WEE WINN (#425) 1892
Original owner: Miss Winifred Sutton, Bembridge Sailing Club, Isle of Wight
Sail Area: 178 sq. ft.
LWL: 15.61 feet
LOA: 23.92 feet
Beam: 4.8 feet
Draft: 2.9 feet
Displacement: 1,004 lbs. including 340 lb. lead bulb
WEE WINN is a bulb fin-keel sloop commissioned during the first year the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company produced the type. She was the second of three built to half model #317 (on view in the Model Room upstairs). She was donated to the Museum in 1984 by Jonathan Jansen of London and Bembridge on the Isle of Wight, England. Jansen had rescued the hull from a bonfire, but not before many of the bronze fittings - including rudder and keel - had been scavenged.
WEE WINN reflected a radical departure in hull design on the British racing scene. In addition to her unusual bulb keel, she has a very narrow hull with long overhangs. These elements combined with lightweight hull construction were characteristic of NGH designs from the period.
During her inaugural 1892 race season, Miss Sutton sailed in 22 races, winning 21 and finishing 2nd in one. In a reduced 1893 campaign, WEE WINN and Miss Sutton won 8 of 11 races, thereby solidifying their renown. Over WEE WINN’s long racing career, she proved herself decisively as champion of the Solent.
A team of Museum volunteers brought WEE WINN to life again to celebrate her 125th birthday, carefully preserving her character while also replacing missing bronze parts, spars, and rig so viewers can appreciate her full form. The cradle is not only designed to show off her replica bulb-fin keel and rudder, but also to give support to a broken keel and frames at the aft end of the keel.