Lake George Sailboat Takes Restoration Award at Mystic Seaport
‘Ghost’, a 29-foot Sound Interclub restored by a crew led by Reuben Smith for Assembly Point resident John Kelly, won Honorable Mention for Best Professionally Restored Boat in its category at the 22nd annual WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport in June.
Last year, the Ghost’s companion boat, ‘Caprice,’ was named “Best Restored Boat (Sail)” at the boat show.
Kelly’s Sound Interclubs are two of the five known to exist.
“We were honored that ‘Ghost’ was recognized at Mystic Seaport; it’s the largest gathering of wooden boat enthusiasts in New England,” said Reuben Smith. “The work was begun at Hall’s in Lake George, and the crew there deserves a lot of credit.”
The restoration was completed at Smith’s own Tumblehome Boatshop in Warrensburg.
According to Smith, the ‘Ghost’ was in even worse shape than ‘Caprice’ when it was acquired by Kelly.
“The boat was offered free to anyone who would take it away from a boat yard in Newport. It was a wreck,” said Smith.
Because the designer’s original plans have disappeared (they may have been lost in a fire), Smith drafted a new set of plans as he restored ‘Caprice’ and documented the restoration with laser technology, which is accurate to a tenth of a millimeter.
That information enabled him to bring ‘Ghost’ back to life, he said.
Designed by Charles Mower in 1926, Sound Interclubs were famous in the 1930s as the fastest boats in the Westchester and Connecticut waters of Long Island Sound.
By 1935, however, the boats began to feel dated to the Long Island skippers, many of whom were America’s Cup yachtsmen, and they replaced the boats with International One Designs.
Once the boats were no longer used for racing in Long Island Sound, they were brought to Lake George, where they were sailed until the Lake George Club replaced its racing fleet with Stars and Rainbows.
“Few people have seen a Sound Interclub for thirty years, and these are the first to have been restored,” said Smith. “For the past two years, they’ve attracted a lot of attention at the Mystic boat show.”
Among those who visited ‘Ghost’ at Mystic was a former owner, who sailed the boat in Long Island Sound in the 1950s.
Both ‘Caprice’ and ‘Ghost’ are now back on Lake George.
“A Sound Interclub is a nice boat to sail; you feel like you’re a part of history,” said Smith, adding, “It’s a boat that is both forgiving and rewards sailing well. It seems to want you to tell it what to do.”