Preview: Aboard a Legendary Boat – BURMA, a 1950 Davis-Hand Motorsailer

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September 19, 2018

When BURMA came to town she came as an old friend. She’s gathered many friends and admirers since 1950 all along the New England coast and so, we were happy to see her steam into our protected waters once again.

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30 Responses So Far to “Aboard a Legendary Boat – BURMA, a 1950 Davis-Hand Motorsailer

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    William Thompson says:

    Stunning boat. Is there a reason why she no longer has the boom and larger main sail?

    • Steve Stone

      Steve Stone says:

      From Maynard: The double-spreader rig she originally carried proved too big, so the mast was shortened and one set of spreaders eliminated. With the resulting smaller sail, a boom proved unnecessary and a little dangerous when it came to furling the aft part of the sail when one could no longer stand on the top of the wheelhouse, but had to use the catwalk. In my experience, the jib and trysail steadied the boat against rolling and were easy to handle compared to what that first big sail must have been like. (Maynard Bray)

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    John Swansey says:

    Absolutely exquisite. Must be the most beautiful motorsailer ever. The matching lapstrake sailing dinging on the foredeck is the cherry on top.

    GREAT video.

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    mike kitchen says:

    Thank you Maynard for this wonderful video. Burma is an exquisite vessel. So glad to see that she is in terrific shape.

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    Mark Nowlan says:

    That’s certainly a beauty!! anyone know where one might be able to find some of that cantilever table hardware?

    Thanks for the video!!

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    Dave Dickmeyer says:

    I can’t say enough about how I enjoyed this video. Such a beautiful boat! Thanks Maynard!

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    Maynard Bray says:

    Just heard from Frank Steven Bissell, the original owner’s son, that BURMA’s present 6-71 diesel is her second, not her first engine. It was installed around 1965 by Daytona Boatworks. Both of these 6-71s could be passed through framed openings in the wheelhouse floor and roof that were directly above the engine location. Thanks for the correction, Frank.

  • Eric T. Pomber

    Eric T. Pomber says:

    BURMA really is an amazing boat. I was lucky enough to do some brightwork on her last winter, the work is always more fun when it’s for a beautiful boat!


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    Frances Elliott says:

    Fabulous yacht!! Keep up the Great work guys!

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    Nicholas Theuma says:

    Another well designed beautiful sailing vessel. I’m always amazed at the details and craftmanship. Thank you

  • Anthony Power

    Anthony Power says:

    love your videos about old legendary boats. Am trying to share some of these videos with mates who also love viewing such videos. I am clicking on your link titled “Email this page to a friend” as an attempt to share a video with them. When I click on this link nothing happens.

    How do I share video copies with friends?


    Tony Power

  • Antonio (Tony) Osse

    Antonio (Tony) Osse says:

    OHHHH MY GOD!!!! What a wonderful boat!

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    Michael Vaughan says:

    There’s no better word for it than: EXIMIOUS!

    Thank you for sharing owner, captain, Maynard and OCH.

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    Eric Simes says:

    My favourite motor sailor world wide since I saw her in Woodenboat #97

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    Pip and Judy Wick says:

    Burma was built for my uncle Frank Bissell but it has been a long time since I’ve been aboard. My father Philip Wick Jr. owned Lucayo, also by Hand, Built in the Bahamas. Good to see her again.
    Pip Wick

    • David Tew

      David Tew says:

      Pip- Is Archie Bissell related to you in some way?

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    Bill Courington says:

    Guided tours of extraordinary boats like Burma is the best thing Off Center Harbor does.

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    gerald t sicard says:

    It doesn’t get any better than this!!
    Maynard, you made my day!
    Thank You!

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    William Hammond says:

    Beautiful AND Practical!! The best of both worlds!!

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    Richard Heilman says:

    Wonderful account of a spectacular boat.

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    Daniel Dawes says:

    Wonderful write up for this Nevins built motor sailor.
    I have had the opportunity to work on and sail on another Nevins built boat. Built in 1938 still in operation owned and operated by the Sea Scouts in Tacoma Washington.

    Odyssey was designed by Sparkman & Stephens and built at Henry Nevins Company of City Island, New York for the Barklie Henry family.

    Odyssey statistics:
    Length overall: 88 feet 6.75 inches (27 meters)
    Length, waterline: 62 feet
    Beam (width): 18 feet
    Draft (depth) 10 feet 8 inches
    Ballast at bottom of keel: 50,000 pounds of lead.
    72 displacement tons
    Hull Speed 10.6 knots

    Total Sail Area: 3,453 sq. ft.•Fore Triangle: 1,234 sq. ft.
    •Main Sail: 1,872 sq. ft.
    •Mizzen Sail: 347 sq. ft.
    Auxiliary Power: Detroit Diesel, 6-71, 160 Horsepower

    Exterior planking is 1.125 inch thick Honduran Mahogany.
    Inner hull is 1 inch thick White Cedar.
    Masts are Spruce glue-lam construction

  • David Tew

    David Tew says:

    Maynard- As you probably know, Queene Foster chartered BURMA in Maine a few years ago for a long cruise with her extended family. I recall that they towed a Herreshoff Buzzards Bay 25 for daysailing at the end of each days passage from harbor to harbor. That was about the classiest and most ‘bucket-listy’ thing I’ve ever heard of. What a gift to her family! I can’t imagine anything more memorable.

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    dean plender says:

    ‘Email this page to a friend” does not work? Help-thanks.

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    Warren Peluso says:

    Burma sure is a classy yacht with a wonderful combination of design and functional perfection.

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    Raymond Morgan says:

    Never have I had the opportunity to see such a beautiful and purposeful yacht Excellent video. Great narrative . Thank you all.

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    John Archard says:

    She’s a beautiful yacht. You made reference to Nevin’s Yard and I had the pleasure as a thirteen year old lad to sail on William T. Stone’s yawl “Brer Fox” in 1975 cruising Belize and Guatemala and later in the Abacos, Bahamas. As I recall she was also a beautiful yacht to cruise aboard. Anyway, she’s a charming motor sailor. Happy cruising.


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