Soundings - - Flotsa & M Jetsam - BY PIM VAN HEM­MEN BY­STANDER


Mod­ern ten­ders might be out­fit­ted with 1200 or more horse­power and be ca­pa­ble of speeds of 50 knots or more. Be­yond their role, these speed demons have lit­tle in com­mon with the 42-foot By­stander, which was the long­est-serv­ing and prob­a­bly the most suc­cess­ful race ten­der in the his­tory of the Amer­ica’s Cup.

By­stander was com­mis­sioned and owned by Harold S. (Mike) Van­der­bilt and acted as tow­boat, crew car­rier and sail car­rier to three vic­to­ri­ous Amer­ica’s Cup cam­paigns in 1930, 1934 and 1937. In 1958 she served as ten­der to Vim, which was nar­rowly beaten to de­fend the Auld Mug by Columbia.

By 1960, By­stander had landed in Aus­tralian hands and served in an­other three Amer­ica’s Cup cam­paigns, tend­ing to Gre­tel, Dame Pat­tie and Gre­tel II. She was res­cued in 2002 by se­rial J-Class re­storer El­iz­a­beth Meyer who shipped her back home and paid for a 23,000-hour re­fit that took nearly seven years. Meyer re­placed the 170hp gas en­gine with a 440-hp Yan­mar turbo diesel, thus putting By­stander a lit­tle closer in the power depart­ment to her mod­ern sis­ters. She re­cently sold for $1.6 mil­lion. Ly­man-Morse at the New­port Ship­yard, 1 Wash­ing­ton Street, New­port, RI 02840. (401) 6195350. ly­man­morse.com/boats/by­stander-314

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