Classic boats will never go out of style - and the yacht Elena is a vivid proof of this. We are talking about a replica of a sailing yacht from the early 20th century.
History of the original Elena
Renowned naval architect and designer Nathaniel Herreshoff has created many outstanding boats in his lifetime. Among them was westward classic racing yacht. She was superior to her competitors in every way - her sails were larger, her speed was higher, and her design was exemplary. Westward was launched back in 1910.
After some time, Herreshoff decided to create a "sister" Westward. The designer's idea was for the new yacht to have a heavier keel and slightly modified rigging for even more control of the sails. The new project was named Elena.
Almost immediately after the construction, Elena won several major victories in regattas. But the main victory was only ahead - in 1928 during the Transatlantic race.
A new beginning
In 2002, the Dutch shipyard Van der Graaf built a replica of the Westward called the Eleonora. For a long time, the captain of the yacht was listed as Steve McLaren. At some point, Steve got the idea to recreate the "sister" Westward. With this request, McLaren headed to the Spanish shipyard FNM.
The process of creating a new Elena has begun. Four years of complex, painstaking work were not in vain. FNM engineers and architects studied Herreshoff's original plans for Elena. To get access to the originals with handwritten notes, I had to contact the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (yes, that same MIT).
But the hard work paid off and in 2009 the yacht was launched. Together with Steve, Elena participated in a large number of regattas, where she won prizes in a tense struggle. Among the races where Elena was noted were: Voiles de St Tropez, Royal Regatta Cannes and St Barths Bucket. For all the time she traveled with McLaren, the yacht managed to cross the Atlantic as many as 16 times! In total, Elena traveled 150,000 nautical miles in 14 years.
Elena is a live updated classic
McLaren says: “I had all the lights and other decorative elements, as well as door hinges, before the yacht was built. These details are imbued with the spirit of the era, they are a little strange, rattling, but original. I gilded them in order to save money on other parts.”
Elena is still on the move and is not going to stop. Interestingly, the plans are also to participate in regattas. Another fun fact about McLaren's Elena is that the regatta requires a team of 50 people to precisely steer the yacht; at the same time, only 8 people are needed for a charter. Even today, Elena is not inferior to many modern yachts in terms of power. And even more so in beauty!
As McLaren says: “Elena is 225 tons of steel, wood, sails and rigging, which can safely move only with the help of wind power - even when a light breeze of 4-5 knots is overboard.”
Don't forget to rate the content! You can find other interesting articles on the links below or in the "News" section!