• 63'
  • 1959
  • Essex, Connecticut, United States
  • $260,000


The Johnsons spent many years planning the design of YANKEE. Her thick Coreten steel hull is rust resistant and rugged enough to withstand the rigors of tying up to the stone walls of canals or grounding in the shallow waters. In fact her design allows her to nose up to a river bank and drop her crew off to explore. During her first year of travel through the canals and rivers of Europe, she transited over 600 locks and they never used a dinghy to get ashore. The easily handled ketch rig combined with the twin centerboards, allow many combination of sail area and balance. making her very easy to sail offshore with a small crew. The Johnsons also used the centerboards to keep her in place on the shallow canals while waiting for the locks to open. A very roomy boat for the planned crew of 4 but able to sleep up to 8, YANKEE is a part of yachting history and many article have been written about her. For the past 12 years the vessel has been operated privately by her current owners . They’ve sailed her from Cape Breton Nova Scotia to the Caribbean and up and down the East Coast from Maine to Florida. During these years her systems have been up graded. In 2009 after many years of working with the USCG, the vessel received a certificate of inspection to carry up to 22 passengers on lakes bays and sounds. She began doing limited commercial work in the summer of 2010 offering day trips on the Connecticut river and Long Island Sound.

  • Basic Information
  • Dimensions
  • Speed / Weight
  • Accomodations
  • Hull & Deck
  • Engine Information
  • Category: Cruising Ketch
  • Model: Original Irving Johnson YANKEE
  • Model Year: 1959
  • YearBuilt: 1959
  • Year Refit: N/A
  • Refit Type: N/A
  • Tax Paid: N/A
  • Country: United States
  • Registration #: N/A
  • Coast Guard #: N/A
  • Vessel Top: N/A
  • Fly Bridge: No
  • Cockpit: No
  • Helipad: No
  • Accomodations: Guest SR/S: 2/0 - Crew R/B/S: 0/0/0
  • LOA: 63' 0" (19.20m)
  • LWL: --
  • LOD: 50' 0" (15.24m)
  • Beam: 15' 7" (4.75m)
  • Min Draft: 4' 6" (1.37m)
  • Max Draft: 8' 6" (2.59m)
  • Clearance: 63' 0" (19.20m)
  • MFG Length: --
  • Cruise Speed: 7 Knots
  • Cruise Speed RPM: --
  • Cruise Speed Range: --
  • Max Speed: 8 Knots
  • Max Speed RPM: --
  • Max Speed Range: --
  • Displacement: 70,000 Pounds
  • Gross Tonnage: --
  • Water Capacity: 1,200 Gallons
  • Holding Tank: --
  • Fuel Capacity: 1,000 Gallons
  • Fuel Consumption: --
  • Berths: 4
  • Heads: 2
  • Sleeps: N/A
  • State Rooms: 2
  • Crew Berths: N/A
  • Crew Sleeps: N/A
  • Crew Heads: N/A
  • Captains Quarters: No
  • Hull ID: N/A
  • Hull Material: Steel
  • Deck Material: N/A
  • Hull Configuration: N/A
  • Project Manager: N/A
  • Hull Designer: N/A
  • Hull Color: N/A
  • Hull Finish: N/A
  • Exterior Designer: N/A
  • Interior Designer: N/A
  • Manufacturer: Detroit Diesel
  • Model: 371
  • Engine Count: Single
  • Engine Type: Inboard
  • Fuel Type: Diesel


This vessel is the original YANKEE designed by Sparkman & Stephens for Irving Johnson and his wife Exy, the most famous and successful sailing couple of the last century.

Yankee is built of rust resistant Corten steel that has almost twice the tensile strength of regular steel. Her varnished sitka spruce laminated spars are stepped in tabernacles and can be lowered to rest on deck while still allowing ample head room in the center cockpit while operating in canals, all without the need for a crane. Her two 1000 lbs inline center boards Allow her to take advantage of her shallow draft while providing ample stability and improved sailing characteristics at sea. The easily handled ketch rig combined with the twin centerboards, allow many different combinations of sail area and balance which makes her very easy to sail offshore with a small crew. Yet she is a very roomy boat with berths for  8.

She is a rugged vessel. As Johnson liked to say, she was designed to climb mountains, cross oceans and survive shipwreck.

Featured in four National Geographics, numerous sailing articles and two books by the Johnson’s, Yankee is part of Yachting history with a large archive at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut. With the Johnsons, she sailed extensively in the canals of Europe and the Mediterranean from Spain to Egypt where she made her historic journey up the Nile to the Sudan. She was sailed across the Atlantic to Trinidad in the 70’s and was used there until brought to Newport RI where she was purchased by her current owners in 1998.


The current owners have sailed her from Cape Breton Nova Scotia to Bermuda and the Caribbean and made several trips up and down the east coast to Florida and the Bahamas. This past winter her owners cruised her south to the Exumas and back.


Her current USCG COI is valid until October, 2019.


Large main salon aft with windows across transom and large double bunk athwart-ships underneath. U shaped settee with folding table in the middle of the cabin. forward to port is the Galley and opposite to starboard is the head. Access to the cockpit is up ladder to starboard with engine room access underneath. Large opening ports all around for good natural ventilation.

The large cabin forward of the cockpit was designed as a comfortable stateroom for two with accomodations for  more if a pilot or the owners' two sons were aboard. There are 4 single berths to port and a double berth to starboard. Large head aft to starboard. The freezer is on port side. Collision bulkhead forward. Chain and rode all the way forward.

All bunks and cockpit seats have new matrasses and upholstery (2014) 


Located in the aft cabin to port. Approximately 7 feet of SS counter top with double sinks, numerous storage cabinets and lockers. The propane cooking range has four burner cook top, oven and broiler. Two 25 gallon propane tanks are stored on deck in a USCG approved locker with an electric solenoid valve operated from the galley. Refrigerator and Freezer  are cooled by separate Adler and Barber external compressors that are dual air and water cooled. The refrigerator compressor was replaced in 2015. The freezer and fridge have custom made boxes with 2 ½" of urethane insulation in the fridge and 6” of in the freezer. There is a microwave located above the galley stove.


Sunken cockpit amidships with dodger over head, which becomes a second salon. The helm is amidships on a binnacle and the navigation instruments froward to port. The large open decks forward and aft are ideal for carrying thinks like motor scooters, windsurfers and kayaks.


Ground Tackle

  • Ideal windlass 24 VDC vertical mount with winch head and gypsy head
  • 80 LBS CQR
  • 60 LBS BRUCE
  • 450 FEET              3/8 galvanized HT chain
  • 300 feet               1 ¼” nylon anchor line
  • 300 feet               1 ¼” nylon anchor line
  • 400 feet               1” Nylon anchor line


  • AVON 12 ½’ Inflatable hard bottom dingy stored in davits on fantail
  • 15 hp Johnson OB.


Built of Corten steel with round chines, she has twin fore and aft steel centerboards operated from two winches in the Cockpit. There are 9 separate integral steel tanks which serve as effective double bottom for most of the vessels length.  There is a steel bulkhead fore and aft of the engine room with a water tight door in the aft bulkhead. There is a water tight collision bulkhead with a water tight door between the foreword cabin and the chain locker.

During 2012-3, the deck bulwark and rail were replaced with new steel and the wooden deck replaced with new plywood covered with fiberglass. The work was done under US Coast Guard inspection and all welds tested before coating with primer and paint. The deck was painted with traditional beige non-skid with white scuppers. 

Sails and Rigging

Masts and booms are sitka spruce laminated and varnished. Masts mounted on deck in steel tabernacles which allow the rig to be folded down and carried above the cockpit hard top without interfering with the operation of the vessel. Main mast rebuilt 2009 new Tides marine synthetic sail track added. Standing rigging 1X19 SS with bronze turnbuckles.

Since receiving USCG Certification in 2008, the vessel had been subject to regular USCG safety inspections of the hull and rig. The rig has been surveyed , unstepped, in 2009 and 2015 with all recommendations completed and the  work  accepted by the USCG.


  • Mainsail (fully battened, New 2010)
  • Mizzen 
  • 120 % genioa on Profurl roller,
  • Inner jib on Profurl roller,
  • Mizzen staysail
  • Storm jib
  • Spinnaker
  • Profurl roller furlers added in 2001 and 2005.

Engine /Mechanical Equipment

Detroit 371diesel with Paragon 2:1 reverse gear. Cooling is by heat exchanger with a back up keel cooling system. Engine was completely rebuilt in 2009. All new bearings, rods, pistons, sleves, cylinder head, injectors, and cooling system. GENSET, Westerbeke 8kw. This unit needs to be rebuilt or replaced.

Shaft is 1 ¾” with dripless PSI “stuffing box” and  cutlass bearing.

Steering is with 5/16 cable to rudder quadrant with emergency hydraulic back-up if the cables fail.



5 water tanks with manifold that connects it to one of two Jabsco Sensor Max 17 pumps that supply freshwater to the vessel’s sinks, showers, toilets and wash down hoses. There is a 12 gallon domestic water heater that operates on 120 VAC.

Toilets are SEALAND Vacuum Flush fresh water heads each with its own vacuum generator that discharge into the black water tank. This tank can be emptied via deck pump out or by its own pump overboard when allowed.



Webasto oil fired boiler in engine room. This circulates to three separate cabin heat exchangers: two in the aft cabin and one forward.



24 Volt water cooled unit in aft cabin.



There are 5 separate bilge compartments and sumps; forward port and starboard, aft port and starboard, engine room. Bilge piping consists of 1 ¼” galvanized pipe with check valve and strainer to a stainless steel manifold located in the cockpit under the starboard steps. All pipe is welded where it passes through water tight bulkheads. The manifold is valved to two pumps for de-watering the individual compartments. One is a WHALE GUSHER 30gl/min manual emergency pump mounted under the starboard settee in the cockpit. The other is a 120 VAC impeller pump located in the engine room. There is also a RULE 2000 submersible 24 VDC pump in the engine room bilge that is plumbed independently of the manifold as a convenience pump. There are 5 separate BILGE HIGH WATER ALARMS wired to an indicator panel in the cockpit. There is a 1 ¼ “gasoline emergency fire and bilge pump stored in a weather tight box on deck.

Electronics and Navigational Equipment

  • Garmin GPS MAP 4212 chart plotter. 2008
  • Garmin digital radar. GMR HD 24. 4KW high def 2008
  • Furuno GPS in cockpit
  • Garmin GWS Wind sensor bundle.
  • ICOM M504 VHF  in cockpit with masthead antenna
  • VHF hand held.
  • Fathometer
  • Wood Freeman Auto Pilot with newly replace (2015) hydraulic drive
  • Electrical System

  • 24v DC, 12v DC, 120v A
  • Electrical panel in aft cabi
  • 120 volt Charles isolation transformer
  • Magnum MS 40/24 True Sign Wave Inverter Charger 3kW (2011) with ME-RC remote
  • 24 VDC 2 banks of two 8D AGM batteries. Most of vessel’s wiring is on this voltage (2015)
  • 12 VDC 2 banks of group 27 AGM batteries. (2014) (Mostly for 12 volt electronics)
  • 60 amp Alternator off main engine ( 12 volt bank)
  • Balmar 98 Series 220 amp 24 volt alternator belt driven off main engine
  • Balmar MC-624 Multi Stage voltage regulator
  • Victron Converter 24DC-12DC 70 Amp to charge 12 volt bank
  • Battery switches in engine room
  • Safety And Fire Protection

    • FireBoy FE 241, MA2-500 Automatic and manual system with engine, gen set, blower cut off.   Mounted in engine room overhead with manual release at helm.
    • Fuel line cut off at tanks operated at helm.
    • Three B2 and two B1 manual extinguishers located In galley, forward cabin and cockpit.
    • USCG approved pfds 24 adult and 3 child. Located in cockpit lockers.
    • 5 inflatable pfds with harnesses located forward cabin.
    • ACE EPIRB.
    • Two throwable life rings. One with floating line    and one with light.
    • MOB floating buoy flag pole located in fast release form mizzen shroud.
    • AVON SOLAS approved 8 man inflatable life raft with automatic release. Stored in case on deck


    • 3 buckets with lanyards marked FIRE Located In cockpit.
    • Emergency bilge pump, gas powered, in box on deck

    Certificate of Inspection

    While the Yankee has been predominantly used privately, A Jones Act Waver was obtained from the US Congress in 2002 pursuant to applying for a USCG Certificate of inspection. Numerous upgrades were made over 7 years of working closely with the USCG to meet the strict US requirements. 

    In 2008 she was granted a COI for 22 day passengers on Lakes Bays and Sounds.  The current Certificate granted in 2014 is valid until 2019.

    All the new work and systems on the vessel since the certification process was undertaken have been subject to USCG approval and inspection. She began doing limited commercial work in the summer of 2010 offering day trips on the Connecticut river and Long Island Sound but all her extensive cruising has been private.