James Edward Buttersworth - The Volunteer - Approximate Original Size - 6x12 1887
was the third and last defender designed by Edward Burgess. She was built in the remarkably short time of sixty-six days, and was launched the last day of June.

It won all the races sailed before the America's Cup.

  • August 5: winner of the Goelet Cup followed by Mayflower, Puritan, Priscilla et Atlantic
  • August 8 et 9: winner of the Morgan Cup entre Vineyard Haven et Marblehead
  • August 11: winner of the Boston Herald Cup the most elaborate and also the most costly trophy
  • August 15: winner of the Providence Cup
  • August 16: winner of the Newport Citizens' Cup

N.Y.Y.C. fleet, Newport harbor - 1888 Aug. 11

The selection trials were held in September. Two races were scheduled, but due to lack of wind, only one was sailed, on September 1887. Volunteer met Mayflower (1886), owned by E.D. Morgan. It easily beat the 'old' defender…

America's Cup races: September 27 to 30, 1887, New York
Best two out of three races.
Thistle vs. Volunteer

Alternating Inside & Outside Course as follows: 20 miles to windward off Scotland Lightship and return

John Mecray was inspired ot paint this depiction of the start of the raceRaces: two sailed.


Volunteer beat Thistle by two wins to nil.

- September 27, 1st race, 32.6 miles, Inside Course: Volunteer beat Thistle by 19 minutes 23 sec in corrected time.
- September 30, 2nd race, 40 miles, Outside Course: Volunteer beat Thistle by 11 minutes 48 sec in corrected time.

Soon after the Cup races, the Eastern YC Commodore, J. Malcolm Forbes, bought Volunteer. He already owned Puritan (1885).

was altered as a schooner.

Henry Forbes becomes the new owner of Volunteer.

Spring 1909, Charlie Barr, threetime America's Cup winning skipper, buys Volunteer.

Charlie Barr sails Volunteer to New York, to the junkyard where it is broken up…

Detroit Publishing Co. no. 05191
Volunteer altered as a schooner - Sept. 8, 1891
Wreck of the Volunteer - 1910
Wreck of the Volunteer - 1910