Raced for the America's Cup and other trophies between 1930 and 1937, only ten magnificent J-Class yachts were ever built. Though there have been many larger and faster vessels, no sailing class has ever gripped the public's imagination the way the J's did. Unique for their combination of size and speed, they completely dominated the yachting scene on both sides of the Atlantic until their extravagant cost and the looming shadow of World War II banished them forever.
ASTRA, BRITANNIA, SHAMROCK V, ENDEAVOUR, ENTERPRISE, YANKEE, RAINBOW, RANGER...their very names conjure up a vanished era of seagoing tycoons, fantastic splendor, and opulent beauty. In this wonderful tribute, Ian Dear tells the story of that eventful period and, with the help of extraordinary photos, recaptures its elegance and colorful social backdrop.
This latest edition features new closing chapters in which Dear recounts the tremendous revival of interest in the J-Class yachts and the restoration of nearly all those that have survived.
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Ian Dear has written a number of books on yachting history, including The America's Cup: An Informal History, The Royal Yacht Squadron 1815-1985, The Great Years in Yachting, and The Champagne Mumm Book of Ocean Racing.Review:
Enterprise to Endeavour is an engrossing celebration of the massive and magnificent J-Class yachts. Ian Dear tells how only ten of these formidable yachts were ever built and subsequently raced for the America's Cup as well as for other trophies in American and British waters between 1930 and 1937. Yes, there have been bigger and faster yachts. But none has gripped the public's imaginations as much as the J's did. Alas, their enormous cost and the approach of World War banished hope of their production. There are 170 b/w photos and illustrations. --Charleston Daily News, January 2001
The America's Cup means different things to different people. There are the personalities, the history, the Cup itself, and of course, the boats: everything from the schooner AMERICA to the most brittle IACC design, struggling to stay in one piece off San Diego or on the Huraki Gulf.
"Among the most beautiful competitors for the Hundred Guinea Cup were the storied J-boats, which raced for sailing's ultimate prize in the 1930's and are the subject of Ian Dear's book ENTERPRISE to ENDEAVOUR, which pays tribute to the great, towering behemoths that to many represent a Golden Age of Cup racing.
"This past November the book was reissued by the Sheridan House publishing company, in part to mark the latest round of Cup competition now taking place in Auckland, and in part to complement the revival of the J class itself. Although originally published over 20 years ago, the book still captures the spirit of an era that is perhaps the most spectacular in the history of yachting.
"Coming out at a time when it seemed the class was on the verge of extinction, Dear's book contains a wealth of photographs and information on the development and what then appeared to be the 'short history' of the J's. It opens with a description of the English 'Big Boats' that preceded the era, cutters for the most part like the royal family's BRITANNIA, and goes on to describe how these boats evolved into the Universal Rule-based J-class with boats over 120 feet long.
"In all only 10 J's were ever constructed, but they brought together the cream of yachting including such luminaries as Sir Thomas Lipton, Harold S. Vanderbilt and Starling Burgess, as well as technical breakthroughs like the first aluminum mast and many radical new winch designs.
"Although they have been cited many times before, the sheer mass of the Js resulted in some incredible statistics that bear repeating: 170-foot masts, 20-foot overhangs fore and aft, 4-foot-wide Park Avenue booms, 18,000-square-foot spinnakers and 5,000-square-foot mains made of Egyptian cotton that weighed over a ton.
"Happily, the Sheridan House reprint features a revised Epilogue in which Dear reports on the current status of the class, which couldn't be more in contrast to the situation in the 1970s.
"'At that time it seemed as if only one, SHAMROCK, would ever sail again and that none could ever be put back into racing and I said this,' he writes of those dark days. 'How wrong one can be, and how glad I am that I was.'
"Today a number of the giants are back in commission including SHAMROCK, VELSHEDA, ASTRA, CANDIDA and the book's namesake, ENDEAVOUR. Not that it wasn't a close call. Many of the Js, including all the American-built boats like WEETAMOE, RAINBOW, YANKEE and RANGER, were scrapped shortly after their racing careers ended. VELSHEDA lay for years with her keel buried in the mud. ENDEAVOUR was a rusty wreck before finally being brought back to pristine condition.
"But in the end, there were sailors enough with the drive and financial wherewithal to make sure that more remained of the class than just spectacular photographs. In stark contrast to the time when it first appeared on shelves, Dear's book no longer looks back on a bygone era. Instead, it documents the first chapter in a story that appears ready to endure for years to come. --Sailing, February 2000
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Book Description Dodd, Mead, 1977. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110396074782
Book Description Dodd, Mead. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0396074782 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1072937