Matt Brooks and Pam Rorke Levy, owners of the classic yacht Dorade, discuss 2013 plans for the historic vessel. Dorade was designed by the legendary Olin Stephens, creator of six out of seven successful America’s Cup defenders between 1958 and 1980.
In 1936 Jim Flood purchased Dorade and brought her to San Francisco where her presence helped put the Saint Francis Yacht Club on the map, winning the prestigious and demanding TransPacific race to Honolulu. Since then, she has changed owners many times, sailing the West Coast, Europe, and most recently in Newport, Rhode Island.
Dorade was built at the Minneford Yard on City Island, N.Y., under the supervision of young Rod Stephens who developed an efficient deck layout and a new type of deck ventilator (the Dorade vent) with a baffle the separated the incoming air from spray.
In 1931 she won the transatlantic race to England against many larger boasts by two days on elapsed time and also won a rough Fastnet Race. When they returned to New York, the Stephenses were given a ticker-tape parade up Broadway.
Thinking Dorade too narrow and tender, when Stephens had the opportunity to design another ocean racer in 1934 he increased the beam by two feet and the result was Stormy Weather, which he regarded as the better boat. These two boats transformed the design of offshore sailing yachts.
Dorade measures 52’6” overall, 38’11” on the waterline, 10’4” at the beam and has an 8’3” draft. She displaces 37,000 lbs., has an upwind sail area of 1,549 square feet and an off-the-wind sail area of 2,700 square feet.