Only women can be more beautiful, more expensive or more demanding than cruising yachts like those shown in color on the following pages. To own and race one is to occupy the most exalted status possible in the nautical world. Cruising yachts, like beautiful and expensive women, are for the very few. But anyone can have the fun and thrill of summer sailing, just as anyone can have a pretty girl friend who is willing to settle for a Coke and a little honest affection.
The nationwide boom in maritime sports is dramatically reflected all summer long on the blue waters of Long Island Sound where low-priced sailboats, some of them lovingly assembled from do-it-yourself kits, scurry across the bows of the cruising yachts that may cost anywhere from 10 to 200 thousand dollars.
The modern cruising yacht is designed to accommodate four to 12 persons, usually guests of the owner, who serve as crew—hired hands being hard to come by these days. For every one of the big yachts there are scores of smaller ones that compete in races that make up a crowded Memorial Day-to-Labor Day season. One of the largest events is the Larchmont Race Week, shown above.
Most of the racing yachtsmen began sailing as boys and are as knowledgeable of their waters as the old-time whaling captains were of them. Together the yachtsmen and the sailing gadflies who share the Sound with them provide the thrilling summer pictures that make even landlubber hearts beat faster.
An argentine sloop, the Jeanne, visited the sound this summer and won a class prize in the Bermuda Race. Here the crew takes in the 40-foot craft's big genoa.
A Connecticut Yawl, the Cotton Blossom IV of Stamford, beats to the windward mark. The Cotton Blossom was built in Scotland from English designs 28 years ago.
A race begins in the Class B division with the yawl Ondine (281) and the sloop Vanitie (120) away to a good start—an advantage that may prove to be short-lived in a distance contest.