Category: PURITAN

Lines of PuritanEdward Burgess

There was at that time a young naval architect in Boston, about thirty-six years of age, who had achieved considerable local reputation as a yacht designer, though he had only taken it up professionally about two years before. His name was Edward Burgess and his scientific knowledge was acquired as an amateur...

...He was clever, knew boats, and was a first-class yacht sailor.

To him the syndicate of Marblehead went for the plans of the new yacht for cup defense. It was an ambitious undertaking for a designer of his limited experience,James Edward Buttersworth Anglo-American (1817-1894) - PURITAN Races Towards The Narrows Off Brooklyn American Yachts Off New York for up to that time the largest boat he had turned out was only thirty-eight feet over all; and he was not only going up against the New York Yacht Club with its great prestige and resources, but he had to design a sloop larger than any at that time afloat in this country. But the members of the syndicate and his friends had faith in his abilities, and the result was the Puritan, launched from Lawley's yard in May, 1885, and destined to bring international fame to her designer.

While a centerboard sloop, the Puritan was in strong contrast to the older American boats of that rig and embodied many characteristics of the cutter type. She may fairly be called a “compromise sloop”. She was built of wood and in describing her, Mr. W. P. Stephens, a wellknown yachting writer, says:

The sheer plan was that of the cutter, with plumb stem, circular sheer, and fairly high freeboard and bulwarks, and the cutter counter of the day. Her breadth was taken from the sloop, though moderate, and her depth and draft were considerably greater than in the old sloops, but less than in the cutters. Outside of the hull proper there was a clearly defined keel some two feet deep, containing forty-eight tons of lead — the slot for the centerboard being cut through this keel. The greatest draft was at the sternpost, which had more rake than the old sloops, but much less than the deep cutters. The keel rounded up gradually, being well cut away at the forefoot.

Puritan in dry dockShe was a big boat and measured 81 feet 1 inch on the water, 94 feet over all, 22 feet 7 inches breadth of beam, and 8 feet 8 inches draft, which her board when down increased to 20 feet. She spread about 8000 square feet of sail.

The racing dimensions of the Puritan were as follows : Length overall 94 feet; length on water-line 81 feet 1/4 inches; beam 22 feet 7 inches; draft 8 feet 8 inches; length of mast from deck to hounds 60 feet; length of topmast 44 feet; length of mainboom 76 feet 6 inches; length of gaff 47 feet; length of bowsprit outboard 38 feet; length of spinnaker-boom 62 feet; displacement 105 tons; ballast 48 tons; sail area 7,982 square feet; racing measurement 83.85 feet.

The following description of her is given as a matter of record : Her keel was shaped from an oak stick, 56 feet long and 26 inches square. The lead keel was 45 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 16 inches deep. The frames were of the best white oak, spaced 22 inches on the centres. The centre-board, of hard pine, with upper and lower planks of oak, was 22 feet long, 11 feet deep, and 4 inches thick. The five lower strakes of the hull were of oak, and copper-fastened. Above the water-line the planking was of hard pine, 2 3/4 inches thick. On the deck, which was flush, the planking was of white pine, and ran the entire length of the yacht.

Theodore William Richards - The 1885 America's Cup Race, Puritan Vs. GenestaHer frames were double, except those about the stern-post and stem. The rudder-head was of locust, 10 inches in diameter, the rudder of oak, tapered to 2 1/2 inches. Hackmatack was used for twelve pairs of hanging knees, and yellow pine for deck beams, 8 X 10 at the mast and 6 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches elsewhere. The step of the mast, made of iron, weighed 1,000 pounds, and was bolted to the keel. Attached to the lower plank of the centre-board was an iron shoe weighing 900 pounds, and having a knife edge. The stanchions were made of locust, 16 inches forward and 14 inches aft, and the rail of oak. Companion-ways and skyhght were of mahogany. The interior finishing and furnishing was of the best. The main cabin, 16 X 12 feet, was finished in mahogany and pine, and had two mahogany sideboards, 'Puritan 1885 by Leonard J. Pearcelarge lounges, and mahogany posts carved to resemble ships' cables. The ladies' cabin, abaft the main saloon, was beautifully furnished and had every convenience. Two state-rooms, 10 1/2 x 6 1/2 feet, were forward of the cabin, and just forward of these was a lavatory. There was a room for the captain, two for the mates, a roomy galley, and a forecastle with iron swinging berths, which accommodated eighteen men. Crucible steel wire was used for the rigging. Messrs. H. Pigeon & Sons, of East Boston, furnished the spars, and Messrs. J. H. McManus & Son, of Boston, the sails, which were of Plymouth duck.

PURITAN : Data table
Designer Edward 'Ned' Burgess
Builder George Lawley & Son, Boston
Owner Syndicate headed by General C.J. Paine
Club New York Yacht Club
Coupe Edition 5(1885)
Launching May 26, 1885
Type Centerboard compromise sloop
Hull material Wood
Mast material Wood
L.O.A. 28,65 m
L.W.L. 24,98 m
Beam 6,97 m
Draft 2,65/6,10 m
Displacement 105 tons
Sail area 718,38 m²
Mast 20,85 m
Topmast 12,80
Boom 23,21 m
Bowsprit 12 m
Rating 83,85 m
End of life 1925: dismantled and scrapped on the East coast,


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Plan of Puritan created with DELFTSHIP
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Sail plan of Puritan