Such is the case of the largest of the racing yachts, the J-class. The class of the super-rich in the 1920's, the class of the America's Cup and the Lipton's and Vanderbilt's, the J-Class flourished up to the Great Depression and, now, with the rise of today's super-rich, this large expensive colossus has taken off again with many new J's under construction in this, the second decade of the third millennium.
My sailing (and social) tastes being more plebian in nature (see the current header photo of the 6-foot Frosty dinghy), I still cannot help to be awed at the size, power and beauty of these behemoths and if I ever get an invite to tour one of these modern J-class, you will see me toss aside my social consciousness for the moment, and, with my mouth agape, and a boyish giddiness I would poke around one of these modern classics, imagining a Charlie Barr, braced to the wheel, wind whipping over the gunwhales, eyes alternatively taking in the sea-state and the massive sails, and a boat and crew, looking forward, going on forever.
John Summers, one of several friends who is conversant in all things to do with sailing history, put this very appropriate quote in a comment (which I have moved to the main post);
As Douglas Phillips-Birt said of that era in "An Eye for a Boat:" "Yachting was as exclusive, as brilliant, as undemocratic as a Florentine palace. Some of the most original and talented minds in several countries devoted themselves to the creation of the yachting fleets. . .Yachting had its roots in wealth, and there is no need to be so fervidly democratic as to condemn it for that reason."