History

Argyll is a very elegant and classic cruiser/racing yacht designed by Olin Stephens and built by Simms Brothers of Massachusetts USA in 1948. She was design no. 628 from Sparkman & Stephens, described on her lines plan as a ‘40ft 0in LWL Aux. Yawl for W.T. Moore’. The drawing is dated 2/13/46. She is 57’ 4½’ overall, with a beam of 12’9’ and draught of 8’0’. She was, according to Olin Stephens, a development of the previous year’s Bermuda race winner, Gesture, and was known to be one of his favourites.

She was built by Simms Brothers in Maine in 1948. Her construction was double planked mahogany on finest white oak, monel fastened, her decks and soles teak, and her brightwork mahogany. William T. Moore, for whom she was made, kept her for 25 years, until his death. He raced her extensively on the East coast of America until 1972, winning the Bermuda Race outright in 1950. She has cruised in the Mediterranean for the last decade or more, and raced there since 2010.

Sport: The Lucky Gamblers

Time magazine
Monday, July 03, 1950

The Newport-to-Bermuda race this year looked like a tossup between the two big B’s. One was Henry Taylor’s slick 72-ft. blue yawl Baruna, 1938 and ’48 winner. The other was the boat built to beat her: black-hulled Bolero, the 73-ft., $150,000 pride of John Nicholas Brown, once “richest baby in the world,” sometime Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air. When the record fleet of 54 racing yachts skimmed past the starting mark at Brenton Reef Lightship last week, Baruna and Bolero were all the talk. William Moore’s 57-ft. yawl, Argyll, last of the bigger craft to reach Bermuda in 1948, was just one of the 54.

For the first 18 hours, Bolero and Baruna boomed along together, both reaching to the westward of the course line until they hit the Gulf Stream, where navigators count on the northeasterly drift to carry them back to basic course. Early on the second morning of the race the two big B’s parted company. Baruna slid eastward over the horizon, Bolero slogged along at 10 knots through heavy rain and spray.

Aboard Argyll there was uncertainty about the boat’s exact position. The overcast, all through the first day & night, made sun and star sights impossible. Next morning Navigator Edward Greeff knew he was far off his dead reckoning course. When the sun finally broke through, Greeff found that Argyll was 17 miles too far to the east. But it turned out to be a lucky break. Skipper Moore close-hauled Argyll for the long reach to Bermuda, with a stiff breeze carrying them along. Then heavy seas made Moore slack off a bit and “we just let her run.”

Next day, 285 miles off Bermuda, they passed out of the Gulf Stream, headed on a gambler’s course calculated to carry them close to the island, hoping to catch the steady southwest wind prevailing around Bermuda. The gamble paid off. In the early morning hours, Argyll slipped across the finish line. Bolero, smartly sailed, had taken a shade over 75½ hours for the 635-mile race, set a new Newport-Bermuda course record. But Argyll, which rated a 9-hr, and 40-min. handicap, won by better than an hour on corrected time.

Sydney Morning Herald

Bolero First To Finish In Big Yacht Race
22 June 1950

Sydney-Morning-Herald-June-22,-1950

HAMILTON (Bermuda), June 22 (A.A.P.) The 73-foot yawl Bolero was the first to cross the finishing line in the 635-mile race from Newport (Rhode Island) to Bermuda, but the yawl Argyll won the race on corrected time.

Argyll’s corrected time was 75 hours four minutes 59 seconds, against Bolero’s 75h 6m 22s.

Bolero had a time allowance of 25m 47s which at first appeared sufficient to make her winner of the handicap.

Bolero had an average speed of 8.41 knots. The fastest average for the race is 8.77 knots, established by Highland Light in 1932.

Escapade (corrected time 77h 22m 31s) was second to cross the line, followed by Kitty Hawk (78h 56m 7s) and Baruna (78h 37m 53s).