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America, Circa 1962

TANK TEST MODEL FOR THE AMERICA'S CUP DEFENDER "WEATHERLY"

By Lou Banks, Jr. Built up in lifts from wood. Interior of the hull has been hollowed. Exterior of the hull has been shaped, faired and finished to a race finish. Sand glued in place on the leading edge of the bow down to the bottom of the keel; this sand was used to cause a disturbance to the laminar flow so that the flow below the waterline and around the keel could be more easily documented. Exterior of hull marked #2281, the identification number for the Davidson Lab at Stephens Institute, where the model was tested. Interior of hull marked "Weatherly - Feb. 5 1960 - L.B. Jr.".
Height 10.5". Length 62". Width 11".
Condition: Minor damage to back edge of keel

  • Provenance: Bill Luders, Luder's Yachts. Benjamin D. Gilbert, Darien, Connecticut. Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, Maine. Robert Wallstrom, Blue Hill, Maine. Don Mallow, Blue Hill, Maine. Christie's East, Maritime Sale, New York, August 2000, purchased by Richard Kelton. The Kelton Collection of Marine Art & Artifacts. Tow Tank models are engineering tools used to evaluate the hydrodynamic flow around hulls, keels, rudders and propellers. They are built to a specified scale and then towed through a long shallow pool at varying speeds and angles. Changes in the model are analyzed, evaluated and finalized, and then incorporated into the final design. The most famous tanks in the U.S. are at the Webb Institute, David Taylor Tow Tank and at the Steven's Institute. This model, No. 2281, represents proposed changes to Weatherly as of February 5, 1960. It, and the previous lot, were both made by the same modeler, Lou Banks, Jr., who made models for the Steven's Institute. The 12-meter yacht Weatherly was designed by Philip Rhodes. She was built by Luders Marine Construction in 1958 for a syndicate of owners formed by Henry D. Mercer, Cornelius S. Walsh and Arnold D. Frese. Skippered from 1958 through 1961 by Arthur Knapp, Weatherly competed with Columbia , Easterner , and Vim for the right to defend the America's Cup, but she was eliminated in the 1958 selection trials by Columbia , who went on to successfully defend the Cup that year. After her loss, Weatherly was evaluated using several tank test models to help with her reconfiguration in anticipation for the 1962 America's Cup defense. Modified by Bill Luders at Luders Marine, Weatherly was altered with a shortened stern, squared-off rudder and numerous small changes in order to save weight. The weight saved in the redesign was put into the keel to improve her ability to carry sail. The defender selection trials pitted Weatherly against Columbia , Easterner and the newly designed and built Nefertiti . On 25 August 1962, the N.Y.Y.C. selected Weatherly to defend the Cup against Australian challenger Gretel . Skippered by Emil "Bus" Mosbacher, Jr., in September 1962, Weatherly defended the Cup 4–1 against Gretel . Weatherly continued to be used as a trial horse in America's Cup competition through the 1970 season when she was, surprisingly given her age, invited to enter the defender's trials. Following that season, an engine was installed at the Derector shipyard in Mamaroneck, New York. She then motored up the Hudson and through the Erie Canal to the Great Lakes and on to the Palmer Johnson Shipyard in Wisconsin, where she was modified for offshore racing both on deck and below. Weatherly had an active racing career on the Great Lakes and the SORC under the ownership of Doug Jones. In the mid-1970s, Weatherly was sold. She is now normally berthed dockside at the Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina and is available for charter. She was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

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