Revenue Cutter Viola

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Revenue Cutter Viola - THE YACHT VIOLA. HISTORY MATES BACK TO 1B«»,...
THE YACHT VIOLA. HISTORY MATES BACK TO 1B«», ,,,_. ,wuts SUB WAS ntii/r I' HEVKM.H: CITTKK. WAS ONCE WRECKED HERE. After That SU* A\ nm Sold for a Priv- ate YuoJU and Haced I'nder tlie llunil of Jack Crotty. The sloop Viola was brought here in the fall of 1JW on tin* Mallory sU-amer Arladeno for the purpose or exercising the functions of revenue cutter for the Oalveston custom house, and was then cat-rigged, bavin? a length o£ twenty-four fool over all. Sho ·was built in Mystic, Conn., und owing to tho nature of the worU required, great pains wus taken by the builders la uituln the utmost speed. Her long string of victories, victories, of which only a brief synopsis con be given, bore, fulfilled the ex pec tut ions tho designer, and while she has lowered her colors at different times to other yachts in her class, the proud distinction claimed, and justly, too. by her builders, that every attempt to duplicate or build one to beat her has met with sigmtl fuU- ure. In so far ns Galveston is concerned. Tho fust yachts whloh now stand tutard over our life-saving 1 service were designed and built partially from ihe modol or tho Viola, but uuithtif oi" them could U.L all approach approach this "old timer" in speed. Her ttrst nice- was in the summer of 1S72 amoujj a fleet of yaehts, not one of which exists to-day. There wen* some "cracker- lacks" here even then, amous" which will l)c remembered the Magic, Sahel, Nonpareil and others of lesser note. A terrific squall sprung up during the race, and when the mist .cleared so that thft position of the yachts could be seen, the Viola was miles ahead, currying full sail, the force of the wind compelling the remainder oi tho fleet to come to anchor. A few years after that, her first victory, ehe was sent to a station further west, was there during the cyclone of 1SV5. an event which will be long remembered by Galvestouians. The great storm blew the Viola over miles Inland, but as the waters receded she was carried back and landed a complete wreck In -the vicinity of Indianola. Indianola. But her stanch framework was uninjured, uninjured, her model intact, and what was left of the. fast cutter was tali en back Oalveston and dumped In the vicinity of ·where the cotton seed oil mi" now stands. The government, of course, liaxl no further use for the skeleton viola, and put her lor sale. She was purchased by Mr. Thornas Gonzales ami rebuilt by Mr. Piper, an old Qalveston boat builder -who is long- since dead, and was used by the boys employes of Mr. Gonzales 'for pleasure. It TV as here that Jack Grotty got the to make the Viola famous. Being one of the employes, he was given charge of the jiew Viola,- her new owner Kit'ing him carto blanche to spare no expense In fitting nor up and to make any changes necessary so that her reputation for speed might ' maintained. After using her for pleasure only a few years, a change 'In her rig was found necessary, and the genius of the late lanx Frank Crosby was called into requisition. A bowsprit was added to her,, thereby making her a sloop, , When the White Wing was built yaoht racing revived, and at the annual regattas the viola was always to be found in line, , .but as she yvas then only used for und merely entered for the "love of the eport," she was very often defeated by the larger yachta. White WInqr and Silver Cloud, but Invariably defeated all boats in her own class. Her sailing master. Jack Orotty,. wishing to obtain more speed at the sacrifice of comfort, prevailed on the owner to sell him the boat, so that changes could be made to keep up with, the new flyers, which could only be done ly another radical change. Mr. Gonzales, Knowing Jack Crotty's enthusiasm, acceded acceded to his request, and Jack became the absolute owner, and from then, her aquatic career bewan. Sho was sent to the shops of Mr. Parker, a young carpenter born and raised in Galveston, who added one foot and a half to her keel and two and a half on deck and changed the mast eighteen inches further aft to even up matters. Her victories victories in Galveston after that are well known to Galvestonlans, ana need no repetition. repetition. In July, 18SS, the Aransas Pass yacht gave a grand regatta- The oflicers of that c!ub were I. E. Savage, commodore. Corpus Corpus Christ!; Thos. H. Sweeney, vice commodore, commodore, Galvesion; Chas. F. Bailey, secretary, secretary, Corpus Chrlstl: Chas. Emmet, treasurer, treasurer, Corpus Christi : Sam B. Allyn, measurer, Rockport; John Orotty, lleet captain, Oalveston. The prizes offered on that occasion occasion Included a ?500 challenge cup and four cash prizes of 5300, $200, $125 and $75. The following- yachts raced In this regatta: Viola, Galveston, John Grotty captain; Falcon, Galveston, Captain HutehJnga: "Whlto Wing, Galveston, Captain Payne; Alice, Rockport, Captain I.oughton; Edith, Kockport. Captain White; Stella, Corpus Christi: Capitola, Corpus Chrlstl. The races were the best seen on waters, and the Viola covered herself with glory by winning the first prize, the second going to the Alice oC Rockport, while the third and fourth fell to tho. Falcon an3 While Wing respectively of Galveston. "0ie races were so sailed as to give each a chance 19 display every quality, and on each occn?ion the Viola proved that her victory was not by chance. The Viola re- lurned to Galveston with .her sister yachts KaJcnn anU White Wing, and took a rust mull the following year. In May, when entered In the semi-centennial regatta, but had to be satisfied with second prize, being defeated by the little Falcon, which was commumled by Captain W. A. Hntchings another great enthusiast on yachting, -who owns tlit Folly, which is creating a lively Intcrost all over the state. But in this re- y.'itia-- which was a bis one, too-- she in ahead of ten other yachts, vizi Country Girl, Silver Cloud. Palmer, Swan, White Winer, Sentinel, ItHawIUl and Osproy. She 1ms taken part in several regattas less note since then ami was at all times sure of flrsi. or second prize. She always carried a well organized crew and many her victories are attributed to the alacrity with which her sails were handled. Jack Crotty's business at last compelled him to leave Galvesion and settle in Aus tin, which place has been made famous throughout the civilized world as havinc, one of the finest rowing courses in th( world. It was there that three of the est professional regattas ever witnessed we-re Riven, and all brought about through )iis profit lovft for aquatic sport. Befur leaving he reiuct.-intly parted with his pc Viola, but felt consoled when hi; knew ·was to pass into hands, equally as enthusl astic ns himself. Mr. Charles Kollncr, wht is now commodore of the Galveston yach club, a stanch friend and admirer of .l.xok Cvotty, became tho purchaser. Mr. Kellne hart the Viola rebuilt once, more, increase* 3*er sal! area, mado her stanch and stror*- and to m.iko her so some of her old sp Jiad to be sacrificed, but it had been IT that In a stiff breeze and heavy sea - ! JioUls her own with the best new, s. , · yachts, liullt on. latrr designs, with · -· hanging bow and sii-rn. In somn . i match races sailed lost season wit.ii ;'··· Stranpcr, noted nil over the country a.. Canmla, under the name of the Susio, Viola came out ahead in tho majority of them.- She is now. moored In the marine ways slip and her rakish appearance Is admired by visitons, and even by those who nor when alie came to Galveston twenty- seven yours aso. Sucb ts a brief synopsis of a craft ·with her old sailing master. Is known one erid of this state to the other. Mr. Kfellner admires her for her splendid record. It may be safely piUd that it takf?, n, great deal of money for tho commodore TO part with her. o f .

Clipped from
  1. The Galveston Daily News,
  2. 19 Apr 1896, Sun,
  3. Page 20

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  • Revenue Cutter Viola

    TXHooper – 02 Mar 2013

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