About The Yacht

The yawl “Independence” was a custom live-aboard design, commissioned by an electrical contractor in Providence, RI.  He had made his fortune converting  gaslights in Rhode Island.  He asked the naval architect and builder Frederick S. Nock to design and launch the boat in Greenwich Cove, East Greenwich/Warwick, RI,  in the summer of 1906.  400 people applauded as the “Independence” was christened by the daughter of one of the workmen.  At that moment, the long and checkered history of the boat began to unfold.

The boat was sold in  1913, 1920, 1925, 1926, 1929, 1935, 1936, and 1944.  It was owned by various men and was renamed numerous times.  Rumor has it that it was commandeered by the Coast Guard as a coastal patrol boat—the owners not able to sustain use during WWII. Research must be done to fill in the story for the next three decades.

The Seventies:

In 1975 a recent graduate of the Boston Architectural Center went to see the boat, in a field of the Great Bay Marina in the back-harbor of Portsmouth, NH.  After refloating the decrepit hull, he and a few friends made a harrowing voyage down to Gloucester, Mass. There he  stabilized, gutted and repainted, until the yawl was hearty enough to sail to Boston for Op Sail 200—the Tall Ships Celebration in Boston Harbor for the Bicentennial.  He invited a friend-of-a-friend onboard, and eventually invited her to live with him on the yacht.  They were married in June, 1978—but not before weathering the Blizzard of ‘78  aboard, at the Beverly Harbor Marina.  That storm was a watershed in their lives. When the wife went to the Customhouse in Providence, RI, to research the original name of the yacht,  the whole, true history of the boat and  its “boatography” became a  possible media project.  Unfortunately,  no grants were forthcoming to restore the yacht nor create a film  about the “Independence” and its history.  WGBH and the BBC were approached.  It’s firmly believed, by the filmmaker, that its story represents a timeline of the 20th-Century as it sailed through many eras of U.S. political, social and cultural  events. 


Currently,  it is hoped that, once more , after 40 years, the effort to research, and bring to the screen/multi-media this story of a once     celebrated, and innovative,  piece of nautical history,  can be accomplished; with your help, with hard work and great storytelling. Some details may be subject of conjecture (due to lack of information), but it is hoped that, by 2016, you may view or buy the  film.  Production on the film trailer will happen in Summer, 2014—which will provide publicity to raise money for the film shoot in 2015-16.  The trailer will be financed by T-shirt sales.  Potential Executive Producers need to be approached to finance the film.  Investor groups may have a financial and personal interest in the subject. Hopefully, there will be a companion, annotated, book published  at the same time.

“The Yacht” should spur new interest in the history of privately owned sailboats,  early Middle-Class ownership, and a broader history of   coastal sailing in New England.  The film also creates a new “tourist trail” which could act as an economic boost to those communities where filming will take place (see “Events”).  It is firmly believed that regional stories  and regional filmmaking  create regional entertainment. Please view the entire web-site and thank you for visiting! (all page contents copyright 2014 adrianne@adriannebalcom.com )