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Project boat in partial stage of construction. Ready for completion.
The Racing Schooner Ingomar
One of the most famous racing schooners ever is being recreated under guidance of the Ed Kastelein. His vision and passion for authentically recreating iconic big yachts of the past lead to the construction of Elenora and Atlantic which in turn inspired others to build great schooners such as Elena and Germania.
There was is and is no need for Ed Kastelein to get involved in another project, it’s one of the things which he wanted to be part of in some form or another. Ingomar combined beauty, grace and power with the story of a the legendary Captain Charlie Barr, an extraordinary wealthy owner and in ultimately 1904 set the record for the most successful season of any Herreshoff schooner ever built.
2012 marks the year that her hull was recreated in the best traditions of Dutch steel construction. She is shaped meticulously following the lines, keelshape and sail plan of that quintessential 1904 season. The workmanship of Graafship and her owners Kees and Henk van der Graaf is second to none. The attention to fairness and detail reflects what the team has learned in a life time of shipbuilding resulting in what has to be one of the finest steel schooner hulls of our time.
The Ingomar is available as finished steel hull or as a finished yacht ready to cruise and race.
The Story of the Racing Schooner Ingomar
It all started back in 1903 when railway magnate Morton Plant called Nathanael Herreshoff with a simple order brief for a winning Class B schooner to race & cruise American waters and head over to Europe to win the much coveted Cape May Cup. Until that time all Herreshoff designed racing yachts had been single mast and with Ingomar the Wizard of Bristol turned out the first of nine extraordinary successful schooners. In his notes Herreshoff calls Ingomar “a wonderfully good schooner that easily proved to be the fastest of her type”. He wrote that he sailed her a few times and was well pleased. Charlie Barr, by then 3 time America’s Cup winner, became Ingomar’s captain and he too was well pleased. After crossing the Atlantic in 15 days he wrote to Herreshoff; “Ingomar is as good as cruising yacht as you will find anywhere”. Little did he know then because when he started racing Ingomar that extraordinary cruising yacht brought home 17 trophies in a single season. Only the legendary schooner America has ever campaigned with more success.
Ingomar was built side by side with Reliance, the greatest of all America’s Cup yachts. With Lipton’s 1903 Challenge to lift the Cup, the pace of construction for Reliance prevailed but Ingomar surely benefitted from the incredible development and refinement of this quintessential racing yacht. Her fittings were light, elegant yet immensely strong, her deck lay-out and set up of the rig reflected all that was learned from the past Cup yachts and much admired. Such was her perfection that Ingomar’s rig served as model for all Herreshoff schooners to follow.
Ingomar’s first outing in 1903 proved to be a sign of things to come and with great dominance she won the Astor Cup for Schooners and from there on she took the schooner world by storm winning every yacht club run in her first season. Morton Plant had a mission to race the big class in Europe and win back the Cap May Cup which the English yacht Genesta won in 1885. Since then this prestigious trophy was raced for and held in English hands. The trophy was last won by King Edward’s Britannia in 1893 however to embarrassment of the trophy was lost. Winsor castle was ransacked to no avail until the trophy was found at the Royal Sandringham estate, but by then it was to late and with profound apologies it was returned to the New York Yacht Club. Apologies were naturally excepted in the best spirit and later that year the Cup was raced for in American waters and won by the 3-Masted schooner Atlantic.
Ingomar raced both British and German waters and was met by the best schooners and cutters of her time. Her performance was so dominant that she received an arbitrary handicap allowing other yachts some silver too. Even under those circumstances she won 12 firsts, 4 seconds and one third. Had she been built under the Universal Rule then her racing career would have extended for many years but when the NYYC adopted that new rating rule her competitive days where over and she resumed her life as a fast & luxurious cruising yacht.
On her way to a cruise to
10 November 1931 Ingomar was lost on the shoals of the frying pan reef.
With the fleet of large classic yachts growing every year the scene for schooner racing is becoming one of the most attractive and exciting in the Mediterranean Sea. Here you will find Mariette, Elena, Eleonora, Orion, Altair and many others. Ingomar was not designed to any rating rule and her designer Nathanael Herreshoff was therefore not restricted in hull shape or sailplan. The result was the quintessential hybrid between a fast cruising yacht and a winning racing schooner. In today’s classic fleet she fits right in the slot, on deck slightly shorter than Elenora but her sparred length and sailarea exceeding that of her bigger sister. Her low relatively low displacement with large sailplan will undoubtedly make her the ultimate light air flyer of the fleet, and light air is the predominant condition in the Med.
But Ingomar is not an all-out racing yacht, who could better state this as the legendary Charlie Barr, who wrote to N.G. Herreshoff; “Ingomar is as good as cruising yacht as you will find anywhere”. And that is the concept on which Ed Kastelein modelled Ingomar. She is his fourth large schooner and all and everything he knows goes into this project. Of course she is built in steel Graaf Ship of Dordrecht, Holland, known as one of the best Dutch shipbuilders. Her hull is strong and among the fairest ever built. A wonderfully elegant and comfortable interior for both guests and crew, a large galley to cater the guests but also dockside parties. Not adopted but recreated to sail with guests and enter a successful charter career. A traditional, authentic yet simple to operate rig with a deck crew in full service of no more than eight.
With Ingomar the opportunity is presented to gain from all experience of the recently recreated schooners such as Eleonora, Elena and Atlantic. The thorough historical research has revealed some 160 original building and construction plans, all highly detailed and complete. Her beauty and success made her one of the best documented yachts of her time and many of the original images have survived and will help recreate this yacht to her original glory.