Friday, October 30, 2009

A Safe Haven Called Shiloh

Seven years ago, my husband and I found our dream yacht. She was in Boston Harbor , and it was cold and rainy, yet the moment we set foot on board we felt comfortable and at home. We had been looking for a classic wooden yacht for years, and had narrowed our search to Trumpys. She is known as hull #314, the first boat the New Jersey Trumpy Yard built after WWII, and was the first boat John Trumpy built for himself as a demonstrator. He called her "Aurora", godess of the dawn. There were 5 more Auroras in his life. This one was to go through many owners, including the actress Susan Hayward. The previous owner had acquired her after she was found washed up on the rocks following Hurricane Gloria in 1986 and had done a fine restoration job.
55" Aurora, Contract number 314, built in 1945 (Pilot model), built for John Trumpy
Sea Prince - Before
Shiloh - After
When we first saw her she looked a bit different than she did originally. She was also known as "Sea Prince", a strange name we thought, since she had been called "Sea Princess" prior, as well as many other lovely names like "Celadon" and "Broadway Lady". My husband had always liked "Shiloh" and when we looked up the meaning in the dictionary we found it meant "safe haven", which was perfect for her. Years ago my husband had cut out an article from Wooden Boat magazine that included a drawing of her original layout, and we set about to restore her to her original look. We have changed the yellow and green to the original blue and white, replaced a long missing walnut banquette in the main salon, replaced window treatments, carpets, tile, reupholstered and refurbished, and many other things.
Main Salon - Before
Main Salon - After
Aft Deck - Before

Aft Deck - After
It is an ongoing project. Yes, we are always busy varnishing, sanding, painting, and yes she is a lot of work, but the time we spend on her is so rewarding. There is a sense of stepping back into an era of bygone elegance - one feels the stress of the day melt away and time becomes insignificant. We call it the "Shiloh syndrome" when we and our guests hate to pack up and leave, and we always look forward to returning.


  1. Fabulous pictures. A great Lady.

  2. Still a beautiful lady. What history. I think of Dodson's 1st Helma that became Sea Tabby--wow.