DESIGN & LAYOUT
The early 1990s saw a renaissance of the Newport, RI Shields fleet. The fleet was quite small then, and most of the boats were shabby, if not outright wrecks. # 151 was one of the first (if not the very first) early Shields restored then to “look new,” as well as to perform to as-new standards.
The seller purchased # 151 at from Cape Cod Shipbuilding Company in Wareham, MA (CCSBC, then and now official class builders of new SHIELDS), undamaged and complete, but faded, in 1993. Fortunately the early Shields sloops built at Chris Craft had been very solidly constructed. Also, the original teak trim, seats, floor, coamings etc, in the Chris Craft boats dated from an era when clear, thick teak was still plentiful and cheap. All the teak on # 151 is original, and remains in very good shape. CCSBC did a partial largely cosmetic restoration of # 151 in 1993, and she was then Awlgripped in the “Little Harbor” (now Hinckley) high-tech spray booth in Portsmouth, RI.
After her first restoration, # 151 was occasionally raced on Wednesday nights in the Newport fleet and sailed informally as a daysailer for several years, but she was generally lightly used and never crashed. Upgrades continued to keep her technically current with the latest improvements approved by the Shields Class. For example, when CCSBC first restored her, # 151 still had a flat, straight traveler; the Class later adopted a raised, curved Harken traveler which I was retrofitted to the boat. # 151 also has a now-class-legal (but never mounted) “Tack-Tick” electronic compass.
By 2013, # 151 was no longer being raced or day-sailed, so she was stored indoors, where she’s been gradually restored a second time, as follows:
The bottom was peeled, and after a multi-year indoor dry-out, received two coats of epoxy barrier and two coats of primer, so # 151’s underbody is now ready for a light sand and bottom paint by the shop of a new purchaser’s choice.
The topsides Awlgrip applied at the high-tech Little Harbor paint booth in 1993 was in the custom shade “Endeavour Blue” (based on a 50-50 mix of “Flag Blue” and “Aristo Blue,” developed by Elizabeth Meyer for her restoration of the J-Boat ENDEAVOUR). This Awlgrip has held up beautifully, and has now received a new gold-leaf-tape cove stripe and wax over the clear-coat.
The off-white painted interior is impeccable.
The original 1964 deck and non-skid were molded-in fiberglass. Due to repeated painting and sanding, this molded non-skid became worn down. In 2017 the entire original deck (including the non-skid) was sanded down to a completely flat surface, then repainted: the deck now has an off-white margin surrounding buff tan. The non-skid areas have been treated with a sand additive to provide secure footing on deck.
All of # 151’s sailing and racing hardware is complete, up-to-date, and in good shape — (including original winches, lightweight winch handles, stainless blocks and other small hardware, spinnaker gear, boom vang, Loos gauge, Tack-Tick electronic compass, fixed Guzzler bilge pump under the floor, backstay adjustment gauge, hoisting strop, on-deck mast cradles, etc. The chromed bronze fitting securing the oak tiller to the rudder post has been newly re-plated.
The mast and boom were renewed by CCSBC/Zephyr in 2008, and have seen minimal use. The spars have all been stored indoors on spar racks for many years, so are in very good shape, as is the standing and running rigging.
# 151 comes with two sets of North Sails, one is older but still ideal for fun day-sails. The newer set of sails has had very limited use, and would be fine for routine, competitive Wednesday night fleet racing. # 151 also has a heavy, vinyl-lined Sunbrella tent-style rain-cover in good condition.
After many years of limited travel but outdoor storage, the 1993 Triad galvanized steel trailer remained solid but was faded. In 2017 this trailer was completely restored professionally, including:
– Entire steel frame scraped to remove surface rust
– Central keel tray cut out of the frame. New steel tray welded into place
– Dented areas (e.g., fenders) straightened
– Entire steel structure primed and painted in blue Rustoleum paint
– New steel wheels, springs, tires, and lighting
The Shields was conceived as a one-design racing sailboat for maritime cadets and continues to have strong fleets throughout the north east and California. She has a sleek hull design and generous sail area that keep her fun and exciting. Combined with 3,080 lbs of external lead keel she remains steady in strong winds. Most race the Shields with 4 or 5 people, but she can be day sailed with two. The class association has kept the strict one-design nature of the boat true.