“YOU have to watch
out,” says Tinney,
who attends shows
with other owners of
classic wooden boats, including
Jerry Pope and Tom Morrow.
Nostalgia is a driving factor for
those who enjoy classic wooden
boats, but Tinney says the boat’s
ride is a big part of the appeal.
“The boat has a solid wooden
ride to it when it slices through
the water that the modern
conventional hulls just don’t
have,” he says. “It’s also nice that
it has a classic look to it.”
Duchess’s cabin is comfortably
appointed and includes elegant
details like cut glass windows.
John Tinney’s wife, Tammy Lanier,
relaxes on the stern deck with
Ellie and Moose on a beautiful
morning in Motts Channel.
Skilled craftsmen are working to preserve the beauty of classic boats
PHOtO by ALLiSOn POtter
WBM july 2020
We previously featured another classic Elco
in our pages: Rebel, a 50-footer built in 1928 in
the Elco yard at Bayonne, New Jersey. Rebel is
an Elco Flat Top Motor Yacht, also called an Elco
Commuter Yacht because 19th-century tycoons
used them to get to Wall Street from Long Island.
The boat received a complete overhaul includ-ing
electrical, plumbing, mechanical and the
engine at Bennett Brothers Yachts dock at Cape
Fear Marina, north of the Isabel Holmes Bridge.
Craftsman David Flagler made the structural
repairs, replacing pieces that had been subject to
wear and tear over nearly 90 years, repairing colli-sion
damage and sprucing up the interior.
As part of that feature we also told you the
story of the Sylvia II, a 1934 Core Sound fishing
boat built in Morehead City. The Sylvia II is
said to be the oldest commercial and charter
fishing boat left in North Carolina. In addition,
we told the story of the Ada Mae, a skipjack
built in 1915 in Rose Bay, North Carolina. You
can read about these boats and a few more in
our virtual archives by going to our website to
read Floating Masterpieces by Simon Gonzalez,
September of 2016. —WBM Staff
Works of Art
A M E R I C A N - M A D E YAC H TS
By Simon Go n zal ez
september 2016 40
elco motor yachts were once
the playthings of rulers and
tycoons. czar nicholas II
of Russia owned one of the
American-made yachts. John Jacob Astor
had four. charles lindbergh sneaked away
for his honeymoon on a customized ver-sion.
thomas Edison and henry ford had
Elcos at their florida estates.
An Elco is nothing less than a floating
the yacht features classic, flowing lines
that allow it to gracefully slip through
the water. gleaming, polished mahogany
abounds, above and below decks. luxury
appointments include cabinets fronted
with cut glass.
“It’s a work of art,” david flagler says.
“Some of our country’s finest craftsmen
built this boat. Every step of the way, the
detail is incredible. Most of the boat is
mahogany. All of the superstructure, the
woodwork, the interior is mahogany.”
PHOTOS BY ALLISON POTTER
Skilled marine carpenters
use hand tools to keep
historic vessels like Rebel