Yachting World - - 50 Yachts -

De­signer Olin Stephens was just 22 when the 52ft yawl Dorade was launched. The yacht, which he de­scribed as “a kind of awak­en­ing”, was nar­rower in beam and lighter in con­struc­tion than her con­tem­po­raries, partly due to the hull frames be­ing steam-bent rather than sawn. Stephens was con­fi­dent that a slim hull with a deep lead keel would pay off. He was cor­rect – al­though his cal­cu­la­tions were thrown into ques­tion at her launch, when the wa­ter­line stripe was three inches be­low the sur­face.

Any de­trac­tors were si­lenced in the 1931 Transat­lantic Race when Dorade, the third small­est yacht in the fleet, reached the line more than two days ahead of the next. She went on to win the Fast­net Race of the same year by a wide mar­gin.

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