No prospective buyer as yet has satisfied owner Tucker Reynolds’s criteria: someone who he feels will do the boat justice. Luckily, Little Gull is inside Tucker’s shed—on ice, as it were—so there’s no rush. We believe someone, someday will come along, take the boat under his or her wing, and give her the restoration she needs. Having a boat designed by William Hand and built by Herreshoff makes her unique. What a pedigree! She’s practical as well, having good accommodations, a handsome appearance, and the performance you’d expect from her designer and builder.
There’s not much of this yacht that’s salvageable, but that’s not unusual among many restorations. Besides very deep pockets, one would need vision to imagine what she could become—or to visualize what she was originally. Brian Amble of California had the vision, but not the wealth. But he did acquire her and make a start. As the largest all-wood sailing yacht ever built by Herreshoff, and as a genuine, topsail-carrying sloop (or cutter, if you will), VAYU (or more properly, DORIS, the yacht’s original name), fully restored, would be a show-stopper.
“Save a Classic” can take only partial credit for getting this boat into the right hands. Word of mouth among the cognoscenti got FALCON a new and enthusiastic owner—two of them, in fact. The first of these was the late Konrad Ulbrich who had another FALCON of the same Universal Rule class (designed by Frank Paine, which he renamed HAYDAY, see WB No. 207), and the second and present owner is Gerald Rainer who also owns the lovely Herreshoff schooner MARY ROSE.