Maine Maritime Artifact No. 3: Model of Turbo-Electric Yacht Corsair (IV)

As part of its 50th anniversary, the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine, is showcasing 150 of the most iconic, historic and beautiful objects in its extensive collection of maritime artifacts. The exhibit, Full Ahead at 50, will be on view through May 26, 2013. An exhibit catalog titled Maine & the Sea shows and tells the story behind each of the objects. Additional information about the exhibit and the catalog are available at Maine Maritime Museum website by CLICKING HERE.

This beautiful 7’, 8” long model was made in the model shop of the New York firm of Gibbs & Cox, who designed the yacht Corsair IV for Wall Street financier J.P. Morgan. At 343’ LOA, the Corsair IV was the largest private yacht ever built in the United States. It was built at Bath Iron Works beginning in 1929 and launched in 1930. The yacht was the fourth and largest similarly named and designed vessels owned by the Morgan family, the third they had commissioned, but the first built in Maine. Each yacht was bigger, faster and more comfortable than its predecessor. Mr. Morgan visited BIW on two occasions aboard Corsair III during the construction.

In 1940, Corsair IV was turned over to the British Royal Navy. After the war she was sold, refurbished and operated as a high-end luxury cruise liner, now named solely S.S. Corsair, along the U.S. Pacific coast beginning in the fall of 1947. In November 1949, she struck a rock and beached in Acapulco, Mexico. All aboard survived the ordeal, but Corsair was determined to be a total loss. Before she was scuttled, her turbines and generators were salvaged and supplied electricity to the resort town for many years.

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