PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (LOG NEWS SERVICE) — Workers at a Rhode Island boatyard have begun work to restore Santana, a schooner once owned by actor Humphrey Bogart.
The yacht, affectionately known as “Bogie’s Boat,” is undergoing a major refit and restoration at Loughborough Marine Interests in Portsmouth.
The 62-foot (LOA) Sparkman & Stephens designed schooner was constructed at the Wilmington Boat Works in Los Angeles where she was launched in 1935.
A serious sailor and excellent helmsman, Bogart owned Santana from 1945 until his death in 1957 spending up to 45 weekends each year on board and frequently racing the yacht.
Bogart’s son, Stephen Bogart in his book “In Search of My Father” wrote that his father was very serious about the boat and that he was an excellent helmsman who earned the respect of the sailing community.
“The sea was my father’s sanity,” he said. “My father once answered a question about his devotion to sailing this way ‘An actor needs something to stabilize his personality, something to nail down what he really is, not what he is currently pretending to be.’”
Besides Bogart several other Hollywood stars — George Brent, Ray Milland and Dick Powell — owned Santana between 1941 and 1945 before she became “Bogie’s boat.”
During the almost 80 years since she was launched, other owners of Santana have campaigned her on both coasts and one even sailed her around the world.
During her lifetime Santana has undergone several serious restorations including changing from a schooner to a yawl and finally back again to a schooner in 1999. She survived the indignation of slowly sinking at her slip at the Saint Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco in 1997, an event which is often fatal for an older wooden boat.
Joseph Loughborough, owner of Loughborough Marine Interest in Portsmouth, told The Newport Daily News it will likely take 18 months with a crew of 10 to as many as15 workers and $1.5 million to restore the wooden boat.
Loughborough said the new owners, who purchased Santana in October 2013 and had her hauled by truck to his Portsmouth yard for restoration, want her to be as close to her original condition as possible.
He told the Daily News that the new owners, who want to remain anonymous, are from California and plan to bring the yacht back to the West Coast.
–A report from The Associated Press was used in this story.