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Dorade - David R. Godine, Publisher

Hardcover, 240 pages
ISBN 978-1-56792-447-3
2012, $65

This title is out of print.

Dorade: The History of an Ocean Racing Yacht
by Douglas Adkins
foreword by Llewellyn Howland III

This is, quite simply, the definitive history of the boat generally considered the greatest ocean racing yacht of the twentieth century. It begins with Roderick Stephens, Sr. whose "deep and abiding faith in his sons' talents, character and good sense" led him to invest his reputation and fortune to help Olin Stephens, then little more than a teenager, and Olin's brother Rod, design and build an ocean racer to compete against the finest offshore yachts of the day.

The result was Dorade, a 52-foot yawl launched in May 1930 into the teeth of the Great Depression. Lightly built, with spartan accommodations and berths like coffins, she performed well in her shakedown summer. But it was the 1931 Transatlantic Race, which, under Olin's command, she won in sixteen days and an hour, beating the next (and much larger) boat by two days, a winner on corrected time by over four days, that set her name firmly in the annals of yachting history and changed forever the face of ocean racing yacht design.

In the eight decades since her launching she has been actively raced and restored under the ownership of a host of colorful and devoted characters on both coasts. A common sight off San Francisco and Seattle, a frequent racer in the Solent and Mediterranean, and now back east to race again off Newport, she has outlived her modest and beloved designer and most of her owners. She has crossed the Atlantic to England and the Pacific to Hawaii numerous times, suffered collisions, lapses of good judgment, and misguided improvements. She has endured repairs and restorations, witnessed love affairs, heartbreak, and even death. This is her story, from stem to stern, nautical history at its best and related with affection, accuracy, and eloquence by a sailor who has sutured together the many strands, both verbal and visual, of a great yacht's life. And what a life it has been! As she ghosted past the Lizard that morning of Tuesday, 21 July 1931, to shock the yachting world with her Transatlantic win, Dorade was first to finish and has remained first ever since.

Praise for Dorade

Doug Adkins has collected and compiled important documents, some of which are published here for the first time. Both author and publisher share a magical understanding and appreciation for the subject. The book is a history, but words without the splendid graphics   historical and contemporary photographs, and drawings would only partially tell the story.
WoodenBoat, March/April 2011

A beautifully designed and illustrated history of the Dorade, a prizewinning racing yacht that made its name on the East Coast (it won the 1931 Transatlantic Race) and found a home for a number of years sailing on Puget Sound.
Seattle Times

Author Douglas D. Adkins is offering a deluxe edition of Dorade through The Capstan Press. The $250.00 limited edition is a run of 250 numbered and signed copies, packaged in a custom cloth box. Also included with the book is a replica of the "Welcome Home Dorade Crew" ribbon of 1931 fashioned in leather and used as a bookmark, an 8" x 10" B&W museum quality photograph of Dorade, an original accommodation plan provided by Sparkman & Stephens, an original construction plan provided by Sparkman & Stephens, and a 1936 rigging plan provided by Sparkman & Stephens. For information on ordering please visit: