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Sail No:7465
Rig: Yawl
Material:
LOA: 46'
Beam:
Displacement:
Builder: Fellows & Stewart
Built:1931
Oxnard, CA -- Cheerio II, the 46-foot yawl owned by 1992 Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club's Members of the Year Juanita and Dick McNish has been designated as the State of California's 66th historic vessel and landmark. The distinction is only bestowed upon those boats that were built before 1940, are of wooden construction and demonstrate significant historical connections with state history.

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The functionally elegant classic sailboat was once owned by silver screen idol, swashbuckler and rogue, Errol Flynn. The McNish's bought the boat in 1980. Patriarch McNish is also affectionately known as the Admiral of the "McNish Navy" due to the family's commendable devotion to the restoration and maintenance of traditional sailing vessels.

In 1988, Cheerio II was treated to a complete restoration. The effort helped to capture the Corinthian Classic Yacht Race's "Bristol Boat Award" in 1989. More kudos followed with a "Best Restored Sailboat" honor at the Victoria Wooden Boat Festival in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It should be noted this last award came while Cheerio II was in the midst of a 120-day cruise of Desolation Sound, the San Juan and Gulf Islands. Any old salt knows a boat at sea is anything but bristol.

More than 60 years old, the vessel is a yar example of maritime heritage. Designed by Edson B. Shock, Cheerio II was built in 1931 by Fellows & Stewart in San Pedro, California.

The vessel is renown among the wooden boat crowd and is one of the oldest sailboats in the Channel Islands Harbor. Unlike yachts bought for status, Cheerio II is meant for slicing through the sea with great agility.

For 15 years Dick and Juanita did a crack job of organizing the annual Classic Corinthian Yacht Race, an event that brings together sailors and landlubbers alike from all over the west coast. Through their company, Strathmore Homes, the McNishes donated the Strathmore Cup, a silver bowl given to the winner. For years, McNish has tried to win the cup back. He came close at the 1991 event when Cheerio II was first to finish. However, since McNish had given such generous handicaps, Cheerio II ended up third.

Cheerio's restoration included replacement of its decks, deck beams, cockpit and transom, replanking the aft one-third and selected forward planking. New water and fuel tanks were installed along with a pressurized water system with "on-demand" hot water in hopes that Juanita, would come aboard more often. New countertops, cabin sole and engine stringers also appeared. McNish dismisses the monetary aspect of the restoration, thinking of the effort in terms of preservation duty.

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