The Friendship Sloop

Bernard MacKenzie

Bernard MacKenzie, founder and Honorary President of the Friendship Sloop Society, passed away January 15th [year] at the age of 80. "Bernie", who owned #1 Voyager, and later #96 Voyager, wrote the following article for the Sloop Society publication "It's A Friendship" published in 1965. This article is an account of the race which gave him the idea of establishing a "Homecoming Race" for Friendships.

I found my Friendship Sloop one wintry afternoon in 1951, sitting in a crowded boat yard at Onset, Mass. Her name was Voyager. She had been shored up and hastily covered with odd pieces of canvas many months before. Snow was still lying about in patches as my partner Frank Westerhoff and I pulled back the cover revealing the lovely sheer of her deck underneath. Perhaps it was this very act that sold us on the old dowager, but whatever it was, we gazed at her hull and thought she looked like a 'Queen on a throne' amongst the lesser shapes of modern plywood boats that were stacked around her. Voyager measured 29 ft. overall, 9 ft., 6 in. beam with draft of 4 ft. 10 in. The cutwater was quite fine with pronounced hollow at the waterline sweeping out to the firmness of her bilges and gradually receding into a flat run towards the elliptical transom. The proud clipper bow still bore the name of "Charles Morse, Builder, Friendship, Me."

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