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Johan Anker 49ft Q-Class Sloop 1925/2004



Johan Anker 49ft Q-Class Sloop 1925/2004

Designer Johan Anker
Builder Anker & Jensen
Date 1925
Length overall 49 ft 2 in / 14.99 m
Length deck 49 ft 2 in / 14.99 m
Length waterline 31 ft 6 in / 9.6 m
Beam 9 ft 5 in / 2.87 m
Draft 6 ft 9 in / 2.06 m
Displacement 10 Tonnes
Construction Wood plank on frame
Engine Nanni N3.30 29hp Diesel (2018)
Location Italy
Price EUR 600,000

These details are provisional and may be amended



This thoroughbred sailing yacht continues to turn heads and offer only transom views. At around 50 feet on deck, Q-Class yachts offer fun racing for a bunch of friends in boats that look gorgeous - at the dock or on the water - with performance that lives up to looks. As COTTON BLOSSON II she hit the ground running in her debut 2006 season on the Mediterranean classic regatta circuit with restoring owner America’s Cup legend Dennis Conner at the helm. And back to her original name, LEONORE, her astounding winning ways continue under present ownership, with two Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge overall wins and countless class victories to her credit including at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez in consecutive years 2011 to 2016.



During a 2003-2004 second life restoration at San Diego led by Johnny Smullen, she was stripped of non-original and structurally timed-out elements, leaving a remarkable amount of original structure as a sound base to work back up from, with some of the longitudinal backbone saved and about 80% of the original planks. Although she had kept her shape - a huge nod to the quality of the original build in Norway by Anker & Jensen - all her frames required replacing, with laminated oak replacing steamed.

Inevitably an 80-year-old boat will need a new deck and probably a new mast, and she got them. Dennis Conner went for a taller rig than class rules on the basis that she'd been a handicap racer most of her life and would continue to be so - and she could stand it.

The quality of the work was exceptionally high, with Bill Mahyer commenting in a post-restoration WoodenBoat magazine article:

"If they could get her through the doors at Sotheby’s or Christie’s, she’d be right at home among the Hepplewhites and the Chippendales." (WoodenBoat July/August 2005).

Subsequently, during a 2007 refit in Tuscany, Italy, at Cantiere Navale dell'Argentario to improve stronger airs performance and to better conform with the CIM rating rule's heavily-weighted authenticity factor, the mast was shortened closer to Q-Class height and a lighter boom fitted. Subsequent race results speak from themselves.



When shipped to North America in 1925 by her Norwegian builders Anker & Jensen, LEONORE’s design and build provenance added Scandinavian finesse to the American Universal Rule of Measurement – the same rule the larger J-Class yachts were and kind of still are built to. Along with build sister SALLY XIII, LEONORE and her commissioning owner, Robert Amory of Boston, joined a Marblehead Q-Class fleet that would peak at 14 boats by 1929; 14 thoroughbred 50-footers coming to the start line would have been quite something. They weren't the only Universal Rule boats designed in Europe for sailing in US waters; around the same time, for example, Scotland's William Fife and England's Charles Nicholson joined Anker in having R-Class designs racing successfully on the West and East Coasts, some built by American yards. LEONORE was born into a fascinating period of truly international yacht design intrigue set around very sporty boats.

In 1931 she moved to the other side of Cape Cod and the perfect, breezy sailing waters of Buzzards Bay where, as PALOMA, she became Champion boat and won the Block Island Race during James Jackson's short period of ownership. She then became the second of Walter Wheeler's famous COTTON BLOSSOMS, winning the Astor Cup in 1938 (a later COTTON BLOSSOM would be the 75ft William Fife designed 1926 Fastnet Race winner HALLOWE'EN). Once a thoroughbred, always a thoroughbred: by 1940 she had moved inland to Chicago as SCIMITAR with continued handicap racing success in the hands of William Faurot and Charles Deere Wiman, in particular coming 3rd in the 1941 Mackinac Race, and 2nd in 1942 and 1943.

By 1949 she found herself on the US west coast in the ownership (as a gift) of Deere Wiman's daughter Mary Jane Wiman Brinton and regained the name COTTON BLOSSOM II, which she would retain through a succession of west coast owners for over 60 years. These included: Ted Halton, winning line-honours in the 1959 Swiftsure; Ed Turner, who retrieved the prestigious San Diego Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup for the owning club in 1965; the Cole family, with Doug Cole meticulously recording and sharing her history online, for which we are indebted, and, from 2003, America's Cup legend Dennis Conner who gave her a new lease of life through an outstanding restoration. We deal with that elsewhere here, but shouldn't leave California without mentioning that Dennis Conner's link with COTTON BLOSSOM II went back much further than 2003: he was one of the 1965 Lipton Cup-winning crew.

COTTON BLOSSOM II's re-christening took place at San Diego YC on 14 October 2004; a remarkable gathering of past owners. Conner shipped her to the Mediterranean in 2006 to join its thriving circuit of classic regattas, where she has enjoyed outstanding success under his and subsequent ownership, racing among more Universal Rule and other American designs than would be possible in their original home waters.

In 2007, the taller rig installed by Conner was cut back by Cantiere Navale dell'Argentario to a more authentic length, resulting in the improved stronger winds performance that has helped her recent enviable winning ways, continued under present ownership since 2013 - including:

- Cannes Régates Royales - 1st in Class
- Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - 1st in Class

- Les Voiles d'Antibes - 1st in Class
- Argentario Sailing Week - 2nd in Class
- Cannes Régates Royales - 1st in Class
- Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge - Overall Winner - Vintage Class
- Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - 1st in Class

- Les Voiles d'Antibes - 1st in Class
- Argentario Sailing Week - 2nd in Class
- Cannes Régates Royales - 1st in Class
- Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge - Overall Winner - Vintage Class
- Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - 1st in Class

- Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - 1st in Class

- Les Voiles d'Antibes - 1st in Class
- Vela Clásica Menorca - 2nd in Class
- Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge - 3rd Overall - Vintage Class
- Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - 1st in Class

- Les Voiles d'Antibes - 2nd in Class
- Argentario Sailing Week - 1st in Class
- Vele d'Epoca di Imperia - 1st in Class
- Cannes Régates Royales - 2nd in Class
- Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge - 2nd Overall - Vintage Class
- Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - 1st in Class

2017 - Cannes Régates Royales - 3rd in Class

LEONORE has always been a winner!

©2024 Iain McAllister/ Sandeman Yacht Company Ltd.
With thanks to Doug Cole. His history of this special yacht can be found at:



- Mahogany planking (c80% original)
- Laminated American oak frames
- Full length Douglas fir bilge stringers
- Douglas fir beam shelf
- Additional clamp in way of mast
- Double bronze plate hanging knees in way of mast
- Bronze deck head to mast step rod tie-bar



- Teak laid deck
- Varnished mahogany king plank and covering boards
- Raw teak toerails

- Ash and bronze leather covered runner blocks and tackles
- Ash and bronze leather covered mainsheet blocks
- Varnished mahogany lazarette hatch
- Raised varnished mahogany cockpit coaming

6 x (3 each side port and starboard) bronze winches:
- Aft (runners) - Harken 44
- Mid (mainsheet) - Harken 56
- Fwd (jib) Harken - 56
- Engine panel in shallow aft bulkhead locker
- Helmsman seats port and starboard aft
- Sheet tail bags port and starboard
- Trimmer seats port and starboard fwd
- Teak sole with teak foot/ kick strip

Mahogany cabin trunk
- Holly inlay trim
- Mahogany sliding hatch with holly inlay
- Butterfly skylight
- 4 x ports in trunk sides port and starboard
- Teak chocks port and starboard for spinnaker pole

- Varnished mahogany king plank
- Raised foredeck hatch with 'lemon squeezer' prism
- Stainless steel bow roller
- Anchor and warp stowed below

- Boat hook
- Ensign staff



Down 2 steps to engine box and one more to cabin sole
- Varnished mahogany furniture
- Teak and holly cabin sole
- White painted deck head with varnished mahogany trim
- Continuous grabrail moulded carlin
- 2 x Deckhead lights
- GPS plotter in small starboard locker along with isolator panel
- Chart sideboard with holly marquetry compass rose/ to starboard; locker above, drawers under
- Quarter berth to port; burgundy Brazilian leather cushion; locker under and stowage
- 2 x Long burgundy Brazilian leather settees port and starboard
- Burgundy Brazilian leather buttoned back rests
- Stowage under and outboard
- 4 x ports in trunk sides post and starboard
- Butterfly skylight over saloon
- 2 x Fiddled top sideboards port and starboard fwd
- 2 x mounted bulkhead lights
- Lavac manual toilet to starboard
- Slatted forepeak sole
- Half model at house forward



Spruce mast; two sets spreaders plus diamonds
- Topmast backstay added 2007
- 3 x Harken halyard winches
- Bronze spinnaker pole track
- Original bronze gooseneck
- Spruce boom (2007) with 2 x bronze Harken 6 winches for outhaul and topping lift
- Leathered oak boom crutch with deck padeyes offset to starboard

- Mainsail Light, North 2015
- Mainsail Heavy, North 2013
- Genoa Light, North 2015
- Genoa Medium, North 2016
- Genoa Heavy, North 2013
- Genoa 2, North 2013
- Genoa 3, Olympic 2012
- Genoa 4, Olympic 2012
- Spinnaker S2 Light Runner 0.5, North 2015
- Spinnaker S Zero 0.4, North 2013
- Spinnaker 0.75, UK 2010
- SPI Light Runner, Zaoli 2011
- Asymmetric 1, North 2013
- Asymmetric 2, North 2016
- Asymmetric 3, North 2013
- Asymmetric Zero, North 2013



- Nanni N3.30 29hp Diesel (2018)
- 40 Litre Diesel tank under saloon sole
- 2 x 12V 108Ah domestic batteries
- 1 x 12V 108Ah engine start battery



- Silva steering compass
- VHF handheld radio
- Tacktick Racemaster tactical compass
- Tacktick Mn100-2 wind (wireless)
- Tacktick Mn 30 wind (wireless)
- Garmin MNI 10 repeater display hub



- "U" lifebelt
- Automatic bilge pump
- Manual bilge pump in cockpit
- Liferaft
- Fire extinguisher



- Main image: Guido Cantini
- Other sailing images: James Robinson Taylor
- Archive images: WoodenBoat magazine #185
- Hauled out: Facebook, Sailing and Motor Yachts


These particulars have been prepared from information provided by the vendors and are intended as a general guide. The purchaser should confirm details of concern to them by survey or engineers inspection. The purchaser should also ensure that the purchase contract properly reflects their concerns and specifies details on which they wish to rely.


Sandeman Yacht Company

Brokerage Of Classic & Vintage Yachts