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Sparkman & Stephens 52ft Yawl 1950



Sparkman & Stephens 52ft Yawl 1950

Designer Sparkman & Stephens
Builder Simms Bros., Dorchester, MA, USA
Date 1950
Length overall 52 ft 0 in / 15.85 m
Length deck 52 ft 0 in / 15.85 m
Length waterline 34 ft 0 in / 10.36 m
Beam 11 ft 6 in / 3.5 m
Draft 7 ft 0 in / 2.13 m
Displacement 22 Tonnes
Construction Carvel mahogany/white cedar on oak
Engine Perkins 4108 50hp Diesel
Location USA
Price USD 315,000
Vat VAT Not Paid

These details are provisional and may be amended



This beautiful, fast and strong Sparkman & Stephens yawl is sailed almost weekly on San Francisco Bay, aired and wafted by the preserving tang of the salty sea. It's been BOUNTY’s good fortune for the past twenty years or so to have found owners willing to keep her to the manner born in a place so fabulous for sailing, where she is used exactly as envisaged eighty years ago by her designers Aage Nielsen and Olin Stephens, and cared for by one of the best shipwrights we know. BOUNTY’s next owners have a head start whether it be for racing, cruising or passagemaking – or all of it. She’s comfortable and capable in a very authentic classic way, and, of course, strikingly beautiful. S & S yawls continue to be flavour of the month on the Mediterranean circuit, and BOUNTY's launch date qualifies her for the Vintage Division there, to race alongside many illustrious sisters.

Please contact our Licensed California Yacht Broker, Paul Buttrose on (+1) 954 294 6962 or email [email protected]



In the chaos and exhaustion that comes with having a new baby in the house, my beautiful wife said an astonishing thing: "Our boat, (we had a 35ft wooden sloop back then) is going to be too cramped now that there are four of us. We'll need a bigger boat." Had I been more responsible, I probably would have said, "What?" Instead, I said, "Don't worry about it darling, I'll take care of it."

We had owned the sloop for 15 years, and we had learned to live with the special needs of a wooden sailboat; so, when I saw an advertisement in WoodenBoat magazine that featured a "well founded," 52 foot, S&S yawl, I called the listing broker. His description of the boat was all poetry, and he hinted that several offers were already in the works. Clearly, this was no time to dawdle. I kissed my wife and baby daughter good bye, gave my little son a hug, and caught the next flight from San Francisco for New York, to see this wondrous vessel. On inspection, the boat was substantially shy of "well founded." In fact, she was a mess; but she had a perfect sheer, lovely long overhangs, and she was a Sparkman & Stephens. We negotiated a price, and by the end of the day, Susan and I were the new owners of a 22-ton sailboat that was in unseaworthy condition, and 3000 miles from home. That was in 1997.

We got the boat to California (don't ask), spent months cleaning, sanding, varnishing, painting, re-plumbing, re-wiring, re-rigging, and then... we re-named her BOUNTY, and we raced her out to Hawaii in July of '98. Twenty-one hundred nautical miles in 12 days, we finished fifth in a fleet of seventy boats. We sailed her back to San Francisco, and started sanding, varnishing and painting, all over again.

Today BOUNTY is berthed in Sausalito. We're still varnishing and painting, and doing plenty of sailing too. San Francisco Bay is a fantastic playground for sailors: there's lots (and lots) of wind, and it's beautiful. When we're feeling adventurous, we can head out to the Farallone Islands, down the coast to Half Moon Bay, or a bit farther south to Monterey Bay; and when the weather is just right, we'll head up the coast to Drake's Bay - named for its discoverer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed the GOLDEN HINDE along this stretch of the Northern California coast in 1579.



Sparkman and Stephens design No. 379.1

BOUNTY’s lines were drawn in 1940 by K. Aage Nielsen, then working with S&S in their Boston office, but with the outbreak of the Second World War, the drawings for design number 379 were shelved away for a better day.

After the war, highly successful Rochester, New York-based electro-mechanical control systems entrepreneur George Ford went to Sparkman & Stephens to commission the design for a new ocean racing yawl of about 50 feet. Olin Stephens recommended design number 379, Ford agreed, and the Simms Brothers shipyard of Dorchester, Massachusetts was contracted to build the boat. Connecting number 379 with George Ford was a not uncharacteristic stroke of genius by Stephens.

Ford was a highly competitive yachtsman: in younger days a leading pioneer in the development of high performance dinghy racing in the USA, in particular on Lake Ontario with the International 14ft Class. Summer of 1936 he competed in Europe: at Aarhus, Denmark; on the Clyde, Scotland for the Prince of Wales Cup; and won the Isaac Bell Trophy as overall winner in the dinghy class at that season’s Cowes Week. His subsequent importation of one of Uffa Fox’s most successful designs to Rochester Yacht Club, H.A. Morris’s ‘R.I.P.', stirred things up in the USA.

To such a competitor, S&S design number 379 would have instantly appealed; the first boat to these lines, Remigo Hernandorena’s Cuban-built CICLON, had been cleaning up in late 1940s Florida and north Caribbean racing, including victories in the 1947 St. Petersburg - Havana Race, and in the SORC series, and beating STORMY WEATHER, REVONOC and TICONDEROGA to win the 1948 Miami – Nassau race.

The short-lived Simms Bros yard had gained pre and post-war notice as builders of some memorable and successful classics, including the 1938 Sam Crocker-designed 52ft cutter MERCURY, and the 1948 S&S 58ft yawl ARGYLL, winner of the 1950 Newport - Bermuda Race - both yachts nowadays very well-known on the Mediterranean classic regatta circuit. Aage Nielsen worked with Simms Bros. during the Second World War designing fast submarine chasers; it may be fair to think there's a connection there...

So, when launched at a cost of $50,000 as VENTURE III, both boat and owner had reputations to uphold, and of course she proved fast and strong right out the blocks. In her first season she won the Lake [Ontario] Yacht Racing Association’s 400-mile Rochester Race, experiencing up to 35 knot headwinds and steep seas from Toronto back to Rochester. And in 1951 she came second to Philip Rhodes’s beautiful and mighty ESCAPADE in winds of up to 50 knots, and won the Association’s shorter, but no less tough Freeman Cup distance race.

Ford sold VENTURE III in 1958 and over the next two decades the boat acquired the new name MAGIC VENTURE as she passed through a succession of owners in the American Northeast. In the mid-1970s she was purchased by a musician from New York who preferred cruising to racing. He sailed her for about 25 years, taking the boat to New England, up the coast to the Canadian Maritimes, down to the Caribbean, out to Bermuda, and back to New York, which is where the present owners came into the picture.

As BOUNTY, for over 20 seasons she’s been one of the prettiest, toughest, fastest, and most loved and sailed classics on San Francisco Bay and beyond.

©2024 Iain McAllister/ Sandeman Yacht Company Ltd.



“As I think of Aage, the one word that describes him completely is integrity. He knew what he was doing and he took no shortcuts. His drawings, complete and attractive, his care to skip nothing proper to the boat’s purpose, his full acceptance of the need to use an able builder and then to follow through at the builder’s yard and see the new boat to full completion, the spirit behind all this activity, can all be characterised by the single word ‘integrity’. That was Aage Nielsen.”

Foreward to 'Worthy of the Sea - K. Aage Nielsen and His Legacy of Yacht Design' by Maynard Bray and Tom Jackson (Tilbury House Publishers 2006)



In the first year of present ownership, 1997, BOUNTY enjoyed the intimate talents of Richmond, California shipwright Jeff Rutherford. She was refastened and had a new rudder fitted, and thereafter has been under his watchful, experienced and skilful eye.



- Double planked with mahogany over white cedar
- White oak backbone and frames
- Full length clamp as well as beamshelf
- Additional clamp and strapping in way of mast
- Bronze refastened by Jeff Rutherford of Rutherford Boat Works (1997)
- Bronze keelbolts (1992)
- Teak laid deck on oak deck beams
- Mahogany deck structures



- Chromed bronze stanchions
- Nickel plated bronze pulpit and pushpit
- Double guard rails
- Mahogany capping rail and taffrail
- Chromed bronze mooring fairleads port and starboard
- Chromed bronze ensign staff socket
- Downwind sheet padeyes port and starboard
- Chromed bronze warping winch on mahogany plinth
- Bronze backstay chainplate eye
- Lazarette hatch
- Chromed bronze cowl ventilator
- Bronze mooring cleats port and starboard

- Single spreaders mizzen mast inside aft cockpit coaming
- Merriman halyard winches
- Well-type cockpit with raised coamings
- Arched, full cockpit width, raw teak slatted, helm seat
- 2 x Chromed bronze self-tailing headsail sheet winches on plinths
- 2 x Bronze Merriman running backstay winches on mahogany plinths
- Ship’s wheel at pedestal/ steering compass binnacle
- Barient bronze self-tailing mainsheet winch on stainless steel plinth
- Leathered mainsheet blocks
- Main boom gallows

- Mahogany sided cabin trunk with offset companionway
- Instrument readouts facing cockpit
- Butterfly skylight over aft stateroom
- Handrails port and starboard
- Garage for companionway sliding hatch
- Liferaft stowage to port
- Butterfly skylight over saloon
- Gas bottles box aft of mast
- Single spreaders and diamond main mast
- Dorade boxes and chromed bronze cowls port and starboard
- Spinnaker pole stowage to port
- Boathook stowage to starboard
- Smoked plexiglass-topped mahogany-framed hatch over galley
- Bronze track for staysail boom sheet
- 12 x Bronze opening ports

- Panama fairlead through max beam toerail port and starboard
- Bronze capping rail headsail tracks and cars port and starboard

- Foredeck hatch over forecabin
- 1 x Dorade box with chromed bronze cowl
- Bronze staysail book gooseneck
- Bronze forestay chainplate eye
- Maxwell-Neilsson vertical drum and gipsy anchor windlass
- Panama fairleads through port and starboard
- Bronze capped Sampson post
- 30kg Bruce bower anchor
- Bronze bow roller in anchor shoe offset to port
- 300ft/ 100m 5/16in/ 8mm chain
- 200 ft/ 60m 3/8in/ 9mm chain to 1in/ 25mm anchor rode



Down six step companionway ladder to accommodation
- Traditional navigation chronometer at top step
- Grabrails at carlins

Lobby area
- Stand up chart table and wet hanging locker to starboard
- VHF radio over
- Drawers and lockers under and over
- Side deckhead light over chart table
- Ships breaker panel to port

Head Compartment to port
- Lavac marine toilet with anti-siphon loop
- Ceramic sink bowl
- Drawers and lockers
- Shaded bulkhead light

Door aft to Aft Stateroom
- Bunks port and starboard
- Shelves at beamshelf port and starboard
- Sideboard with drawers, lockers and mirror athwartships
- Butterfly skylight in deckhead
- Deckhead light
- 2 x Reading lights

Forward to Saloon
- White painted with varnished mahogany trim
- Passage offset to starboard
- Traditional 2 settees and 2 x pilot berths layout
- Stowage under
- Gimballed drop-leaf mahogany dining table
- Dickinson diesel heater at port aft bulkhead
- Sideboard and drinks locker port forward
- Large hanging locker starboard forward
- Fiddled shelf over
- Butterfly skylight in deckhead
- 2 x Bookshelves
- Shelves at beamshelf
- 2 x reading lights

Forward to Galley
- To port
- Stainless steel sink
- Mixer pressure water tap, and fresh water hand pump
- Force 10 x burner propane cooker and oven
- Stowage under
- Plate and utensil racks over sink
- Refrigerated icebox with work surface to starboard
- Lockers outboard and fwd
- Side deckhead light
- Plexiglass/ mahogany hatch in deckhead

Forward to forecabin
- 2 x v-berths
- chain locked fwd
- Forehatch in deckhead
- Shelf at starboard beam shelf
- Deckhead light



- Sitka spruce believed original masts
- Sitka spruce booms and spinnaker pole
- 1 x 19 Stainless steel standing rigging; swaged and Norseman terminals
- Stainless steel chainplates

- Shaefer headsail furler
- Lewmar Barient and Merriman winches

- Mainsail
- Mizzen
- Boom staysail
- Yankee
- Asymmetric spinnaker
- Mizzen staysail in spinnaker cloth

- Sail and hatch covers
- Companionway sprayhood
- Full winter cover



- Perkins 4108 Diesel 50hp (1976 – completely rebuilt 2013)
- Volvo Penta hydraulic drive
- Max Prop 3-bladed feathering propeller

- Hynautic steering for autopilot (disconnected)

- 12V Electrical system
- 3 x 12V GP31 Batteries
- 60A Alternator
- Pro Mariner 60A shore power battery charger
- 30A Shore power cable

- Sea Frost refrigerator
- Dickinson bulkhead mounted diesel heater

- Bronze sea cocks and valves
- 8 Gal plastic black water tank
- Hot water tank 6 Gal : engine calorifier or AC immerser
- Monel fresh water tank c 200 Gal under sole
- 2 x Monel fuel tanks 100 Gal
- Racor and secondary filter



- Danforth 6 in steering compass
- Weems and Plath “Chelsea” Barometer and Clock
- Chronometer

- Standard and H/H West Marine VHF radios
- ICOM SSB with email/ modem
- Iridium Satphone
- Stereo radio / CD

- Depth readout
- Autopilot (disconnected)



- Deck mounted gas bottle stowage box
- 12V Solenoid gas safety shut-off
- Liferaft, Avon 8-person (requires service)
- MOB pole and line
- Manual Edson bilge pump in cockpit
- Manual, dual acting Whale bilge pump in aft cabin
- Rule 2500X with float switch bilge pump
- Rule 250 electric bilge pump
- Bilge alarm
- Horseshoe and Lifesling MOB devices
- Lifejackets: USCG Type II and III
- Flares
- Hand held fog horn
- Ship’s bell
- Fire extinguishers
- Carbon Monoxide detector



- Stow away cockpit table
- Cockpit cushions
- Achilles inflatable tender
- 15hp Honda 4-stroke outboard motor
- Hand held searchlight
- Dock lines
- Fenders



Main & 3rd image: Rolex Big Boat Series/ Sharon Green/ Peter Lyons
Majority of other images: Peter Lyons


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