y13_seabo_Cape-Code-Crossing

SEABO II, Cape Cod Crossing. Owner John E. Burns Jr. and his brother Paul.

Some people say you shouldn’t build the 13th hull in a one-design class, but the Yankees have two!

Boats Y8 through Y15 were built at the Quincy Adams boatyard in 1940 as the original Beverly Yacht Club fleet, but Y13 was holed and sank in a hurricane while still in the care of the yard.

The boat was recovered, but her owner, Fitch Ingersoll, refused delivery and requested the yard build him a new boat. It did, Y13 SENTRY. This sailboat changed hands over the years and was renamed REGARDLESS, RED JACKET II and finally, CRUSADER. It shows up in the YOD yearbooks with more than its share of trophies, and was ultimately retired.

The other half of the Y13 story is told by Paul Burns, the brother of her first owner: With his Army discharge in 1946, my brother, John E. Burns Jr, was intent upon reserving some time for himself. He found [the now repaired] Yankee No.13 complete with mast, etc. in that shed at Quincy Shipyard and purchased it. A new set of sails from Cousins & Pratt, N.Y. (with the number “1” but lacking the “3” for 13) completed the deal, and we joined the Boston Yacht Club and started racing and cruising New England waters.

y13_SEABO-II-at-Scituate

SEABO II at Scituate.

We cruised in her from Casco Bay, Maine, along the eastern seaboard – through the Cape Cod Canal and finally Edgartown and on to Long Island Sound, N.Y. We cruised and raced (leaving heavy cruising gear in our skiff at the moorings.) She returned safely each trip. She was a great racer. We won in our class at Marblehead and Edgartown Race Week, and, I believe we made the Photo Cover of Yachting Magazine as we made our sunset entrance into Gloucester Harbor.

Our cruising experiences were accomplished dead reckoning, without marine engine, radio, radar or other advanced means of navigation, but charts. We sailed both night and day … and have stories of our experiences, but I was just a crew member, not the skipper and really can’t publish any.i.e. A spinnaker run “down-east” – right into a pod of whales! We sailed 3 years before WWII, and another 5 or 6 after. “Torpedoed” at Woodshole, MA by a submerged channel buoy? Many lessons learned – that I should take my own kids, years later, out onto the Pacific in a 25′ sloop – so they might learn the ways – and the mysteries of wind and sail and the treasures of an ocean’s keep?

John received his sailing instruction at TABOR ACADEMY, summer session, 1938. The first SEABO was a 16-1/2 ft. Winabout class purchased at the Sportsman’s Show, Boston in 1938 and delivered on-mooring at Scituate Harbor, MA in 1939. The name is a contraction of SEA – HOBO, as the Burns brothers sailed New England waters much as hobos. You can imagine the difference in handling the Winabout vs. the Yankee (with 1000 lbs added to her keel.)

Plans change and SEABO II was sold to a gentleman who shipped her to the Great Lakes.

– Paul Burns
9/29/09

y13_SEABO-II-Welcome-Aboard

Welcome Aboard!

That’s the last we’ve heard of Y13 SEABO II but the Yankees were sent back and forth between fleets so often that it’s feasible she returned to New England, still with a Y1 on her mainsail. This may even help explain the mystery of why more people have claimed to own Y1 than is physically possible.