Boathouse Woodworks / Jim Cameron · Idem Restoration Project


In 1899, the members of the St. Regis Yacht Club commissioned Clinton Crane, a young naval architect, to design a class of wooden sailing sloops for the purpose of racing the light winds of the home waters of the young club.

A few members contracted to purchase the first of these boats, which were to be called Idems (Latin for one), and to sail them annually in competition. They would require a crew of five, and over the next few years more club members contracted for these sleek vessels until there were an even dozen boats whose gaff-rigged sails would catch the wind each summer as they competed for the coveted silver trophies.

Today, these unique sloops continue this racing tradition -- some even skippered by descendents of those original owners. Thirty-two feet of traditional wooden construction over a century old requires continuing maintenence, and nearly all vessels have seen complete restoration. Jim Cameron, the local authority on the maintenence and traditional repair of these antiques, knows each boat's provenence (history) and has sailed as the Mainsail crewman on the winning vessel for more than 20 consecutive years, as well. Nearly every single boat in the original fleet has benefited from Jim's expert and caring craftsmanship.

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