Tumblehome Boatshop specializes in the restoration and new replica construction of the 1926 Sound Inter Club.
This racing class sailboat was designed by the prolific and ground-breaking boat designer, Charles D. Mower. Only 28 of these impressive sailing boats were built – most all of them in 1926 by the craftsmen at the Nevins Boatyard on City Island.
The Sound Inter Clubs were raced on Long Island Sound throughout the late 1920s by the who’s who of yacht racing. Some of the iSc yachtsmen sailed on America’s Cup Defenders.
From Long Island Sound to Lake George, NY
Meanwhile, on Lake George, the appetite for one-design racing was growing by 1934 with the Cape Cod Knockabout (adapted with lead keels for stability) followed by the Star class.
By late 1937, Lake George Club sailors Hib Hall (Hall’s Boat Corp.), Harold P. Pitcairn, and Ernst F.W. Alexanderson, gained an appetite for an even bigger, more powerful, one-design boat. The timing was perfect, as down on Long Island Sound, Corny Shields—the master of the iSc class—was establishing his new International One Design (IOD) fleet, and moving the iSc owners over to them. Records show that numerous iSc craft left the Sound area that year and the following.
In total, it is believed that as many as ten Sound Inter Clubs made their way to Lake George, where Pitcairn bought two, and Alexanderson and Hall each bought one.
The iSc became the largest and fastest sailboats on the lake. Racing at the Lake George Club became a favored and most competitive sport. But it wasn’t all hard racing and sailing—old family photos show the iSc fleet gathering in Log Bay, swim ladders over the sides, and towels drying on the booms while friends cooked meals on campfires at shore.
By the 1960s, however, the boats were becoming tired, and Lake George sailors turned to newer and simpler boats. Some boats were lost or fell to ruin, or left the area. Two of these boats went to a local resort, the Canoe Island Lodge, and were expedition boats for guests at the Lodge throughout the 1960s, ’70s, and early ’80s. They were later destroyed, with keels from two of the iSc being used for the Canoe Island 30.
But think of it—during the same years that El Lagarto was retired from racing but still a fixture crashing around the lake, these sailboats were working the same water. Radically different boats but each as famous, in their own world, as the other. And both boats designed with the same basic premise: a boat that could be used for pleasure, and yet raced on a knife’s edge.
Today, only five of the original Sound Inter Club boats have been found worldwide. The rest have been lost.
The First Fully Restored iSc Matched Pair
During his tenure at Hall’s Boat Corp., in Lake George, NY, Reuben Smith led the major part of the restoration of two of those original five Sound Inter Clubs (“Caprice” and “Ghost”). The final phases of the restorations were completed at Tumblehome Boatshop. And now Tumblehome has restored a third Sound Inter Club (“Aileen”). The boats are sailed on Lake George, marking an historic reintroduction of the class to this beautiful lake.
Since no original builder plans exist for this historic class sailboat, restoration was painstaking, time-consuming, and involved the careful evaluation of old photographs and designer plans that lacked detail and accurate measurements, as well as careful study of the remaining boats.
Visit the Gallery page for images on the Sound Inter Club restorations at Tumblehome.
True iSc™ | New Construction of this Classic
No true original builder plans exist for this historic class sailboat. But now the Sound Inter Club boat known to be the most original has been documented with laser technology, accurate to a tenth of a millimeter, to create the True Sound Inter Club.
Built exclusively through Reuben Smith’s Tumblehome Boatshop, the True iSc™ is an exact replica of “Caprice,” an original Sound Inter Club – one of the five remaining today and the one known to be the most original.
For more information on building the True iSc™, check out the New Construction page.