Donor gives 114-foot yacht to maritime nonprofit
NORFOLK - The nonprofit foundation that built and operates the schooner Virginia has gotten an unexpected gift - The Ring-Andersen, a 114-foot sailing vessel built as a cargo ship in 1948 and refitted as a luxury sailing yacht. The donor wishes to remain anonymous. The ship, which has been moored at Waterside in recent years, was recently appraised at $3.2 million.
The Virginia Maritime Heritage Foundation is contemplating the future of The Ring-Andersen, which is in sound condition, said Jonathan Gorog, the interim executive director. The foundation has offered the vessel's use to the Elizabeth River Project so the conservation organization could have a pier side presence in Norfolk. Discussions are under way.
The foundation, which has a goal of promoting Virginia's maritime heritage and which launched the schooner Virginia last year, has accepted - and sold - several smaller yachts, according to its Web site, which promotes the tax benefits of a donation.
The Ring-Andersen may be sold again in a couple of years, Gorog said , with the proceeds placed in an endowment to provide income for the foundation.
Last week, The Ring-Andersen was moored in the Elizabeth River next to the schooner Virginia in its winter home by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration building. The schooner Virginia is a replica of a 1917 vessel of the same name.
The crew was preparing the schooner Virginia for a busy summer. It will be present at various community events and will navigate the Delmarva Peninsula several times as part of the Youth Sail Training Program offered by the foundation. Meanwhile, The Ring-Andersen will be in Norfolk. Shipwright Mark Donohue, a foundation employee, will be plying his carpentry skills on the ship. One of his first tasks: making its hatches watertight again.
The Ring-Andersen was commissioned in 1948 at The Ring-Andersen Shipyard in Svendborg, Denmark, as a sailing cargo vessel. The ship, a ketch, has a 21-foot beam. The ship hauled 155-ton loads of lumber and curbstones around the Baltic Sea, until it was refitted in 1962 as a Caribbean charter yacht, according to a brochure promoting the ship as a luxury yacht for hire. The ship was rebuilt in the early 1980s in Denmark and was refitted in Rhode Island in 1999.
Unlike the comparatively Spartan accommodations on the schooner Virginia, where crew members stay in communal areas, The Ring-Andersen has a roomy wood-paneled saloon. Its three double staterooms are finished in French walnut, Danish elm and rosewood.
By MATTHEW ROY, The Virginian-Pilot, April 10, 2006