adam
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Boat Type: Herreshoff Cape Cod 30/Blue Chip

« on: January 20, 2009, 02:00:29 pm »

All,
I am conducting some research for “The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company Sailing Vessel Registry”. We are a group of individuals documenting the historical provenance of all the sailing vessels manufactured by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company (HMCo.). We do this as a resource for owners, prospective owners, builders, and classic yacht aficionados. As part of this research we sometimes reach out to those who we find may be helpful in locating certain vessels, or adding some specific information to the registry.

Currently we are trying to locate the M-Class – ISTALENA - L. Francis Herreshoff’s famous double ender.  We are hoping that the folks here might have some insight as to the whereabouts or fate of ISTALENA.  We recently received some information that she was still sailing as early as 20 years ago in Venezuela – but have no other leads.

Any information on ISTALENA is much appreciated!!  If you so choose I can be contacted through, the Herreshoff Registry web site (via on line forum) or here as well.

A much appreciated thanks in advance,
Adam Albino
http://herreshoff.orrsford.com/

PS - Any other leads for Herreshoff built yachts are appreciated as well! Please see the registry for missing vessels.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 02:25:10 pm by Adam » Logged
sonosail
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2009, 05:16:21 pm »

Thank you for posting this message. Hope you find ISALENA. I just want to complement you on the site: herreshoff.orrsford.com .  Terrific Job.
I was just going to post a message recommending it to anyone who even has a casual interest in this kind of stuff.  Best of Luck.

Regards,
Randy Browning
Norwalk, CT
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Adam
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Boat Type: Herreshoff Cape Cod 30/Blue Chip

« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2009, 08:02:29 am »

Thanks Randy! I will keep the Web up to date of our progress  ;D
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kirian
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Boat Type: Storm, 49'Luders

« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2009, 04:58:57 am »

I saw Istalena sometime in the late 1960s; she was in one of the nearly derelict yards there for the winter, painted yellow, and renamed Sabre, but in pretty decent shape, and owned by a knowledgeable fellow I believe from Ohio.  I went back the following Spring, and learned that the boat had been stolen, and they had no information other than that.  This story may not have been true, of course.  Anyone's guess what's happened in the intervening 40 years. I would doubt she still exists. A boat like that doesn't just disappear, unless it has really disappeared.
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SNagy
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2009, 05:28:34 am »

Kirian:  Thanks for that information.  I think at that time the owner would have been David Morrissey.  He was a pilot and commodities trader.  Does that ring a bell?  He is the last known owner.  That name is too common to find with SuperPages, but I would love to talk to him.

You are right ... a boat like that doesn't easily disappear.  Doesn't easily get stolen either.  I don't know how a thief would fence something like that, unless she was cut up for the salvage value of the lead and bronze.  The story we have heard is that she went to NY from Chicago, and then on down to Venezuela.

The website has been moved to: http://www.herreshoffregistry.org

-Steve Nagy
The Herreshoff Registry
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rollingstone
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2009, 07:27:23 am »

Adam,
Depending on where you got your information I believe it may have been through me. I did some research 2 years ago with help from mr.maynard of wooden boat, don street a well known classic afficianado who was my main link to tracing Istalena to a point where she fell off the face of the earth in venezuela. Our theory ended up being if she was gone, a fire would be the only thing that could have destroyed all evidance of her existance. i am a classic yacht captain in the med, and my search started as i wanted to find her and restore her to race in the vibrant big boat fleet we have here. alas without an owner and/or backer willing to fund a trip to venezuela it self I've had to put it to one side until such time as I can find the right candidate with funds and ethusiasm to either find her, or if she is indeed lost to time, build a replica of her. The schooners Eleonora (westward) and elena and indeed atlantic have all come back as faithful replicas.I know of two other M class which could be restored, one in europe and one in america. but Istalena was undoubtedly the prettiest and fastest.
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chtruscott
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Boat Type: SABRE, ex ISTALENA, L. Francis Herreshoff, blt. 1929 Bristol, RI

« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2009, 10:17:08 am »

I just happened to stumble on this site through Google when I did a search for ISTALENA.

ISTALENA, renamed SABRE, was well known on the Great Lakes, both in the Chicago to Mackinac and Port Huron to Mackinac sailboat races.  I'm not sure when she came to the lakes, perhaps in the 40s when she was sold to Roman Brotz of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, but for the first couple of years she sailed as a sloop and then was converted to a yawl.  She was very fast as a yawl, and well-loved on the Great Lakes.

Anyway, long story short, Roman Brotz died in the early 60s and the SABRE eventually was sold to David A. Morrisey of Chicago, Illinois.  He intended to take her to Florida, perhaps beyond, and use her as a charter yacht.

In September, 1963 (I don't recall the exact date) she stopped at Mackinac Island overnight on her way out of the lakes.  I was 18 at the time (I guess I should mention I am a native Mackinac Island resident) and I walked down to the yacht dock to take a look at her, off-handedly asking if they needed a crewmember since I wasn't doing anything and learned that they did. 
The trip took us down Lake Huron with stops at Alpena, Port Huron, Detroit, Amherstburg, Ontario, through the Welland Canal to Toronto, where we spent some time.  From Toronto she was sailed across Lake Ontario (where we ran aground on Picton Reef, just off Picton, Ontario.  The Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Relay came out and pulled us off and we continued on to Kingston, Ontario where her masts were memoved.  She thenn went to Oswego, NY and down the Oswego Barge Canal to City Island New York, where I left her on November 22, 1963, a day that is etched in my m ind forever.

I lost track of her at City Island.  I later heard that Morrisey had run out of money and she was abandoned.  I know she is no longer listed in Merchant Vessels of the Uited States.

If anyone else finds out where she is I would love to know.

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SNagy
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2009, 05:23:27 am »

We at the Herrershoff Registry (http://www.herreshoffregistry.org) have been trying to determine the whereabouts or fate of Istalena.  The latest is that in about 1970 she was stolen from a marina in New London and not heard from since.  A few days after the theft, a boat sank off Cape Hatteras.  The Coast Guard rescued the crew, but could not find out from that what boat they were on.  Hmmm.
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sonosail
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2009, 01:43:45 pm »

We at the Herrershoff Registry (http://www.herreshoffregistry.org) have been trying to determine the whereabouts or fate of Istalena.  The latest is that in about 1970 she was stolen from a marina in New London and not heard from since.  A few days after the theft, a boat sank off Cape Hatteras.  The Coast Guard rescued the crew, but could not find out from that what boat they were on.  Hmmm.
Not  a cause for optimism. Such a fabulous looking boat.  As far as the 'theft', ... would such a yacht be insurable?  If so, I would suspect some kind of insurance scam. I'm wondering how difficult it would be to find the last owner through insurance records.

I'm so intrigued by the whole 'Atlantic' recreation. Just so amazed that someone would take this on. I keep checking back at their web site, since the launching, but it doesn't seem like anything else has happened for a while.  Just wondering if the guy could have run out of money!.

rb
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sonosail
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2010, 09:25:09 am »

I received an Email from the grand nephew of Roman Blotz, second to last owner of Istalena, (at this time called Sabre). According to him, the boat was wrecked in the late 1960's. I asked him if he had any more details. If I hear anything more, I'll post it here.

Randy Browning
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John Dillon
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2016, 07:56:30 am »



I've been digging into the history of Istalena / Sabre while she was on Lake Michigan in the 40's and 50's.  Nice scale model of her as a yawl at the Sheboygan YC.
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sonosail
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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2016, 07:58:58 am »

Wow!
Does the Herreshoff registry know about this?

rb
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John Dillon
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« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2016, 09:35:40 am »

Wow!
Does the Herreshoff registry know about this?

rb

Be honest, I don't know.  I started digging into this during some research I was doing on the Universal Q-Class boats that were in Milwaukee during that time and I ran into this background on Istalena by chance.  Istalena is like much of the Q Class history.....once the boats hit Lake Michigan there was not much of their history that was shared.  I can say there is substantial history that has been retained, albeit locally.  I've been in touch with the Nordberg family who brought her to Milwaukee and also some of her old crew while in Sheboygan.  The Nordberg family has told me Bruno had a private photographer onboard, so there must be some good photos.  I have some that I will share on this forum.  Sheboygan YC also has some great memorabilia that I've photographed.

I believe there is an interest with both parties to document the history of Istalena.  If you can offer suggestions as to where the info should go that would be great.  It also seems as if the info should also go to the Herreshoff Museum.  Your thoughts would be appreciated.
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John Dillon
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« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2016, 09:44:50 am »



Here is one of the photos I received from the Nordberg Family. 
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John Dillon
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« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2016, 10:04:07 am »



Here is one when she was converted to a yawl.  She would have been owned by Roman Brotz and moored in Sheboygan at that time.
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