The Shipwreck of the Ara

Pleasure yacht owned by Mr. Dane of Northeast Harbor.

Ara was designed by A. Loring Swasey and built by the famous Herreshoff Manufacturing Company of Bristol, R.I. between 1920 and 1922. The motor steel yacht had originally been ordered by diesel engine maker Alexander Winton who experienced financial difficulties, leading to Ernest B. Dane taking over the uncompleted yacht. She was 165' LOA, 152' LWL, and had a beam of 23' with a draft of 7' 6". She was propelled by a Winton Diesel.

Below are three newspaper snippets which summarize the story.

"Southwest Harbor. July 22 [1927] (AP) The yacht Ara, bound from Boston to Seal Harbor, which ran aground in Wednesday's [July 20, 1927] heavy fog, was still aground tonight despite two days efforts of a tug to float her."
(Source: Anon. "Yacht Ara Is Aground On Little Duck Island." The Lewiston Daily Sun, July 23, 1927, p. 1.)

"Rockland, Maine. A final attempt to salvage the $350.000 pleasure yacht Ara from the rocks at the southern end of Little Duck Island will be made by a Rockland wrecking company tomorrow. The Ara, which struck in dense fog a week ago, is being rapidly pounded to pieces by surf."
(Source: Anon. "May Salvage Yacht." The Bridgeport Telegram, July 27, 1927, p. 21.)

"Rockland, Maine, Sept. 7 [1927] (AP) Maine's mystery of the sea, interest in which heightened as wreckage continued to drift ashore along the coast from Burnt Island to Portland during the last few days, was believed solved today by coast guardsmen. A visit to Little Duck Island convinced Captain Harry Webster that the bits of mahogany and railings are fragments of the Yacht Ara, which went ashore there six weeks ago. He found the Ara had begun to disintegrate during the severe blows of the past week."
(Source: Anon. "Wreckage Part of Yacht, Guard Finds." The Escanaba Daily Press, September 8, 1927, p. 2.)

Her boilers are apparently still visible for divers off Little Duck Island.


click to enlarge

courtesy of Claas van der Linde

courtesy of Polly Bunker

courtesy of Steve Spurling

courtesy of Steve Spurling

courtesy of Wesley Bracy, Jr.

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