Boat Name: Enterprise, ex. Vinnia
Sail: US 91
Year Built: 1935
Designer: Christian Jensen
Builder: Anker & Jensen, Soon Slip
Owner: Jeff DeSandre
History: Also known as L26 Vinnia and N57 Vinnia.

3/22/2011 - - US 91 Enterprise launched at Detroit Yacht Club just in time for her 75th birthday.

1/4/2010 - New restoration blog:

10/05/2009: US 91 Vinnia is sold:

I'm happy to report that I just purchased US 91 "Vinnia" from Bud Kirk of the Port Huron fleet.  We just moved her to my shop yesterday.

I'm going to do some repairs to her over the winter, and get her in  the water next spring.  I plan on keeping her at the Detroit Yacht  
Club, but will take her up the river to race with the Port Huron  fleet a couple times a year.

Jeff DeSandre


From previous owner Bud Kirk:

This boat was owned by Bud Kirk since the 1960's and had been actively campaigned for 20 years in the Port Huron and Sarnia Six Meter fleet until laid up in the mid 1990's. Vinnia has been stored inside since that time.

The complete history on this boat is known since she was built in 1935 . Vinnia is considered a heavy Six and can be a formidible contender in heavy air, but cannot be considered a light air boat. Vinnia is in quite good condition. Externally, above the waterline, her original hull of Norwegian fir is virtually as new. Below the waterline she has been fiber-glassed and all below waterline planking is sound. Her keel should be replaced, but she is sound enough to be sailed as is. The underwater profile has been altered to improve light air performance. Vinnia has a new tapered aluminum mast and all standing rigging was replaced a few years prior to her de-commissioning. She will need new sails for serious competition.

As to Vinnia, I do have pictures of the underbody before and after alteration, but have not located them as yet. I do have drawings used to make the alterations, and will send copies if I cannot find the photos within the next few days. The alteration is basically a fin keel and spade rudder arrangement, but more streamlined than on Why Not. Actually, I used Skene's Elements of Yacht Design to make the alteration as follows:

1. When Vinnia was in her cradle, I took a set of lines on her below the waterline. This involved setting up a wooden reference frame, string lines, levels and tape measure. These lines were put on paper and a check made by us- ing Simpson's Rule to calculate buoyancies and trim. We put measuring marks on all the Six Meters at Port Huron at one time and also had the weights of all the boats, so the Simpson Rule check was mainly to verify that the boat did in fact calculate out to sit on her marks using this Rule.

2. I then calculated the loss of buoyancy by removing the underwater hull aft of the keel and replaced this loss with a bustle. The bustle was really an extension of the fair hull just below the waterline aft to just before the new spade rudder.. All of this change followed 12 Meter design practices in the days of the America's Cup. The new bustle was built onto the old hull in case things did not work out, but when launched with the new configuration, Vinnia sat exactly on her marks so no alterations were needed.

3. I have all the data and calculations used to perform the re-design, so any new owner will have a complete his- tory on the changes. Some time prior to this alteration, the sternpost on Vinnia had rotted, so a new one was installed, but in pine, since I knew it would not be permanent. It was of course removed in the alteration.

4. The big question was, I did not want to ruin the boat, so sailing experience would tell the story. It appears that upwind performance has not been degraded. I was concerned about this since I removed about 15% of the underwater profile aft, and was concerned with helm balance and leeway. It does not appear that the windward performance has been degraded. When the boat is heeled over, an awful lot of the hull above the waterline be- comes submerged and really increases the effective lateral area, so the above 15% in reality may become less than 10% loss of effective profile. I cannot prove it, but downwind light air performance has to be improved.

5. There are two other factors that probably contribute to performance maintenance. The bustle extends the fair hull lines about 3 feet aft, so water separation aft probably has less effect on performance. At the time of alteration I also pinched in the hull above the keel, so the hull above the keel has a pronounced airfoil shape that was not on the original hull form. I did notice that the quarter wave was quite smooth after the alteration, so took that as a good sign.


Vinnia on Lake Huron in the early 60's.