100 Years Ago

The power-plant revolution begins.

December 10, 2015

Yachting, December 1915

“The gas engine wasn’t in boats over 100 feet five years ago; it’s now going in yachts 160 feet long.” —”The Recent development of the modern power yacht,” Yachting, december 1915 Yachting Archives

It was a sea-change moment for motoryachts: the internal combustion engine. In 1910, steam was still powering most vessels plying the ­waters. So these words just five years later in the December 1915 issue of Yachting put a stamp on a new era: “We cannot recall a steam vessel built for yacht purposes under 175 feet in length that has been turned out in the last five years.” How did this technology improve life on the water? Engines became more ­efficient and less bulky: “The principal ­advantages being a saving of room, thus giving greater accommodations on a given length, cleanliness, ease of operation and economy of crew.” This new technology increased the demand for beamy motoryachts with large, square windows — referred to as power houseboats in 1915 — and more powerful express cruisers from many coastal Atlantic yacht yards.

In a Month of Yachting: December 1965

Race draws record entries  The 3,418-mile Transatlantic Race from Bermuda to Kattegat strait in Northern Europe attracted the largest number of entries by the race’s start: 42. The previous high of 17 was in the 1960 race to Sweden. Sumner Long’s 57-foot Aluminum Ondine won the race from Bermuda to Denmark.

Meet Don Q! The first advertisement in the issue promoted Don Q as “the best-selling prestige rum in Puerto Rico.” Don Q is still in business a half-century later and is known as el rey de los rones — the king of rums. And today, Puerto Rico makes more than 70 percent of the rum sold in the United States.


Princeton Wins Cup Sailing five races in two days, a Princeton crew edged out Navy by six points to secure the 38-year-old McMillan Cup.


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