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A “Downeast 42” power cruiser
WB No. 235
Still Available

Tags: save a classic
PEGASUS interior

Contemporary advertisements in Yachting magazine in the 1960s claim that these standardized cruisers, of which Sample has built several both as 42- and 36-footers, were “Built in Maine to ‘Take It.’” Given the extensive commercial work of both designer and builder, it’s likely that wasn’t just an idle boast. PEGASUS, like her sisters, has a double-planked, bronze-fastened, mahogany hull, with fiberglassed plywood decks. She has a fully enclosed deckhouse and twin diesels in a cavernous engine space beneath the cabin sole, and still has all of her original bronze hardware and running gear, including a 24V Ideal anchor windlass. The below-deck layout and cabinetry are more reminiscent of the era’s cruising sailboats than of the typical power cruiser, and it’s clear that Frank Sample and his crew took particular pride in her construction. She bears no resemblance at all to modern motor homes, and the visibility through the large windows of her pilothouse is spectacular. Depending on the new owner’s intended use, one might choose to eliminate the flying bridge as well as the radar mast to give her a sleeker look.

PEGASUS has the pedigree and promise of becoming a first-class yacht—one that’s large enough for extended coastal cruising, yet small enough for casual day use.

The rebuild will be substantial, but would take considerably less money than building new. Other than her classic design, the bronze hardware is of particular value, as it is all accounted for. The majority of it is no longer available. 

She will require a significant rebuild, although her backbone and mahogany planking appear to be in good condition, as does her varnished mahogany interior. Although the boat has not been thoroughly surveyed, at the very least she will require complete refinishing of every surface inside and out, and a complete mechanical and electrical updating (although the engines are worth rebuilding). Structurally, she will at least need refastening and recaulking below the waterline, a new aft deck, new cabinsides and windshield, a bunch of new frames back aft (which is typical for a boat of this age and type), a few new planks, and several sections of new rails.

This deep-water sailor’s boat was built for Ralph Williams, who kept her summers at the entrance to The Basin in Vinalhaven, Maine. Later, having fallen on hard times under different ownership, PEGASUS was recently saved from the chainsaw and now, we hope, awaits a rebirth.

PEGASUS is now lying in Rockport, Maine, under a cover of shrink-wrap. She is seeking a new owner willing to exert the considerable effort needed to return her to a fine coastal cruising yacht.

For more information or to arrange an inspection, contact Alec Brainerd, Artisan Boatworks, 410 Main St., Rockport, ME 04856;; 207–236–4231 or 207–542–0372.