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Lovely Freda is Back in Action

Looking sweet minutes after her launch, Freda should be seen skimming across Bay waters soon. Originally a centerboarder, her broad beam gave stability in brisk Bay conditions.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Although her mast and sails have yet to be fitted, the legendary 50-ft sloop Freda is essentially back in action now after her launch Saturday in Sausalito. Local craftsmen recently completed an exhaustive eight-year rebuild of the elegant sloop at the Spaulding Wooden Boat Center. 

Master shipwright and project overseer Bob Darr strikes a pose with Diane Brenden, who, with her husband Jerry, owned Freda during the 1980s and ’90s. The crowd was a who’s who of historic boat buffs.

© Woody Skoriak

Several hundred history buffs and wooden boat aficionados turned out for the splashing, many of whom had wondered in years past if this local maritime treasure would ever be truly seaworthy again. Built in Belvedere and first launched in 1885, Freda is the last remaining example of America’s earliest style of recreational sailing craft, dubbed ‘American sloop yachts’. She is, in fact, the last remaining relic of her era in the entire US. 

We’ll have more on the refit in next month’s Latitude, including ways that you can get involved with her ongoing stewardship — and perhaps even go for a sail aboard her.

With Master Mariner Terry Klaus of Brigadoon officiating, a sea of onlookers ooh’ed and ahh’ed as the pretty gaff sloop was gently lowered into the Bay.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

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