Could you rescue classic yacht Caritas before she’s destroyed?
by Risa Merl
Classic yacht Caritas had illustrious beginnings, built in 1925 for New York sugar magnate JP Bartram, but wound up in a less glamorous location – at a California trailer park, laid up on land and serving as a gift shop.
Now the trailer park has been sold, and unless funds are found to have her moved, the iconic yacht Caritas will be chopped up and destroyed.
Classic yacht design and restoration specialists GL Watson & Co are working to find someone to someone to restore Caritas to her former glory. The company’s Managing Director, maritime historian Dr William Collier, says all it will take is “an angel” with $2.07 million to foot the bill so she can be moved to San Francisco where she would be stabilized and prepared for transport a yard for refit.
Designed by Cox & Stevens and built by Krupp, Caritas stablemates include the iconic classic yachts Dona Amelia (ex-Haida) and Talitha G (ex-Reveller). The American-built Caritas was acquired by the US Navy in December 1941 and commissioned as the USS Garnet on 4 July, 1942. After being decommissioned December 1945 in San Pedro, California, and she’s said to have been in the trailer park since.
“Caritas is the last opportunity to save and restore a significant high pedigree interwar yacht,” says GL Watson & Co. “She has been long forgotten and our discovery of her has occurred just in time to save her from being scrapped.”
Fortunately, she is fairly good shape, presented with largely original timber decks, some interior panelling and no welded repairs, according to GL Watson & Co. The restoration company also says that her engines, pipework and wiring were stripped before she was moved to her current location.
“Restored to modern yacht standards and regulations, her volume will allow accommodations for 10 in the owner’s party. In addition to the salon and separate dining room on main deck, her shaded aft main deck provides ample space for dining on the fantail,” says William Collier in an interview with Boat International Media’s Books Editor Marilyn Mower. “The condition of Caritas makes her an ideal candidate for a restoration projects similar to those we have completed on Blue Bird, Nahlin and most recently Malahne, recently launched by Pendennis after her refit.
“Caritas is, to the best of our knowledge, a unique and last opportunity to undertake the restoration of a yacht that combines both pedigree and elegance within truly practical proportions,” says William Collier. “She needs to be saved and restored so that she can take her place in the treasured fleet of great classic yachts”