In 1937, famed yacht designer Clinton Crane built a fast 12-meter still being talked about today. He designed the Gleam, the first 12-meter to charter Newport, Rhode Island. Crane built it for racing out of the New York Yacht Club. The famed yacht has raced for nearly 80 years. Over its long and illustrious history, Gleam has never been restored, but it’s currently undergoing maintenance and preservation at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard.
Gleam is owned by a Newport, Rhode Island charter group and Bristol Marine, which also owns Boothbay Harbor Shipyard. The yacht was brought to Boothbay Harbor Oct. 20 for structural work, stripping and repainting the hull, recaulking the bottom along with attending to any found structural issues.
Project Manager Dennis Gunderson is guiding the effort which involves two to three craftsmen. Gunderson expects the work finished in May. The project requires special attention to detail. “The challenge with this type of a historically significant sailboat or powerboat is being careful with its providence, and making sure you don’t damage any original materials. If you’re not careful, then you can do more harm than good,” Gunderson said.
Once the project is done, Gunderson expects Gleam to return to the charter business, racing charters and day-sailing charters.