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|Class||Antique and Classic|
|Offered By||Rick Obey Yacht Sales|
I was always taught that beauty should be respected, honored, treasured, and preserved at any cost. Equally so, I grew up in an era where classic yachts and cars became prized possessions. As a collector of exotics, one becomes extremely excited the second that BON CONGE glides into view. You "just know" that you are witnessing a spectacularly incredible example of American Maritime history. Your heart races, your eyes lovingly take in her magnificent lines and condition. You find yourself holding your breath as she slips into her berth and you watch as lines are being made secure on Bronze cleats. You can easily see why she has won 16 trophies in a variety of very exclusive CLASSIC YACHT SHOWS. As you walk the 42' of dock space that she now occupies, you 'JUST KNOW" that you must possess this one of a kind extraordinary yacht. She has to be yours. To your amazement you spy a small sign that tells you who to reach out to in order to possess her. You search your pockets to find that nuisance, your cell phone and you punch in the phone numbers with shaky fingers. You ask with bated breath, "Is BON CONGE still available for you to preview." And you are invited to take your first step towards possessing BON CONGE by reading this listing. I have been told that my listing is inadequate to describe her magnificence. But enjoy the read and call to make arrangements to visit her in person. HOWEVER, IF YOU ARE NOT A TRUE CONNOISSEUR, DON'T BOTHER TO READ HER LISTING. BON CONGE is ready to serve another family for years to come...
A WALK THROUGH ONE OF THE FINEST EXAMPLEs OF MARITIME HISTORY
There is something about BON CONGE that just lowers your blood pressure while still making your heart sing with delight as you walk up to gaze upon her beautiful graceful lines. BON CONGE was ordered in late 1927 from the eminent motor launch shipyard ELCO SHIPBUILDERS
Here is a bit of US Maritime history with regards to ELCO.
ELCO first made its mark at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. Fifty-five launches, each 36 feet long and powered by battery-driven electric motors, carried over a million passengers. This company was so far ahead of its time.
In 1899 Isaac Rice, president of the Electric Storage Battery Company and owner of Electric Boat Company, now Electro-Dynamic Company, (both suppliers to Elco), acquired ELCO as a subsidiary of his new Electric Boat Company. ELCO built a new boatyard in Bayonne, New Jersey soon afterward. Previously, ELCO boats had been built in subcontracted facilities.
By 1900, electric-powered pleasure boats outnumbered[ the combined number of boats powered by steam and explosive engines (as gasoline-powered motors were called). By 1910, the advantages of the range and power of gasoline came to dominate the market and ELCO converted to motor boats.
The company built the first diesel powered yacht in America, Idealia, built during 1911 and launched in 1912. Idealia was owned by the company into 1916 and used for demonstrating the application of two stroke diesel engines in yachts. On 22 October 1913 under ELCO corporate manager Henry R. Sutphen , Idealia performed a trial on the Hudson River witnessed by naval engineers and architects on a run of about sixty miles from the Columbia Yacht Club at 86th Street to Croton Point and back. The original Idealia installation was a reversible, air started, two cycle engine with six working cylinders and one two stage air compression cylinder that was rated at 150 horsepower at 550 revolutions per minute. The original engine was replaced by a NELSECO 120 horsepower four cycle engine by February 1915.
During World War I, the company built five hundred and eighty 80-foot submarine chasers (aka Motor Launches) for the British Admiralty, and 448 110-foot submarine chasers and 284 boats of other types for the US Navy.
Between the wars, it introduced the 26-foot Cruisette, a cabin cruiser which became successful. This was followed in the 1930s with 30-foot to 57-foot Veedettes] and Flattops
During World War II, ELCO formed the ELCO Naval Division in Bayonne, New Jersey. Nearly 400 ELCO PT boats were produced for the U.S. Navy. After experimentation, the first PT boat built in any quantity was the 73-foot type. Later 77-foot and 80-foot types were built. More 80-foot ELCO boats were built than any other type of US motor torpedo boat.
Perhaps the most notable 80-foot PT boat was PT-109, commanded by future president John F. Kennedy. Even though 85' ELCO crash rescue boats were substituted in the 1963 film PT 109, the "ELCO" script logo can be seen on the cockpit throttle housing in several scenes in the picture.
BON CONGE (A GOOD DAY OFF) has been painstakingly returned to her former glory after nearly16 years of research, replicating parts that could not be sourced and many hours spent exploring Mystic Seaport Archives and ELCO archives. Her owners searched through boat graveyards and attics and basements looking for original parts. There are many vintage items aboard including the 110v electric fan located in the wheelhouse, stove top toaster and mixer in the galley and a but with totally modern power plant in the engine room.
As a purveyor of lovely and some not so lovely classic yachts, the very first and I mean the very first totally different item of restoration is the bronze hardware on BON CONGE. It has been lovingly replaced where it was missing, or fabricated to the exact specs of the original hardware. The bronze stanchions alone are incredible, but add all of your cleats, your door hardware and you have something very special. The bronze fittings gleam like gold in the fading light of day. BON CONGE, like any beautiful lady, wears jewelry and her bronze hardware fills that order. Her decks are clear and there are wide walk ways with space from fore to aft that without turning sideways and deeply inhaling and holding your tummy you can pass fore and aft on her decks. Beautiful mahogany seating is found both on the foredeck and as well on the aft deck. Her deck seems to be planked wood with canvas covering it. They are actually hand crafted fiberglass planking with the canvas detailed into it.
Built to be a beautiful but hard working gentlemen's yacht that is capable of 9 knots, BON CONGE most definitely commands an audience in any port. As one steps onto the deck of BON CONGE, one has to admire her clean graceful lines. Of course you have already allowed your eyes to drink in her overall amazing eye appeal from the dock. The thought that "They do not build them like they used to." is circling your mind as you gaze both fore and aft. There is a naturally warm gentle appeal to her sturdiness and seaworthiness. Just by stepping aboard ,you are transported back to a time when life was a lot less chaotic and crafts people had an immense amount of pride in their work.
Entering her pilothouse one can go aft down five stairs to the owner's en-suite. Then head with tiled deck and shower is located to port and to starboard is a large hanging and storage locker. The individually laid tiles in the master head are an exercise in exactness. A suitably comfortably hot shower is always a welcome end to along day of pleasure.
The master stateroom, as was typical of her era, was originally built with two outboard berths separated by a set of dresser drawers. The configuration has been changed to allow the maximum and most restful sleep for a couple. Much thought was put into the new design for the berth located outboard on the port side. But there is something not quite the same as you saw in her master stateroom photos. There appears to be a day bed that is only big enough to sleep 11/2 persons but with a lovely upholstered backrest. As if by magic, the stand alone dresser that lies along the aft bulkhead and just to starboard of the berth, has been slid approximately 8" to starboard with the mere touch of a finger. You watch how with ease and a well executed flip of the two inboard side legs of the berth, there is room to remove the backrest and add it to sleeping area, and voila, the berth is now big enough for 2 persons.
The master stateroom TV has been secreted behind a panel located above the and can be viewed by two from the master berth. This state room also has climate controls and a spectacular hand crafted long dresser built starboard side of the master en-suite. This conversion was the handiwork of the present owners.
Across from the master berth there is are beautiful Custom Built In Drawers There is ample storage in the Master En-Suite that you can go cruising for months.
Mystic Sea Port archives were a blessing to this amazing husband and wife team. She did the research. He would do the designing, and together they made it happen. Truly a labor of love that reflects the love that this couple shared with each other and with BON CONGE.
Back up the stairs and into the Pilot House. The Pilot House is extremely bright and airy. There are huge windows forward and aft, as well as to port and starboard.
A very comfortable L shaped settee is located to port, the main electrical panels are to starboard. This settee is also convertible to provide additional sleeping accommodation. Both pilot House Doors are substantial and glide with ease. Their bronze hardware is fabulous in any light. Forward of the starboard side door is a very nice perfectly matched Mahogany panel.
Secreted behind this panel is a Flat Screen TV on a electric lift. Very nicely conforming to original look. The helm has it's secrets as well. To the starboard side of the helm is the Bow Thruster with a matching cover that fades into the Mahogany dash. To port side of the helm is located another hidden pop up panel that reveals your navigation equipment.
Head forward and down into the Dining Saloon. Immediately to starboard there is a glass front China Cabinet and felt lined Sterling Silverware. I double Dog Dare you to find that feature on a Tupperware Yacht.
Directly opposite to Port is a rolled and tucked British Racing Green U Shaped Settee with a varnished table. Lovely period wall sconces are so easy on the eyes. The Bronze round port lights were very difficult to find, but add great light and ambience below.
Proceeding forward to starboard is the day head. Newer porcelain head fixture and classic faucets will be found here.
The galley occupies the forward section of BON CONGE. The galley is bright and airy. Bonze portlights and an overhead hatch provide fresh air as well as abundant day light. Painted in white with gorgeous mahogany accents , the galley is very pleasing to the eye.
The original propane stove with oven is located to port. Great counter space and storage runs the rest of the way forward At the fore peak center is the Adler Barbour fridge and "ice box". When BON CONGE was launched before the end of the Roaring Twenties, I am sure that many a local politician and grand society members were wined and dined aboard BON CONGE. Of notable interest is that Vice President Garner was the second custodian of Bon Conge. I would love to hear the stories bantered about in this galley over the past 94 years. I can imagine that they would be fascinating. Along the starboard side of this very functional galley one finds your sink and more storage shelves and cabinets. One can display your every day dishes in the galley and your "company coming for dinner dishes in the glassed fronted China Cabinet located in the dining saloon.
The one place left to visit below decks is the engine room. BON CONGE was equipped as follows when her present custodians purchased her:
Boy has her engine room changed. She now sports the following:
The engine room is as spotless as an operating room in a big city Hospital. At the time of my personal inspection, I had the pleasure to spend over an hour with the seller sitting in the engine room while wearing white clothing. Even when we both came out of the ER , we were just as clean as when we went into the ER. That rarely happens even in a brand new Tupperware yacht. It is very easy to get around the engine room and to reach everything.
BON CONGE was built with a Straight stem and a Square Stern Her bottom is a single chine with a semi V shape. There are 4 Transverse Bulkheads with 3 watertight Compartments. Her hull is CARVEL planked, with 5/4" planking and her top sides are mahogany with tongue and groove interior. The decks are deceiving. They look to be canvass covered wood decks. However they are custom constructed out of fiberglass and made by hand to look just like canvass covered decking. The owners are very creative and have amazing capabilities to dream, to research and to create what ever BON CONGE needed.
BON CONGE is now actively seeking a new custodian. She has spent her last 16 years being pampered and living in a boat shed when not on the water or attending Classic Yacht Shows. She actually took a trophy even before she was to undergo this amazing rebirth with these owners. They had just bought her and were on the way home to Louisiana from the East Coast when she stopped at a Marina for an over night stay. To the surprise of all on board there was a CLASSIC BOAT SHOW occurring in the same marina. The judges and attendees were so impressed with BON CONGE that she received her very first trophy. The first of many. She has received over 16 trophies for everything from best potential for a refit to Best in Show. She has many more Best in Show trophies than any other class of trophies.
There will be a tremendous amount of sadness involved with BON CONGE departing for her new life with another blessed set of owners. However, as long as her new owners will pledge to keep her and to love her as she deserves, this will be a good thing. If you believe that you can make her a part of your family and indulge her as needed, and most importantly can live with all of the attention that she draws, then lets get you aboard her.
BON CONGE IS READY TO KEEP THE GOOD TIMES ROLLING.
|Shore Power Inlet||✓|
|Electric Bilge Pump||✓|
|Manual Bilge Pump||✓|
|Engine Make||JOHN DEERE|
|Engine Model||6068TFM50 T|
|Drive Type||Direct Drive|
|Propeller Type||3 Blade|
|Fresh Water Tank||567.81 l ()|
|Fuel Tank||3.79 l ()|
|Holding Tank||189.27 l ()|