Another newly-found SS returns to the line-up: “SS 101” Spindrift

SS ?-3 was launched today by new owners Bob and Meredith Murray. With the approval of the SS Association, the boat has been given the number SS 101, after a long-gone sailboat that was chopped up and taken to the dump many years ago. The “new” SS 101 now resides in Beaver Dam Cove, Westhampton, in front of the Murrays’ house on Apaucuck Point. Named “Spindrift” after Meredith’s grandfather’s yacht, the SS proudly wears atop its mast the tell-tale wind indicator that once adorned another of Meredith’s family’s SSs, #84 Mariposa, when that SS lived at Apaucuck Point in the 1940s-1970s. Danny Kammerer, the present owner of #84, presented Meredith with the tell-tale at the July 4, 2008 Centennial celebration. The boat has been meticulously restored by Fred Scopinich. 

Meredith’s and Bob’s plans for the boat are slightly different. To Meredith, SS 101 will serve as a vehicle for teaching all members of the family, children as well as adults, how to sail, and she envisions hours of happy, stress-free sailing at all times of the day plus on moonlit nights. Bob and Fred Scopinich, however, seem to have equipped SS 101 in such a way that it looks suspiciously like a racing machine.

Either way, another SS has been saved!!

Dick Scopinich found the boat discarded in Chesterfield Associates’ scrap yard in Westhampton sometime in 2006 and considered it to be unrepairable. The transom was out, the skeg was torn off, and the boat was held together by a medium-blue fiberglass hull covering. Dick brought the SS to his brother Fred at Fred’s Hamptons Shipyards “just in case” the boat was salvageable. The mast, boom and sails were missing, and no identification number could be found anywhere on the hull.

According to Fred Scopinich, the SS was built by Ben Hallock, as confirmed by the centerboard trunk construction and the mast step and by the fact that the boat had butt blocks on its planking which later builders (after 103) didn’t use. But, according to Fred, “this boat was fiberglassed and the deck was not typical Ben Hallock construction, that is, 5/8” x 1-3/4” cedar. This boat has an extra strong deck of ¾” x 2 ¼” wide vertical grain cedar, leading me to assume the deck was replaced at some point. This deck that was sound was the reason why I decided to save the boat.” 

The newly designated “SS ?-3/SS 101” is now fully restored with a new stempost, new keel, and new transom. It also has all new hull frames re-fastened at all planks; an all-new centerboard trunk; a new rudder assembly; and the hull has been covered with 2 layers of West System epoxy resin and cloth. The sails were made by UK Sailmakers of Bronx, New York http://www.ukhalsey.com/ and include a mainsail of 4.9 oz Dacron, Jib of 4.9 oz Dacron and a lightweight spinnaker.

Because Fred Scopinich has had occasion to sail in several boats that he has recently restored, he has incorporated a few updates into the restoration to better enable the Senior Citizens-pretending-to-be-children-again to sail the 16 ½’ boat. These include color-coordinated halyard lines so that age-weakened eyes can distinguish the jib halyard from the spinnaker halyard; a window in the sail to prevent some whippersnapper from ramming the newly restored sailboat; an extension-bar on the tiller; easy-hold mainsheet winches for arthritic hands; and, upon request, padded kneeling cushions (one on either side of the centerboard) for ancient crew members.


  1. Finally got to the SS blog. Very impressive effort which is really a testimony to the emotional attachment to the class. Saw your #101 and look forward to hearing of your nautical exploits at the next CCA do. Thanks.

  2. I saw this SS-101 with a 'for-sale' sign, sitting on a trailer beside Montauk Hwy in Moriches this July-4 weekend. It is painted blue, with a description being SS-101. I am wondering if this is the same boat, since it now owned by a man name Jeff Lee. Does anyone know more of the history about this SS, since the new owner has named it "Little Blue Sloop", and he says it was originally built in 1924? I am very curious, since I may wish to buy it.

  3. Bob - how do I get in touch with you. Need your email to forward your query to the right people :-)