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Onawa
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Onawa



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Onawa was designed by the renowned naval architect, W. Starling Burgess, of the firm Burgess, Rigg, & Morgan, Ltd in New York City. She was number six of six nearly identical twelve meter yachts built for prominent members of the New York Yacht Club in 1928 by the world famous Abeking & Rasmussen yard of Lemwerder, Germany. US-6 was built for W. Cameron Forbes of Boston and was sailed in the summer seasons out of Hadley Harbor, at the northern end of the Elizabeth Island chain.

Mr. Forbes, also a member of the Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass., campaigned his twelve meter vigorously under the watchful eye of Captain Jackson, her professional skipper. Onawa served her original owner for six fine years. In 1934, US-6 was sold to Mr. Horace F. Smith, Jr., of Philadelphia. Mr. Smith sailed his yacht out of Jamestown, Rhode Island under the Conanicut Yacht Club burgee until the Second World War.

During the 1940s, Onawa lost her lead keel to the war effort when it was used for submarine ballast. Her fourth owner, Mr. John F Requardt, Jr., bought her keel-less after the 1941 Harvard-Yale boat race.

During the war, she was laid up at the Williams & Manchester Boat Yard, near the present location of the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, Rhode Island. Here they poured a primitive keel which was with the boat until her current restoration began in January of 2000. Mr. Requardt spent a season with her in New England before sailing her down to the Chesapeake Bay. Her homeport was Annapolis, Maryland until 1953 when she was sold to Mr. Ward Bright. He changed her name to Horizon, installed an engine and sailed her to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands.Horizon's new owner was no stranger to fine old yachts, for he was also the owner of the three-masted schooner and transatlantic record holder, Atlantic.

From this point on Onawa's history is vague. Years later, she ended up in a boat yard in City Island, New York with the name Lithuanica on her transom. In 1991, Bob Tiedemann trucked her to Newport with the hope of an eventual restoration. She was laid up for nearly ten years when a group was formed by Earl McMillen, Chuck Parrish and Will Lobb to restore her. Beginning in January of 2000, a complete keel-up restoration took place which enabled Onawa to participate in the America's Cup jubilee in Cowes, England in August of 2001. This was followed by the Classic Yacht Series in the Mediterranean, where Onawa took first in the final race after a summer of tuning her rig.

 

 


 


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