Sceptre 1958


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Sceptre 1958 Expand

 Sceptre, 1958, America's Cup Challenger, designed by David Boyd.

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Hand-crafted plank-on-frame wood hull with white topsides, gold cove stripe, red  boot stripe. Red bottom paint.

Hull size: 60cm.

Board size: 75cm X 20cm

Size75cm X 20 cm
Half Hull SizeMedium (75cm X 20cm)

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Sceptre 1958

Sceptre 1958

Scotsman David Boyd was 55 years old when he designed Sceptre. He was at the time, managing director of the Robertson & Son yard at Sandbank, Argyll, Scotland, and had been so for 33 years. He had a sense of esthetic and his first major design, the 34-ton yawl Zigeuner was living proof.

In 1957, Boyd was selected to design the challenger at the issue of a competition in January, in which three of his fellow-designers were competing: James Mac-Gruer, Arthur Robb and Charles Nicholson Junior. The principle of the competition was interesting; each of the architects was to submit two designs: one conventional, the other more original.

On July 13th, 1957, David Boyd’s model B was picked. Astonishingly enough, following the comparison, no effort was made in order to continue to improve the performances of the model picked. Time was short, true, and the lesson inflicted by Columbia was harsh.

William Starling Burgess no doubt inherited his love of boats and sailing from his father as well as  his sharp analytical mind. He also acquired his precise and sensitive feeling for lines and forms from Nathanael Herreshoff, his “Uncle Nat”. But when the young Starling informed Herreshoff of his intention to become a naval architect, “the Wizard of Bristol” took umbrage.

When Mike Vanderbilt contacted him to build a new defender for the 1934 challenge, time was very short. No matter ! He started on the rough drafts of the plans at end of 1931 and Rainbow very nearly failed in the face of a faster challenger, Endeavour.

Starling Burgess came out of it quite well, Charles Nicholson even offering him the plans of his champion. His gesture was to prove quite unwise.


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