FLOTSAM & JETSAM
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