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Restoration takes many turns

May 3, 2017
Chicane under sail in an undated photo.

Chicane under sail in an undated photo.

Courtesy Bermuda Yachts

Squeezed into a boatshed on Eastern Long Island, the sailing vessel Chicane is a long way and many years from home.

Designed by the well-known and innovative Scottish naval architect Alfred Mylne and built by A.M. Dickie and Sons in 1926, Chicane, with a full keel and long overhang, looks like the kind of sailing ship that is not only fast but comfortable as well. The woodwork on deck and down below is of museum quality. Even sitting in the shed, the feel of the boat is one of power and class. Planked with quarter-sawn Burmese teak, Chicane is 62 feet LOA, draws a little bit more than 7 feet and displaces 26 tons.

The boat during restoration.

Courtesy Bermuda Yachts

Chicane has been in the same Bermudian family since 1958 when William Kempe sailed the boat to Bermuda from England. In 1975, his nephew Reid bought the boat. Shipwrights Joe Postich and Wendy Bliss began principal restoration work on Chicane, often incorporating advice and support from experts in the industry, including Donn Costanzo of Greenport, N.Y.-based Wooden Boatworks Inc.

Alfred Mylne began his career as an apprentice to George Lennox Watson, who designed the Royal Cutter Yacht HMY Britannia, a racing cutter. He set up his own office in 1896 and was instrumental in establishing the International Metre Rule. He also designed race-winning 19-, 15- and 12-meter yachts. Though often overshadowed in public knowledge by his Scottish contemporary, William Fife, Mylne is now considered to have been an innovative designer in his day.

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