Racing boat Elvira restored

- It's an historic racing boat that has made its way back in the water after being hauled out for more than a quarter century.  

The boat named Elvira gained notoriety for being one of the fastest racing boats 100 years ago. She was originally built for the Walton's who founded Bellport Bay Yacht Club and claimed victory in the club's first race back in 1906.

She was eventually sold to a Brookhaven family and ultimately donated to the Post-Morrow Foundation, an organization that preserves the Town's past with the hope she would one day sail again.

Volunteers with the Carmans River Maritime Center were determined to fix her up.

“It’s a Great South Bay P-Class racing sloop. It was built in 1906 by Gilbert Monroe Smith known as Gil Smith in Patchogue,” Carmans River Maritime Center President Ralph Maust said. “The deck covering, the seats, the deck that I'm sitting on, the floor boards, the frames, the floor timbers, new mast, new gaff.”

The work was made possible thanks to more than a dozen volunteers who put in close to 2,500 hours and nearly $185,000 in both individual donations and grants. Raising the money was a long and difficult process especially when more structural issues needed to be addressed during the 13-year restoration.

In 2011 Elvira was approved as a property listed on the National Register of Historic Places. She's known to be the last sailing Gil Smith P-class boat. The Carmans River Maritime Center has plans to take people on the bay to share her success story.

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