A Sixty-Year Old Yacht is Brought Back to Life.
Using the original blueprints, the Biwako Yacht Club has restoring Japan's oldest sailing ship.



The yacht on display (Omi-maiko Hotel, Shiga-cho, Shiga Prefecture)

The Biwako Yacht Club (Tetsuo Yoshimoto, President) has restored a yacht, which was made in the United States over sixty years ago, to its original appearance. The members of the club believe that this boat is probably the oldest wooden yacht in Japan that is capable of sailing, and they intend to treat it like a treasure.

This two-sail small-class yacht was designed and built in 1933 in New York and is 4 meters long. It was originally owned by an American member of the Kobe Yacht Club before World War II.

An alumnus of the Boat Club at the former Kyoto Daichi Commercial School founded the Biwako Yacht Club and held the first yacht race in Japan using rules in the Japanese language. By chance, the founder of the Biwako Yacht Club met the American member of the Kobe Yacht Club, who was giving instructions at the race. In 1934, the family of the American, who passed away, presented this yacht to the Biwako Yacht Club. This yacht sailed until about thirty years ago, when damage over the years forced it to be put in storage at the club's boat house in Yanagasaki, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture.

Kazuyuki Hasegawa, president of the Biwako Ship Lines, has been fond of this yacht since he was a child, because his father was one of the founding members of the Biwako Yacht Club. With the renovation of the yacht harbor, the club decided to refurbish its boat house. Seeing this as an opportunity, Mr. Hasegawa and Mr. Yoshimoto, president of the club, asked a boat manufacturer in Otsu City last fall to restore the yacht to its former appearance by using the original designs, which have been preserved. The yacht will be kept at the Omi-maiko Hotel in Shiga-cho until the work on the club's boat house is completed this fall, and there are plans for the club to participate in future races using the yacht.

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