Port Jefferson Shipyard in 1896

Footnotes to Long Island History

Port Jefferson Shipyard in 1896

Thomas R. Bayles




  The following article appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for January 26, 1896 regarding the building of a large steam yacht by James M. Bayles & Son at Port Jefferson. In those years ship building was an important industry in that village.

            “A steam yacht to cost $75,000, is being built at the shipyard of James M. Bayles & Son at Port Jefferson, for E. N. Renwick of New York. The boat is being built from drawings and measurements furnished by him to the builders, a somewhat unusual occurrence. The yacht will be 104 feet in length on the water line and 127 feet over all. The beam will be 20 feet and the depth of the hold 11 feet. As usual with steam yachts of this size she will be schooner rigged. She is designed and built for comfort rather than a high rate of speed, although she will easily do 13 knots an hour. She is to be one of the most shapely and substantial crafts in the New York club, to which she will belong. Her frame is of live oak, white oak, and yellow locust, and planking is to be of yellow pine 2 ½ inches to thickness. The deck beams are more than an inch larger than is customary to use in a yacht of this size. The yacht is designed and built for use on the Sound but is capable of crossing the Atlantic with all comfort and safety at any time of the year. It was for that reason the hull is divided into four water tight compartments.

            “The deck house will be 74 feet in length and continuous from the pilot house, forward to the saloon. Just aft of the pilot house, which is is to be a modern one, with patent steering apparatus, will be the smoking room, 10 feet square, with toilet and bath rooms connecting. The dining room, 10 by 17 feet, the sailing master’s quarters and the butler’s pantry will occupy a place aft of machinery, on deck. Below deck will be two saloons, one forward and the other aft of the machinery. The latter will be finished in white and the former in red mahogany. Winding stairs forward and aft will connect with the deck. The furnishings already ordered will be very handsome.

            “The machinery is to consist of the Wells’ balance engines and two Almy tube boilers with 40 square feet of grate. The fire boxes are higher than usual to insure the consumption of the gases. Although Mr. Renwick does not sacrifice comfort for speed, yet he desires to keep in the fleet and has selected a propeller six feet in diameter, which with the powerful engine will send his shapely new yacht along at a good rate of speed.

            “A local boat builder is now engaged in building the four boats that will swing from the davits, a naphtha launch, a gig, a dinghy and a light cutter. Capt. Carl Jackson of Babylon. who will command the new boat, is supervising the construction and visits Port Jefferson twice a week. As yet no name has been selected for the yacht. She will be launched sometime in April.”


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