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“Launching Day – MARIAM, 1897”

By Russ Kramer 16″ x 20″

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Gil Smith waves to a crowd gathered at his boatyard in Patchogue, New York, in May of 1897 to watch the launching of his most recent build, the 26’ catboat MARIAM, named for his wife. Mrs. Smith, seen at the tiller, was a trusted associate in the business, sewing all the sails for his boats on her pedal-powered machine. Their son Asa is seen below hoisting the mainsail; he would take over the business in 1934. Smith would sell MARIAM later in the summer to C.G. Hedge who renamed her SWEETHEART and in her won the Great South Bay Regatta. She was said to be the “fastest thing on the Bay.” This recreation of MARIAM’s launching day was for a client building a replica of MARIAM named WHIRLWIND II. To read more about the building of WHIRLWIND II go here

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