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Yacht the American

sails, body and carried

YACHT THE AMERICAN I suppose that the greatest revolution in yachting which has ever taken place in this coun try was caused by the appearance in the Solent of the famous America, in 185]. She was a schooner of about 170 tons, and she was built and her sails were set upon a novel principle, she had a good deal of beam carried well aft, a shallow body, but a deep keel aft, and a long sharp bow, with a very light draught of water forward ; the deck view of her was something like an elongated pear in shape,with the small end forward; in con sequence of her light draught of water forward she carried no jib, only a staysail, foresail, and mainsail, all of which were laced to booms, and in light winds she carried a jib-headed topsail ; she had no fore-topmast All her sails set as flat as boards, and she " looked " and " fetched " about a point nearer to the wind than any of our English yachts of that day, notwith standing that she was a schooner, and the conse quence was that she beat them all into a cocked hat, and thus caused a great revolution in the art of yacht building. At first she was copied

slavishly with more or less success, but very soon she improved upon ; the long sharp bow and the flat sails were adhered to, but the shallow body was given up, and deep bodies and lead ballast soon came into vogue. The America herself was sold to English owners for a large sum of money, and never did much good afterwards, she was badly put together, of unseasoned timber, and very soon got rotten ; the Yankees not only beat us, but sold us also. Our yacht builders then woke up, and almost every year since that has seen something new in the field, generally, but not always, an improvement. Occasionally some famous old craft likA the Arrow has kept the supremacy, or at any rate made a gallant fight against all corners for many years, but eventually has had to succumb to a deeper body and more lead ballast, until it almost seems as if there was no limit to the deepening of the body and the piling on of lead outside and inside, and the consequent hoisting up of larger sails.