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Sparkman & Stephens 75th Anniversary July 8, 9, 10, 11, 2004, Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Connecticut (updated September 2, 2019)


This event was a spectacular happening. Marionette, her crew and guests were participants and thoroughly enjoyed every one of the 4 days. We have a super DVD that I need to figure out how to link in to this site.

Thursday, July 8

The kick off was a visit to the S&S offices in NYC, followed by a reception at the New York Yacht Club.

NYYC Model Room - Photo from Rosenfeld Collection #1984 (click here for a larger view)

Friday, July 9

Arrival of yachts at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Connecticut, and the (free!) Mt Gay Rum sponsored cocktail party - Click here to see the Official brochure and Schedule of Events

Saturday, July 10

Concours d’ Elegance Judging 12PM – 4PM; S&S Association Cocktails (for Association Members); Sparkman & Stephens Anniversary Gala Dinner  6:30PM.

The Concours d'Elegance was a competition (really more like an arms race) in several categories for best restored yachts.

Elizabeth Meyer of International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) and author John Rousmaniere, were the judges, but Olin himself spent a lot of time looking at the boats. There were some absolutely incredible yachts present and many owners who had more or less blank checks in this game.

At left is Marionette all dressed up for her inspection. Click here for a larger view

Initial inspection by John Rousmaniere, author


Marionette being boarded by IYRS' Elizabeth Meyer and John Rousmaniere. Your webmaster had high hopes for some silver at the awards ceremony.

However, it was not to be. Bolero took top honors

Olin Stephens at 96, at the S&S cocktail party answering endless questions from an awed audience

The dinner was an elegant affair and had center piece photos of famous S&S designs - including, of course, the Dolphin 24.

Mike Gooch-Breault (Passage, Marscot/O'Day Hull #10) exchanging Dolphin notes with the Designer.

Some of Marionette's crew


Sunday July 11th (updated May 9, 2014)

IYRS Classic Yacht Cruise Rendezvous’ (West Harbor, Fishers Island, 5 PM)


The final event was a rendezvous with the International Yacht Restoration Classic Yacht Cruise at Fishers Island's West Harbor at 5PM on Sunday. The S&S fleet of some 50 classic yachts, after a short delay because of a swinging bridge problem, left Mystic Seaport just after Noon in a parade down the Mystic River. Among Marionette's crew were Herve and Marie Elias from Plouguiel/Treguier, Brittany, France. Herve was named the S&S Secretary for France (and he and Marie hosted the S&S Annual General Meeting in France in 2006). For more interesting tidbits about Herve click here, and see below.

Lunch was served aboard Marionette. It was a soft and easy sail down the Mystic River and across Fishers Island Sound to West Harbor. We had clear skies and a couple of hours later we put the hook down in the outer harbor at West Harbor.

The Raft
The Taff Rail
The Grazing Table

The fleet anchored off the north shore of the outer harbor and launches from the IYRS raft picked up guests at their boats. The host yachts were raft anchored in a broad arc with 3 extraordinary beautiful motor yachts at the center set up to serve endless glasses of champagne. The landing/unloading area was inside the arc of rafted boats with their gleaming brass and varnished taff rails - a very well organized and impressive entrance for guests. S&S guests were to bring their 'favorite' hors-d'oeuvres with recipes.

Prizes were awarded for the 'best' hors-d'oeuvres. Some of these yachts carried their own professional chefs aboard and the spread was a grazer's heaven. Marionette had 2 contributions. The recipes are below:


Click on picture for a larger view, click your browser's back arrow to get back here

Marionette’s Fresh and Smoked Salmon Spread
West Harbor, Fisher’s Island, NY
July 10, 2004

1 bottle of dry white wine

2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 teaspoon fine sea salt – more to taste
2 lbs fresh salmon fillet, fat trimmed, cut into 1’ cubes
6 oz smoked salmon, fat trimmed, cut into small dice
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise (homemade)
¼ teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
Serve with Toast Points or Chris' Peasant Bread, thinly sliced (preferred)

By permission Eric Ripert and Maguey Le Coze
Le Bernadine, New York


Click on picture for a larger view, click your browser's back arrow to get back here

Marionette’s Nut Spread
West Harbor, Fisher’s Island, NY
July 10, 2004

At least 1 lb  Salted Peanuts

In a Food Blender
Very coarse grind 1/3
Coarse grind 1/3
Finely grind 1/3
Hand Blend
Ritz Original Crackers

Serve between Race finish and reaching dock

By permission Ron Breault, Marionette

Marionette and crew, spinnaker set and heading home into a setting sun. I would be remiss in not mentioning that we timed, raised and set our red spinnaker perfectly as we passed the sterns of those gold plated motor yachts....


Sparkman & Stephens 75th Anniversary Master schedule

Sparkman & Stephens, the pre-eminent name in Yacht Design is celebrating its 75th Anniversary. Mystic Seaport Museum will be the location for a 75th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Concours de `Elegance. Over 50 of the finest yachts that reflect the very best inventory of the current and past designs of  Sparkman & Stephens will be on display.  700 people are expected at the Gala Dinner.  Olin Stephens and several of the premier yacht builders that have brought S&S Designs to form will be on hand and speaking of their storied partnership. The event will also be the site of the 2004 Sparkman & Stephens Association Annual General Meeting. Over 100 members are expected to attend.


  • Celebrate 75 Years of Leadership in Yachting
  • Publicize:
    • Historical, Current and Future plans
    • Racing, cruising and design History
    • Promote current projects and builders

  • Sparkman & Stephens 75th Anniversary Rendezvous, Gala Dinner and Concours d’Elegance
  • Mystic Seaport Museum
  • July 9th-11th, 2004

Speakers / Notable Guests:
Sparkman & Stephens: Olin Stephens, Mitch Neff, Bruce Johnson

Schedule of Events (2004):

  • Thursday July 8th,
    • S&S Association Visit of S&S Offices
    • Reception, NYYC     
  • Friday July 9th
    • Arrival of Yachts, Registration
    • Sparkman & Stephens Association Cocktail Party (Mystic Seaport, Members Garden) 7PM
  • Saturday July 10th
    • Tour of Yachts on Display, Builders demonstrations
    • Tour of Ships Plans Building
    • Concours d’Elegance Judging 1PM – 3PM
    • S&S Association Cocktails (for Association Members)
    • Sparkman & Stephens Anniversary Gala Dinner  6:30PM
  • Sunday July 11th
  • Sparkman & Stephens Association Annual General Meeting – 10:30AM – 12:00PM
  • Tours of Yachts on Display
  • S&S Day Sail Fishers Island Sound
  • IYRS Classic Yacht Cruise Rendezvous’ (West Harbor, Fishers Island (5 PM)


The Sparkman & Stephens Association devoted the November, 2004 Newletter, The Wave, to covering this event. Click the link below to go to it



May 9, 2014. We recently received our copy of the 2014 edition of the S&S Member's Yearbook. This year, 2014, is their 85th anniversary and they chose an article by Herve Elias written in French for Chasse Maree (Paris) Magazine in February, 2005. It was 8 pages long detailing the 75th anniversary events. Click here to see the translated version.
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