Salvage of the S/V Amorita
As legend would have it, over 100 years ago during the 1904 yachting season, members of the New York Yacht Club decided to build a new class of racing yachts. These yachts would be built to very strict specifications and the rules for being part of this class would be more stringent than any class before it. The reason for such strict standards was to discourage any alterations of the vessels and make them as identical as possible.
In 1904, the New York Yacht Club commissioned Nathanael Herreshoff of Herreshoff & Company in Bristol to build 18 identical “one-off” racing yachts, 30ft on the waterline, 44ft overall. These yachts, called “New York Thirties” have become some of the most beloved and treasured sailing yachts of all time.
On July 7, 2007, build number 9, now known as S/V Amorita, was racing in a classic yacht regatta when she was involved in an unfortunate accident and sank in mere seconds. All four of her crew members escaped unharmed.
Delivered in 1905, the original owners, George and Philip Adee, christened her Adelaide II. Adelaide II began to win races immediately with two NYYC spring regatta cups in a row followed by a NYYC Glen Cove Cup. Five years after she was first launched, the Adelaide II was sold and her name was changed to Amorita.
Amorita has seen many owners and been through an amazing life. In the 60’s, the Amorita fell into disrepair and was abandoned. On December 20, 1975, Amorita was scheduled for destruction. She was to be scrapped for her lead in order to pay her storage fees. At the last moment, she was saved from the saw.
Since being saved from certain destruction, the Amorita has continued her incredible life. She has been completely restored to original specifications and has sailed in, and won, numerous racing events throughout New England. She is often the oldest boat in attendance and certainly among the prettiest as her picture has graced the cover of nearly every major sailing calendar and publication in the U.S.
During the Museum of Yachting’s Robert H. Tiedemann Classic Yacht Regatta on July 7th, 2007, the Amorita was involved in the aforementioned accident. While approaching a mark, the Amorita, along with another New York Thirty Alera, were struck from behind by Sumurun, a 94 foot classic ketch. As a result, Amorita was hit amidships by Sumurun, and sank immediately in 55 feet of water off Beavertail Point at the entrance to Narragansett Bay.
On July 10, 2007, after several days of preparations, including researching the construction plans, analyzing two NY-30 sisterships, and keeping a safe watch on her with periodic dives, Safe/Sea, along with salvage divers Mike Goodridge and Dave Stillman from Newburyport, MA, successfully raised Amorita from the bottom and redelivered her to her grateful owners. All of us at Safe/Sea are proud that we could accomplish the reclamation of this historic vessel from the sea.