1930s Toys: Materials and Worksmanship
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1933 First Duster Class boat build on third floor of 301 Main street by Jim Merrill and his father Commodore E.K. Merrill. The project was financed by the club, and the Duster could be rented by the hour. John Ayers built the next Duster "Zypher" under the direction of Mr. Merrill. Jim Story and Charlie Knight built "Quacker". As the boat caught on, five more boats were built over the next winter in Mrs. E.W.J. Hunn's cellar at 300 Howard St., under the supervision of Mr. Merrill. The new owners were Bill and Herb Parsons "TOMATER", Bert Shoemaker "COBBLER", Tom Coe "GINGER", Ted Hunn "SNITHER", Lloyde Gladney "SPRINTIN SPLINTER". 40 Dusters were built over the next 10 years. Duster fleet # 1 was chartered, Knute Hunn was the first fleet captain. 1946 September 7th - 8th. The 1st Duster National Championship was held at Riverton Yacht Club. John Knight was the first national champion with Barbara Lippincott as crew. 1947 September 6th - 7th. The 2nd Duster National Championship was help at Riverton Yacht Club. The winners again were John Knight skipper with Barb Lippincott crew.The Duster became closely associated with the Lippincott family, the famous boat building family out of Riverton N.J. Brothers Bob and Howard Lippincott built world-class wood Stars, Lightnings and Comets with Bob winning the 1950 Star World Championship. I learned all of this because, in a twist of fate, Barb Martin, whose mother was a Lippincott, decided to attend Miami of Ohio University just shortly after Kurt Finnie and I had formed the sailing team. Barb immediately became the lynchpin of our heretofore non-existent Miami of Ohio's women's team, adding such rock-star racing ability that we qualified out of the Midwest for the Women's Collegiate Nationals (our other skipper, now Sue Ronshagen, being a converted crew).
"I had the pleasure of owning Duster # D-126. Built in 1949. I bought it as 14 year old kid in 1968 for $ 50.00 (included a trailer) from the Kelly Family on Long Beach Island NJ . Spent the summer sanding & painting and replaced the old cotton sail with Dacron made by Merrill Sails Delanco NJ. They would race them at the Brant Beach Yacht Club back in the early days. The Kelly`s taught me to sail, so I owe them a huge thank you. The boat would fly. Sailed it for about 15 years down at Brant Beach and she finally dry rotted badly and had to let her go. I'll always remember those endless summer days sailing that Duster from Sun up to Sun Down !