THE STAR CLASS COLLECTION
AT THE MYSTIC SEAPORT MUSEUM
In 1961 the estate of Ardian Iselin II donated Iselin's complete Star collection, including his boat Ace II, # 202, to the Mystic Seaport Museum. Iselin was a two-time World Champion, in 1925 and 1936, both times in his home-built Ace II. In this collection there are more than 100 trophies, ranging from club and fleet championship trophies to Bacardi and World's daily and series trophies. As a note of interest, when the Bacardi series was resumed in 1962 on Biscayne Bay the estate of Adrian Iselin donated the 1927 Bacardi Trophy which Iselin had won to the event to be awarded as a perpetual trophy. That is why the word “ACE” is inscribed on the Bacardi Cup today.
The boat Ace II is presently set up on display in the North Boat Shed.
(Photo by Guy Gurney)
A second Star boat was donated to Mystic in 1983. This is the Ceti, # 7, which had been owned since late 1911 by the family of Warren Ranson. As Ogilvy notes in his "A History of the Star Class", "No. 7 was taken to Lake Massawipi in Quebec, just north of the Vermont border. There it stayed, to be enjoyed as a family daysailer for 70 years, surely the longest active use of any Star anywhere. In 1983 the Ransoms gave the boat to the Mystic Seaport Museum, where it is being preserved. It still has the original gaff rig and, incredibly, the original canvas mainsail."
Ceti is presently in storage in the Small Boat Shed at Mystic. Perhaps even more remarkable than the fact that it still has the original mainsail is that the boat is exactly the way it was built in 1911 by Isaac Smith. The deck in particular has not been changed, and except for expected wear and tear has not been changed or any way updated for all of the years it had been sailing. One of the most noticeable things is the cockpit coaming which extends from just behind the mast to the aft-end of the cockpit. This coaming must have made sailing the boat most uncomfortable when sitting on the deck or hiking out and was quickly dispensed with in other Stars. One can only imagine that Ceti was not generally sailed in windy conditions and that there was never the need to take off the coaming.
Ceti, # 7, at Mystic Seaport
In 1989 the Star Class Central Office sent its archival material to Mystic. This material includes the Register of Star Class boats, numbers 1 - 5100, papers and minutes of the Administrative Committee, International Governing Committee, Development Committee, Measurement Committee and other Star Class committees, plus a host of other documents and correspondence which the Class generated to run Class affairs. These papers are housed in the Manuscript Collection of the G. W. Blunt White Library.
During the late 1980’s Stan Ogilvy went through and catalogued a collection of photographs which for the most part were used in the Star Class Logs. These photos became part of the Mystic collection in 1990. At Mystic there is also the Rosenfeld collection, and many photographs of Stars from the earliest days are in this collection which is presently in the process of being catalogued.
The Central Office also had a collection of films of various Star Class events from District to World Championships, the earliest being the 1936 World’s. These films are presently at the film archive at Mystic and are in the process of being catalogued. One of the goals of this cataloguing work is to create a historical film loop which will be used in a new Star Class exhibit presently under consideration. The exhibit will feature the various World Championship daily and lesser series trophies. The Star Class archives and exhibits have been generously supported by a long-time Star Class member.