Classic Sailboats Online Feature

LUCIE History and Background Featured on Classic Sailboats Online: 

Clinton Crane 1931 International 6 Meter “Lucie”

The last six meter designed by Clinton Crane, and arguably his best. Lucie was built to the second iteration of the International 6 Metre Rule. She was built in Henry B. Nevin’s yard on City Island in New York in 1931, for the noted sportsman Briggs Cunningham, and named after his first wife, Lynn (Lucie) Bedford Cunningham Warren. Lucie was named to three successive British-American Cup teams, her last in 1936. She is the only Crane design to stay in major competition after WWII. In addition to campaigning Lucie, Briggs Cunningham also won both the Prince Edward VII Gold Cup, the so-called “Bermuda Gold Cup” and the Scandinavian Gold Cup in 1937 with US 72 Lulu. Among his many other sporting pursuits, Mr Cunningham also won the America’s Cup in 1958 on the 12 meter Columbia.

Lucie often beat newer designs on the Great Lakes in the 50’s, such as US 81 Goose and US 87 May Be VII, while named ‘Stork’. An interesting anecdote about her comes from Barbara Castle Poole von Schilcher: “The ‘Stork’ was originally the ‘Lucie’, but the first year my grandfather (Wilmot Vail ‘Rooney’ Castle) had her, 1940, all of the guys who crewed in the forward cockpit became fathers, so he renamed her ‘Stork’ … I was the first of those forward cockpit babies.”

After a successful racing career over 75 years, she was rebuilt in the exact manner of her original construction, including shellac between her double planked hull. There are two other Crane 6 metre designs in existence, US 43 Sprig, and US 33 Clytie II.

Clinton Crane was a major force in the development of Corinthian yachting, a gentleman yacht designer, and an active 6 metre campaigner. His multiple challenges and general pursuit of the Seawanhaka International Challenge Cup are well covered in the history of that club. Mr. Crane opened the door to Olin Stephens’ career as a yacht designer, literally stepping aside when he realized that he was potentially taking clients away from Olin, a young man at the time, and whose livelihood depended on design commissions. Olin credited Mr. Crane with allowing him to succeed. Mr. Crane also designed 12’s and 8’s, as well as other sailing and power craft, including dinghies, unlimited speedboats and high speed luxury commuters.

Length LOA: 37′
Length on waterline: 23′
Beam: 6′
Draft: 5′ 6″
Displacement: 8,300 Lbs.

Partial History of Ownership:
Year: 2011; Name: Lucie; Current owner: Matt Brooks

Year: 2005; Name: Lucie; Previous owner: Gregory C. Carroll

Year: 2004; Name: Lucie; Previous owner: Thomas Owsley Rodes

Year: 1986; Name: Lucie; Previous owner: Patrick T. Henley

Year: ;Name: Lucie; Previous owner: Peter J. Durand and Frederick M. Miller

Year: 1968; Name: Stork; Previous owner: Mathews

Year: 1962; Name: Stork; Previous owner: Hugh T. Brown

Year: 1940; Name: Lucie / Stork; Previous owner: Wilmot Vail ‘Rooney’ Castle

Year: 1931; Name: Lucie; Owner: Briggs Cunningham

February 2005 – Lucie was recently moved to Maine to join the growing fleet. She will require some work, but may sail a season before her new owner decides how he would like to proceed.

November 2006 – Lucie is currently in the midst of a major restoration at Brion Rieff’s in Maine.

May 2011 – Matt Brooks purchases Lucie and Brion Rieff finishes her in time ship the boat to Helsinki for the 2011 World Cup.

August 2011 – Matt and team place 6th of 45 boats at the World Cup to win both the KSSS trophy (highest placing Rule 1 or 2 boat) and the Baum + Koenig trophy, which is awarded to the highest placing boat with a wood mast and Dacron sails.

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