A swift keel cutterWB No. 236AVAILABLE
For nearly 40 years, Skip Green sailed BACCARAT all summer long from his home on the Maine coast. He kept her in good shape while he could, but his recent death means she needs a new owner to look after her and bring her back to her former glory.
Launched in 1933 into Detroit’s St. Clair River from the designer’s boatyard, Baccarat proved fast right from the beginning. In her first year, she won the 235-mile Port Huron–Mackinac Race and repeated this same win for the next three years. In between, she got her first taste of salt water and to everyone’s surprise took Class B honors in the 1934 Bermuda Race. Not bad for this young seat-of-the-pants designer and the boat he built named BACCARAT, because its performance was considered a gamble.
Russell Pouliot’s father, Joseph, also built boats, but this eldest son was a sailor and knew about racing—before age 30 having won the same race from Port Huron to Mackinac Island in his own boat Bernida, a George Owen–designed R-class sloop. BACCARAT, in fact, looks a little like a big R-boat: slim and low, with generous overhangs and a big rig.
Around World War II, BACCARAT moved permanently from fresh water to salt—home-ported first in City Island, then for many years on Buzzards Bay. Skip Green and his then-wife, Lucy McCarthy, acquired BACCARAT in Mattapoisett in 1975. After a few years sailing and living aboard, they parked her ashore in Brooks, Maine, which is a few miles inland from Belfast. They were partway through a structural, leak-fixing refit when Anne and I met them through Joel White, whom they’d enlisted to help guide the repair. In the late 1980s when the boat was once again in commission, we often sailed our own yawl AIDA in company with this big, swift engineless sloop.
Skip Green’s life took many turns, but BACCARAT remained always at its core. He sailed her often, and frequently all by himself. She’s big for singlehanding, but despite Skip’s poor vision (he read a chart with a magnifying glass and could see buoys only with binoculars), he managed a solo cruise to Nova Scotia one summer without incident. How he loved that boat!
Skip’s repair and maintenance has always been of a utilitarian variety; he did everything himself without boatyard assistance but not to high-end yacht standards. Strength and performance were what he sought—along with a passably decent appearance. In recent years, his failing health put an end to all of it, and for the past three years, BACCARAT has lived ashore under a temporary shed where she’s begun to dry out. Skip Green kept this love of his life going for as long as he was able, but now that he’s gone (Skip died in October 2013), the boat needs another owner with the same good sense and energy to patch her up and get her in commission again.
- LOA 46′4″
- LWL 33′3″
- Beam 11′
- Draft 6′
- Doc. No. 283375
- Designed by Russell J. Pouliot.
- Built by Russell J. Pouliot, Inc., Detroit, Michigan, 1933
BACCARAT is still in Maine, located next to Skip’s shop at the north end of Islesboro—a ferry ride from Lincolnville Beach, then a drive. To learn more or to arrange for an inspection, contact Karen Betts by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maynard Bray is WoodenBoat’s technical editor.
Send candidates for Save a Classic to Maynard Bray, WoodenBoat, P.O. Box 78, Brooklin, ME 04616.
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