Vagrant, a former piece of US History. The first famous Classic Gaff Schooner named Vagrant that was built for Harold Vanderbilt in 1910. Sold in 1912, she raced, cruised and chartered for 70 years under many Owners under the name of 'Queen Mab'. Found and rebuilt in Antigua by Peter DeSavary 1985 and cruising the Med and USA before being sold to Japan. Now is the chance to acquire this legend of a yacht with all her history. She now needs another full rebuild as was has deteriorated, and then sunk at her berth in a typhoon .Please understand, this is a full rebuild that will cost millions of $.
The Vagrant Story
Vagrant was a graduation present from the Vanderbilt family to Harold of Americas Cup fame, heir to the uncounted fortune of his great grandfather Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. The busy Herreshoff yards at Bristol, Rhode Island USA, received the purchase order to begin work on March 23rd, 1910. 60 days later at a cost of 26,800 dollars, the ocean racer was commissioned and christened Vagrant by Harold who immediately raced her to first place in the 1910 Bermuda Race.
Elegant and slim with 92 foot masts of Douglas fir, she boasted two master staterooms with bathrooms, separate crew quarters, stained glass in the saloon and exotic wood paneling throughout, all typical of Herreshoff's attention to the most minute details, exemplifying his da Vincian combination of practical expertise and lyric genius. In 1912, Harold sold her to Hendon Chubb and commissioned Herreshoff to build him an even larger yacht, which he also christened Vagrant. Chubb renamed the original schooner Queen Mab, the name she was to carry for almost three-quarters of a century. She held the record for 12 consecutive Transpacific Yacht Races, or "Transpac" as most sailors call it. It is a 2,200 mile race from California to Hawaii. These racers included the 1959 killer race.
Queen Mab was owned by various members of the East Coast yachting establishment, notably Wall Street broker William A.W. Stewart who campaigned her from 1926 to 1939. She came to the West Coast of America around 1948. From 1953-1971 Larry Pringle and Phyllis Brunson sailed her out of Catalina, and took her on nine consecutive Trans Pacific races. Queen Mab raced Class A against the biggest and best such as the Good Will (161 ft, 50 crew), Morning Star, Baruna, Ondine, Ticonderoga, Blackfin, and Windward Passage. She never finished below 12th. In the early sixties she starred in the Hollywood film "Blue Water Racers Under Sail." Her racing successes are many, her seaworthiness legendary and her classic beauty unsurpassed.
Serviced by the Herreshoff yard during most of her East Coast life, Queen Mab was the first American yacht to be rigged with sail track and slides on the mast, and also the first with a leg o'mutton. Her mainmast was changed from Gaff to Marconi in 1920 by Nat Ayer, and the foremast was converted in 1952. Vagrant is now rerigged to her original sail plan as a Gaff Schooner.
In May of 1983 she turned up in Antigua in poor condition. She traded hands once again, this time to Hans Lammers, a 33-year-old Dutchman with an eye for classic beauty. Lammers has been chartering in the West Indies since he was 21, buying old but classic yachts, and patching them up as best he could. He decided to change her name back to the original Vagrant. For about a year or so, Lammers chartered the semi restored Vagrant wherever and whenever he could. In late 1984 he decided to offer her for sale. The months passed and to most people it seemed that Vagrants sailing days were finally over; until her discovery and subsequent rescue by Peter de Savary. Her rescue from obscurity 75 years after the then Prince of American designers, one Nathaniel Greene Herreshoff, had been commissioned to create her, will go down as yachting history. Under his and Jim Alabaster’s personal direction, Vagrant was completely restored over a period of nearly 3 years at a cost of several million dollars. The new rig was built by Spencers in the Isle of Wight and no expense was spared to ensure that Vagrant was fitted out with state of the art technology. Rocka Romcke took over as her Captain under this Ownership. She then crossed the Atlantic twice and was cruising the Med, UK and Bahamas with her 5 man crew. Quite simply, any aesthete must marvel at her stunning beauty. There are few yachts in the world today whose every line blends with the next, whose sheer congruity of shape helps explain why 'legendary' appears inseparable from the name Nathaniel G. Herreshoff. The project of restoring Schooner Vagrant is sailing history now; an enormous feat that took courage, determination and commitment. Schooner Vagrant, the legend lives on enabling the owners to enjoy the most exciting world-wide sailing experiences in the most perfect of luxurious accommodations. With Persian carpets throughout, classic antique oil paintings and other original works of art, Vagrant was the most perfectly restored classical yacht in the world in the 80’s. Vagrant turned heads whenever she entered port. Her beauty and quality, with her legendary seaworthiness make her the main feature of interest in any harbour.
She was put up for sale in 1990 in Antibes and then moved to Falmouth UK.
In March 1992 she was sold to Japan. I got the job to do a small refit and then deliver her to Japan from UK. That was a 16 mile awesome trip that took 4 months.
She has been in Japan ever since, but recently a typhoon took her to the bottom at her berth. So now she needs rescuing which will need to include raising her, shipping her to suitable place and fully rebuilding her to her former Glory.