Silent Maid: Loud Statement
This 33-foot catboat, the reincarnation of a storied Barnegat Bay racer, is the latest success of a former Wall Streeter devoted to bringing classic wooden sailboats back to life. Yacht Style from our December 2012 issue.
It was on the third leg of the Opera House Cup Regatta, held off Nantucket, Massachusetts, that I saw Silent Maid for the first time. I was steering a vintage, 1930s-era 30-square-meter sloop named Cythera, and I watched as this magnificent, varnished, 33-foot catboat barreled straight downwind not far from us. The mainsail was eased all the way out, the mast and the gaff made a graceful arc, and the boat was heeled slightly to windward. Silent Maid looked powerful and purposeful. Paraphrasing the baseball Hall-of-Famer and amateur philosopher Yogi Berra, Silent Maid “was even better looking than she looked.”
At a raucous prize-giving ceremony on one of Nantucket’s great beaches later that night, I bumped into Peter Kellogg, who’d commissioned the new Silent Maid to be built to her original lines. Silent Maid was the only catboat in the regatta and finished a respectable 13th out of 57 boats. The boat also earned the Gwen Gaillard Spirit of the Race Award. Kellogg dressed up for the ceremonies by wearing a wooden bow tie—a tribute, I guess, to his love of wooden vessels.
Kellogg has restored a 19th-century 24-foot B Cat named Myth, now on display at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and he’s built a series of wooden boats, including a few A Cats for racing on Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, and the Sandbaggers Bull and Bear. Bull and Bear are well named—Kellogg is retired from a successful career on Wall Street. When he and his wife, Cynthia, have time, they’ve cruised Silent Maid on Chesapeake Bay.
The Independence Seaport Museum was the platform for Silent Maid’s construction. A crew led by master boatbuilder John Brady hand-crafted the vessel from mahogany, white oak, and Spanish cedar. The boat was christened and launched in June 2009.