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Of all aspects of the New England fisheries of the 19th century, probably none was more distinctive and colorful than that of the mackerel purse seine fishery with its specialized gear, its exacting and carefully-timed techniques, and the fast, handsome schooners built specifically for this seasonal work.
Speed was the critical ingredient for a successful fishing trip: a vessel had to make a fast passage to the grounds, the crew had to be alert in their search for elusive mackerel schools, the boats and gear were designed for setting and pursing the seine with utmost speed and efficiency.
Speed was of the greatest importance in cleaning and salting the catch, for fresh-caught mackerel can spoil very quickly. Finally, the vessel had to get the fish to market in the shortest possible time, beating as many of her market-bound rivals as she could in order to get a good price for the catch while demand was high.
|Size||85 cm L x 68 cm Hgh|
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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.