Image Archive

Detailed Record

Title: Sandbagger ANNIE

Accession Number: 1931.4
Type: sandbagger
Maker: Richmond, D.O.
Place: USA, CT, Mystic
Date: 1880
Description: One of Annie's distinctions is that she was the first boat in Mystic Seaport's collection, acquired in 1931. D. O. Richmond modeled her and she was built in his Mystic River shop for Henry Tift of Mystic, Connecticut, and Tifton, Georgia. Racing sandbaggers was a popular sport before 1885, when the overall length alone determined their racing handicaps and one could crowd on as much sail as a boat seemed able to carry. With so great a spread of canvas, just to keep from capsizing was a challenge, let alone winning the race. The idea was for the large crew to position themselves along with several 50-pound sandbags far enough to windward to balance the press of wind on the sails. Squally weather or frequent tacking called for quick and expert movement; it was exciting sport. Sandbaggers were raced in several classes according to their size; Annie raced in Class A with the other large boats, while on the other end of the scale were the smaller boats of about 20 feet. Much of the racing and building took place near New York City where the sport originated, but Annie's successful career was in eastern Long Island Sound near where she was built, and in Florida waters where she was shipped during the winter. Like the many other aging and outclassed sandbaggers, Annie became a working craft and was in this state when acquired by the Museum. Today she has the spectacular appearance of a sandbagger but can hardly be considered original. A number of changes were made during her early years to make her faster, and in 1902 she was totally rebuilt after a fire. At least twice since then, in 1950 and again in 1968, she was given an almost completely new hull, and her rig was, of course, restored to that of a typical sandbagger. A restoration begun in 2001 used newly discovered information to restore Annie more accurately, illustrating in full scale an important era in yachting history— when the base of the sail plan was more than twice the length of the hull itself!

Mystic Seaport Image ID m109403a    Information regarding reproductions