Y14 Contessa


Yankee one design #14 was built in 1940 at Quincy Adams and was originally in the Beverly fleet.

About Y14 Contessa

Yankee one design #14 was built in 1940 at Quincy Adams and was originally in the Beverly fleet.  It was built for and originally owned by John D. Rockefeller (III).  Her prior names were “Honey,” “Snow White”(originally) and “Gadfly.”

The record of the Quincy Adams yard shows construction of Yankee #14 in 1940.

In the later 1940’s she was campaigned successfully by W. Davis Taylor, named “Red Jacket.”  Red Jacket won the July series, August series and Season Championship in 1948.

In 1950-51 she raced at Beverly YC as “Gadfly,” owned by Henry W. Forester

After that she no longer appears in the BYC yearbooks, perhaps that is when she moved to Lake Champlain.

The boat’s history has not been discovered for the period 1952-2012 although we believe one family held her for several decades. Gary Ryan owned the boat from about 2012 to 2016 on Lake Champlain, VT.

Recent photos

After about a 5-year hiatus out of the water, Dawn returned to Lake Erie in the summer of 2013.

Recent photos

After about a 5-year hiatus out of the water, Dawn returned to Lake Erie in the summer of 2013.

These five photos of Dawn sailing were taken by a local (Cleveland) professional photographer, Dave Mathias. He was out taking pictures of a Friday night race that Betsy was competing in, and John and a couple of friends were out on Dawn, spectating. It was a gorgeous night, with perfect sailing conditions, and Dave got some great photos. (left)


 A trip to the Sandusky Boat Rendezvous

Owner Charlie Steigerwald and friend Jack Haflinger (former owner of Summer Girl) sailed the boat to Sandusky, Ohio, about a 50-mile trip each way, and slept aboard for the entire 5-day trip.

You can see that at this point, we have a new main, but no roller furling jib yet.

In the boat are Charlie Steigerwald and Jack Haflinger, and on the dock are Betsy, her children, Ellen Haflinger and Jane Steigerwald.

On the way home from the Rendezvous, they are sailing with the original spinnaker.


The first year Dawn was back in the water

A fun sail with friends Tom and Jennifer Rocks, my kids Charlie and Joy, and me.

Waving from the cockpit: Tom Rocks and my dad, Charlie Steigerwald.

The boat looks pretty good, but those sails have got to go!


restoration photos

This series was taken in September, just after dad bought the boat (again).

Arriving on the trailer… this is what she looked like before the restoration (of course all the rot doesn’t show up in photos!)

That’s Betsy’s son Charlie in the cockpit.

Dad still has the doors to the cabin, but never put them back on the boat, as they just tend to get in the way.

Looking aft. You can see the round glass by Charlie’s feet where the original compass is still mounted. I was interested to see that Venture has a bulkhead to make a stern lazarette. Dawn does not, and as far as I know she never did. The open area behind the tiller makes a convenient spot to store the swim ladder, or coolers, or other large items.

Inside the cabin. The original head was long gone, but you can still see the valves that dumped the contents directly into the lake. Pretty much all the ribs and floors below the waterline were rotten, and have been replaced.

2012 – 2013

Recent work

Most of the focus for the year was getting the bottom prepared, especially after 5 years of indoor storage, which really tends to dry the wood out.

In the winter of 2012 – 2013 we did a complete repaint of the topsides, taking her down to wood and refinishing with 3 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint, which will hopefully last for a good number of years. Luckily it was a long winter, which also gave us time to put on a new coat of bottom paint, deck paint, and of course varnish.

Y14 Contessa

boat stats

Quincy Adams Yard
home port:
Chautauqua Lake
Very Good Condition:
Contessa was restored in 2016

Update Nov 7, 2016: Y14, now “Contessa,” is restored.  She made the road trip from Berkshire Wooden Boat in Pittsfield, MA to her new home at Chautauqua Lake.

Have learned that old boats require a lot of good friends pitching in with time, talent, and equipment.

Can’t wait for spring!

-Tom Hubbell