The Caumsett Foundation

Restoring the Original Corisande Ship Model

Daniel Parsier working on modelThis circa 1920 model represents the 50’ commuter yacht owned by Marshall Field III, the first of this name in a series of such boats. It was built in 1923 for him by Gar Wood, the top American power boat designer of the period. Mr. Field used it to commute from his Long Island home to his Manhattan office. It is reported that the 35 mile trip took less than an hour, much faster than could be done at the time by car or train. Its twin engines put out 900 horsepower, allowing her to win several power boat races of the day.

The predominant wood of the model appears to be mahogany, with the hull above the waterline presented in natural wood color. The pilot house, salon and boat are either a darker wood or have been stained. Numerous parts, such as the railing stanchions, are brass, while others, such as cowl ventilators and steering wheels, are a type of pewter. The windows are a clear plastic. The scale of the model is relatively close to 1:32 or 3/8” = 1’.

Pieces of the modelThe model shows similarity to several other Gar Wood models and boats which are in maritime museums. These include the South Street Seaport Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY, and the FDR Presidential Library in Hyde Park, NY. This last has a particularly nice model built by a federal prisoner as a gift for the President. Its name is the “Pardon Me”.

Unfortunately, this model has sustained extensive damage. Among many other problems are these: all of the deck fittings, including the rails, are detached and many are broken. It is likely that a number of them are missing completely. One of the propellers is missing two of its three blades. The pilot house is held together with tape. The hull above the waterline has a large hole on the port side and the finish on the wood has lost its shine. Below the waterline the paint has been stained in several spots. At some time there was a large drip of some solvent across the stern which has damaged the gold letters of the name. If there ever were flags, ensigns or yacht club burgees mounted on the model they are missing.

We are looking forward to getting the model back from professional model shipwright Daniel Parsier by the fall of 2024 when it will be on display in the park office.