America which was modeled on the state-of-the-art pilot ships of New York astonished people from the moment she arrived in Europe. Her reversed bow, like a Clipper-ship, her tin plating, and her sails of vertical layers of cotton, laced to the masts, had never been seen before.
The Atlantic was built in 1903 by Townsend and Downey shipyard, and designed by William Gardner, for Wilson Marshall. The three-masted schooner was skippered by Charlie Barr and it set the record for fastest transatlantic passage by a monohull in the 1905 Kaiser’s Cup race. The record remained unbroken for nearly 100 years.
Built from high grade steel – flushed rivet plating, RANGER was launched on 11th May 1937. Having nearly lost the 1934 America’s Cup race to the Royal Yacht Club, Harold Vanderbilt took special pains to build a faster boat next time around. She was the Ranger, and dominated the 1937 Cup Season. The Ranger was designed by Sterling Burgess together with the Stephens brothers, who later became famous for their many S&S yacht designs. A typical J-yacht crew included some 26 professionals. The Ranger was all about racing, huge white sails, a flush deck with hardly any built structures, and beautiful lines. Vanderbilt personally financed the whole project, estimated at the time at over half a millon dollars.