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The Ensign By Jabbo Gordon

The Ensign under sail. Photo courtesy Tom Richards.


writer could write a story, nay—a book—on the names that people give their boats—and why. Most folks have a variety of reasons. Your storyteller today has had some unusual ideas and processes. In 1948, he painted his Clearwater Optimist Pram red and named it Scarlett O’Hara because it went with the wind. He called his Moth class sailboat Luna. A luna is a variety of moths. He named his Flying Dutchman Honus Wagner since the Hall of Fame baseball star was nicknamed the Flying Dutchman.


Star #561. This Star (22’), built in 1929 by Joseph Parkman in Brooklyn, New York, is one of the oldest Stars in existence and should belong to someone in the Star family, especially to have and sail during the Star 100th anniversary. The boat was bought by the owner as a DIY wooden boat project. This ended up not being feasible due to the time and the depth of work required. The boat was completely restored at the Lucas Boat Works in Bradenton, Florida. A pictorial record of the restoration is available. The Star is now located in Sarasota, Florida. Hardware is over 95% original. Two wooden masts included. One may be original, the other is newer. Slightly used Harbeck Trailer included. Several sets of older sails also included – from #561 and one other boat. Price $15,000. This figure represents procurement and restoration costs.

Contact Joe Barnette: 941-928-9207 • To read more about the Star, see the SOUTHWINDS article in the August 2010 issue at 52

December 2010


You catch his drift. He wants to build a 22-foot ketch and call it Ketch 22 after the book by a similar name. But if he ever buys an Ensign class boat, your scribe has already decided to name it Pulver from the book and movie, Mister Roberts. Ah, the Ensign. That 22-foot, 6-inch vessel, which was inducted into the American Sailboat Hall of Fame in 2002, is the largest class, by far, of full-keel one-design sailboats in North America. The classic daysailer/racer has 47 active fleets scattered from the East Coast through the Rocky Mountains. Her waterline length is 16 feet, nine inches and the beam is seven feet. She displaces 3,000 pounds and has a draft of three feet. The combined sail area, main and jib, is 290 square feet. If you go to the Web site,, you will discover a plethora of information including a list of officers and fleets as well as schedules, technical advice and even a classified section for those who want to buy or sell an Ensign. Oh yes, there is a photo gallery and a page of history. Carl Alberg designed the boat, and Pearson Yachts of Portsmouth, RI, manufactured 1,776 boats from 1962 through 1983. When Pearson Yachts went out of business, the Ensign Class Association bought the fiberglass molds and the rights to build the boats. Zeke Durica refurbished the molds, established Ensign Spars, Inc., in Dunedin, FL, and became the licensed builder in 1999. He completed his first boat in 2001 and since then, Durica has built about 30. For every boat he completes, the class association receives a royalty. “I actually started with mold number 2,000 because I started construction in the year 2000,” he explained. “So there is a separation in hull numbers.” Durica can build one in about eight weeks under ideal conditions, and a new Ensign costs from $35,000 (without


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