Highland Light, a custom cutter, was built specifically for Dudley Wolfe for long-distance ocean racing. Launched just weeks before the 1931 Trans-Atlantic race start, Highland Light came in third and afterwards finished second by two minutes in the following Fastnet race. She then went on to win the Newport to Bermuda race fastest time in 1932, holding that record, twenty four years until Bolero beat her by one and half hours in 1956.
Highland Light was designed by Frank Paine, who had designed the America's Cup J-Boat Yankee in 1930. Both boats having been built at the George Lawley & Son shipyard near Boston. With the exception of a half-hull model and photograph, comprehensive plans have been obtained from the Frank Paine and McInnis-Lawley Collections at the Hart Nautical Collections of Massachusetts Institute of Technology to guide the restoration of the boat.
The estate of Dudley Wolfe donated the boat with a large maintenance fund in 1940 to the US Naval Academy Annapolis for sail training. President Roosevelt accepted the gift via US Congressional Billl 3098 and Highland Light became USS Highland Light, Naval Ship IX-48, performing in US east coast and Bermuda races. As part of the sail training program, many midshipmen experienced ocean racing in Highland Light while at the academy. Numerous Navy material inspections, surveys and repairs, including replacing the mast in 1953, are documented in the Admiral Nimitz Library. The boat was sold in 1965 but because of it's sheer popularity the original helm was retained and permanently installed in the Sailing Center as a display for the annual Highland Light Trophy.
After being sailed to Los Angeles, it was actively used as a family cruiser for many years until the death of the owner. Two subsequent owners performed various major repairs during their ownership. The current owner is part way through a long term in-the-water restoration. Much restoration work remains to be done.
- Mahogany, Cedar, Double Planked Wood construction
- Bronze Carriage Bolts fastened to Oak Frames
- Steel & Oak Floor, Steel Ring Frames, Bronze Keel & Lead Ballast, Bronze Bolts, Spruce Mast & Boom, Teak Deck Housing, Fibreglass over Plywood Deck
- Standing Rigging Staineless Steel
- Sails Dacron; Main, Spinnaker #1 Genoa
- Wood Spars Keel Stepped
- 6 Winches, 5 Self Tailing Lewmar #65, 66 & 45
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