Classic Racing Schooner KELPIE 1928 Boats – Renovated Sotheby’s Auction

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Classic Racing Schooner Boats Review and Specs

Year: 1928  
Manufacturer: Classic Yachts
Price: Max Mile Range:225,000  

Built for beauty and speed in 1928, Kelpie is still winning races today. Kelpie holds many records and is often referred to as “the fastest schooner on the West Coast”. With extensive refits over the last 20 years and continual maintenance, Keplie is as fast and elegant today as when she was first launched. Be sure to click on “full specs” above to see the additional pictures and specifications. The 1928 Gamage-built classic has an interesting pedigree and a rich history. During the heyday of Harvey Gamage’s shipyard in South Bristol, Maine (now over 150 years old), craftsmen there built a series of famous Alden schooners, as well as sloops and lobsterboats, boats for the Gloucester and New Bedford fishing fleets, and even wooden minesweepers for the U.S. Navy during World War II. The 65-foot (82-foot LOA) staysail schooner Kelpie, built of longleaf yellow pine, was one of the first yachts to come out of the Gamage yard in 1928, built for a New York stockbroker on the on the eve of the Great Depression. She was designed by the firm of Ford, Payne, and Swiesguth, based in New York. Francis Sweisguth had designed the Star-class sloop in 1910 when he was working in the office of naval architect William Gardner, and in 1933 went on to design the Interlake dinghy. Both Star and Interlake remain popular today as top competitive one-design classes, just as Kelpie endures as a testament to inspired original design, fine construction, and meticulous maintenance and restoration. During World War II, Kelpie became part of the famous Coastal Picket Patrol, also known as the Corsair Fleet or the “Hooligan Navy,” started by officers of the Cruising Club of America and overseen by the U.S. Coast Guard. These private vessels, many of them CCA sailboats, patrolled the 50-fathom curve off the U.S. Atlantic coast year-round in fair and foul weather during World War II, on the lookout for German U-boats. Kelpie’s beat was off the coast of Maine. After the war, Kelpie sailed to Mexico, Hawaii, and the Pacific. She eventually settled in California, where she became known as the fastest schooner on the West Coast, sailing against other legends like the 71-foot Alden schooner Dauntless, topsail schooners Alcyone and Spike Africa, and the Fife-designed Astor in the America’s Schooner Cup, the Newport-to-Ensenada Race, and many other events. “In big winds it was like driving a runaway freight train,” said Mike O’Connor, owner of Mariner’s Yacht and Ship Brokerage in Dana Point, California, and Kelpie’s captain for 10 years. “And when we were doing charters it was like giving pony rides on a thoroughbred. Under pretty much any conditions it was a well-mannered boat – one of the best boats I’ve ever driven.” O’Connor broke a 54-year-old record aboard Kelpie in the Newport-to-Ensenada Race in 2000, when Kelpie took first in the Anc

Hull Material 
Max Draft 
Engine Make 
Engine Model 
Length Overall 
Engine Hours 
Number of Engines 
Max Bridge Clearance 
16 ft 6 in
9 ft 8 in
Izuzu 6 cyl
82 ft
85 ft

Contact Information

(510) 814-0522

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Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson
Hello there, fellow maritime enthusiasts! I'm Michael Johnson, your friendly editor here at Ever since I can remember, I've been drawn to the allure of the open sea and the beauty of sailboats gliding through the water. I guess you could say that my heart belongs to the waves. As an editor at, I have the incredible privilege of combining my love for sailing with my knack for attention to detail. Ensuring that our content is accurate, informative, and engaging is both a responsibility and a pleasure. Whether it's reviewing sailboat models, discussing maintenance techniques, or sharing tales of epic ocean adventures, I'm here to bring you the best of the maritime world.


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