Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Vim - a City Island -built 12 meter

VIM, a 12 meter, was designed by the great Olin J. Stephens, and  was built at the legendary yard of Henry B. Nevins on City Island Avenue.  She was built in 1939 for railroad magnate and three time America's Cup defender Harold S. Vanderbilt who owned her until 1951.  For the next twelve years she was owned by John Matthews - of Oyster Bay and the Matthews Stevedoring Company - for whom my grandfather Conk worked on the Brooklyn waterfront.  She was maintained by my grandfather's friend Sven Pedersen.  The Brooklyn waterfront of those days is remembered for Marlon Brando's On the Waterfront.  More recently Fordham historian James Fisher wrote on the Irish Waterfront - a biography of the priest on whom the Karl Malden character was based.  But I digress.
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Vim was a close second to the newly built for Columbia in the 1957 America's Cup trials.  She was skippered by the owner's son Donald Matthews and co-helmsman Bus Mosbacher who later navigated Columbia the victorious defender.  A friend of John F. Kennedy, Mosbacher was named White House chief of protocol.

The boat's homeport is now Lavagna on the Italian riviera.
She is remembered on City Island by her namesake sandwich at the City Island Diner, and at the City Island Nautical Museum.

Hudson River Maritime Museum - Kingston

The boys liked the bells best. Nina thought everything was fun.