Boat International Oct11 .pdf

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snapshot: elizabeth meyer

Favorite cruising ground? Baja,
the Sea of Cortez
Favorite port? I don’t like ports; I
only like to be where there is no
one else around.
First job? Sailmaker at Hood
Sailmakers in Marblehead when I
was eighteen
Lifetime ambition? To do more
of what I’m doing
What would we be surprised to
know about you? I’m shy, shy to
the point of social phobia.

Elizabeth E. Meyer

Last book read? Halsey’s
Typhoon, a true story
Favorite watch? An $18 Timex

A feisty though surprisingly shy woman, Elizabeth Meyer is
credited with reviving the J Class, those spectacular sailing
yachts from the 1930’s America’s Cup challenges. She
took on the restoration of two classic Js, Endeavour and
Shamrock V, at the same time, on different continents
and effectively kicked off the modern J-Class era. Boat
International Media recently honored her with the
Superyacht Legacy Award. interview by  Grace Trofa

Drink of choice? Veuve Clicquot

Age/Hometown: 58/Newport,
Rhode Island

a 63-foot overall gaff yawl. Great
boat, just keeps going and going.

Profession: Classic yacht and
classic house restoration project

Do you choose the boats or do
they choose you? I searched out
Bystander and brought her from
Australia to Newport where my
husband restored her at his business, Narragansett Shipwrights. I
get so many calls about boats to
rescue I told the caller regarding
Seminole to take a number, but
he sent photos, and I thought,
“Damn! Such a cool boat.” I had
Steve White do the restoration;
I was afraid my husband would
divorce me if we did another
restoration together.

Favorite hobby? Gardening, my
garden is about 4,000 square
feet, and I am obsessive about
collecting fossils.

First boat: A Concordia yawl
when I was 22
Current boats: Bystander, built
in 1929 for Mike Vanderbilt and
the NYYC syndicate to defend
the America’s Cup. She has been
the tender and towboat for three
of the J Class defenses and also
for four 12 Metre America’s Cup
defenses, a total of 32 years. I
also restored the 1916 Seminole,

Favorite wheels? My Morris
Minor 1000 Traveller. My other
car is the “Millennium Falcon,” a
1999 BMW 540i station wagon
with 150,000 miles, named after
the spaceship from “Star Wars.”
It’s a piece of junk that goes fast!

Last impulsive purchase? The
1934 J Endeavour; I was writing
an article about the remaining
big J-Class boats, and I saw
Endeavour and went absolutely
wacky and bought it. It was crazy.
What possessed you to take on
the restoration of Shamrock V
at the same time? She looked
awful, and I thought what’s better
than one J boat? Two J boats!
Besides, if I have Endeavour
I should have a regatta, so I

needed another boat. I raised the
money and oversaw Shamrock’s
refit in Newport, shuttling back
and forth.
Most memorable sailing experience? Sailing Endeavour for the
first time. All I knew about sailing
Js was from the old guys who
sailed in the 1930s, but it was
always a dream of mine. When
we raised the sails I felt relief, it
was better than any boat I ever
sailed. Incredible.
Why boats, when you choose
not to own anything else? I
can’t charter the type of boats I
like. Plus, when I restore them, I
make them the way I want them
to look, making it always harmonious; I call it “essence of J.”
What do you think has been
your greatest success? The
formation of the International
Yacht Restoration School in 1993
What is the secret of your
success? A clear vision, an incredible attention to detail, absolute
determination and a willingness
to suffer to achieve the goal
What’s on your bucket list?
I just want to keep going at
the rate I’m going, doing the
things I love to do for as long
as possible. Whatever I have
ever wanted to do I have always
done, come hell or high water.
Life lesson learned? That there
are still plenty of lessons I need
to learn. For one, I should learn
to have more patience, but I am
by nature an impatient person.
Favorite quote? Mine is going to
be my epitaph, “Press on regardless, full speed ahead, fools rush
in where angels fear to tread.”

ShowBoats International (ISSN# 0749-2952) is published 10 times a year in Feb., Mar., Apr., May, Jun., Jul./Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec./Jan. ShowBoats International is published by Boat International Media, Ltd., 101 NE 3rd Ave., Ste 1220, Fort Lauderdale,
FL 33301. Periodical postage paid at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ShowBoats International, P.O. Box 28, Congers, NY 10920 Email: Canada Post publications Mail
Sales Product Agreement No. 40687022. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to ShowBoats International, PO Box 503, RPO West Beaver Creek, Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B4RG.


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