"I own SS 136 !"

Merry just sent me this today regarding an email she received last year.  Those of you who have read her book know that there are many SS's out there whose whereabouts are not known to the SS community. Happily, another one has been recently "found" :-)...

This came to me last year. It’s typical of the fun and spirit we SS sailors have discovered in the search to find and save the SS-class sailboats.

Dear Ms. Murray,
I just discovered the article about SS-class sloops in Woodenboat Jan/Feb 2008.  I was so surprised to see it that you could have knocked me over with a feather!
I own SS 136, built by Oliver W. Howell, who initials are carved into the mast step.
I am sure that I am just one of many of the owners of "missing" SS boats who are "reporting in."
She is currently resting comfortably under tarpaulins on a trailer in my yard, not in sailing condition, but I'm sure she is repairable.  Her boom was broken while riding a mooring in a storm some years ago, and I have not used her since. The tiller and tiller casting went overboard in that storm. I have obtained a tiller casting which "will fit", but it is designed for a much heavier boat. I've not yet tackled the tiller problem.
I collect and use antique woodworking tools, which I'm sure will be a great help in the repairs.
I have an UNUSED set of Ulmer sails and an original set of cotton sails. The folks at Ulmer were kind enough to give me a spare copy of the SS sail plan, which was in their files at that time.
I would like very much to obtain a set of drawings for her, especially a spar plan.
It might interest you to know that I am a great-grandson of Bant Hanson, the naval architect of the six-mast schooner Wyoming and many other famous vessels.
John R. Ruth
Metuchen, NJ

John adds that the Nina 136 has her name on her transom in bronze letters, including the Spanish accent mark. The letters are screwed on and may be cast rather than stamped bronze.  Impressive letters for such a little vessel!  It would be interesting to compare this to other SS's built by Howell.  Did he always use bronze letters?

If you have an SS that's not currently on the known fleet list -- please send us an email!  We'll post the news here!


  1. I'm having a senior moment and can't find John Ruth's contact information. John, if you read this, would you send me your postal address and your e-mail address for our SS group data bank? Thanks, Meredith Murray

  2. Hello! We are seeking the donation of an SS for restoration by our volunteer team of professionals for permanent display in our museum. Please call me at 937-823-2651 if you know of one in any condition. Tax deduction certificate supplied. Prefer cotton sails. Thank you! Sincerely, Dr. James McCluskey, Curator, Great Lakes Small Boat Sailing Museum. greatlakessmallboatsailingmuseum@hotmail.com 937-823-2651