On the Water -- Bogart had Bacall, but he also loved his boat
The famous yawl, Santana, started out as a staysail schooner.
Designed by Olin Stephens, Jr., it was built by Wilmington Boat Works
in 1935, for William L. Stewart, Jr., a member of Los Angeles Yacht Club.
Santana is 55 feet, 2 inches in length overall with a beam of 7 feet, 11
inches and a draft of 7 feet, 11 inches. She was powered with a Gray 6-71
Stewart, president of Union Oil Co., actively campaigned his schooner
yacht in offshore races out of Los Angeles Harbor. However, about 1937,
he had Santana re-rigged as a yawl in order to be more competitive. In
1939, he had a new yawl built, the Chubasco, with expectations of winning
the 1939 Honolulu race.
During World War II, the Santana was acquired by Dick Powell, the
movie actor, who moored her off his Bayshore home. At this time, all
sailing was confined to Newport Harbor. Humphrey Bogart was sailing his
Albatross Class sloop, Slug Nutty No. 19, in the harbor and sailed with
Santana many times. Bogie fell in love with this beautiful yawl. In the
fall of 1944, he persuaded Powell to sell Santana to him for $50,000.
Thus began Bogie’s love affair with Santana, which lasted until his
death in 1957.
Bogart, a member of Newport Harbor Yacht Club, kept Santana on a
mooring off the clubhouse until 1950. Due to more wind at Los Angeles
Harbor and more competition in the ocean racing fleet, Bogie joined Los
Angeles Yacht Club and moved Santana to Los Angeles Harbor.
Bogie actively campaigned Santana in local and offshore races. He won
the Around San Clemente Island Race three years in a row and retired the
large perpetual trophy, which stayed on his mantle. After his death, wife
Lauren Bacall graciously returned the trophy to Voyagers Yacht Club, the
sponsors of the race, for competition again.
The Cup is now raced each year in offshore races known as the Bogart
series. Santana participated in the first Ensenada Race in 1948, with
Bacall on board and placed first in class. Santana was entered in the
1947 Honolulu Race. Bob Brokaw, of Newport Harbor Yacht Club, the sailing
master on Santana, was given a large sum of money ($15,000) by Bogart to
make Santana “race ready.” However, at the very last minute, Bogie
unhappily had to withdraw from the race because of a revised shooting
schedule at the movie studio.
Bogie was a good sailor; his love of sailing began at the age of 14
when he learned how to sail on his father’s sloop on Lake Canadaigua, one
of the finger lakes in upstate New York. Bogart fully understood the need
to keep a sailboat in top condition at all times. Thus, he employed a
full-time professional skipper in Carl Peterson to look after Santana’s
In 1956, Bogie was diagnosed with incurable cancer. In September, five
months before his death, Bogie, in declining health, took one last sail
on Santana. He assembled his salty, all-male racing crew, including his
young son, Stephen.
They sailed out of Los Angeles Harbor to Whites Landing at Catalina,
where they spent the night and then continued on to Newport Harbor. Bogie
spent an afternoon and night aboard Santana, which was moored to a buoy
off Newport Harbor Yacht Club. He did not go ashore but spent the time
curled up in the cockpit reflecting on the many happy times that he had
enjoyed sailing in Newport Harbor. This was the last time the beautiful
yawl Santana was in Newport Harbor under Humphrey Bogart’s ownership.
At this date, Santana is in the San Francisco Bay area.
After a sinking in its slip due to a defective bilge pump, she has
been completely refitted by her current owner and returned to its
original schooner rig.
There seems to be a lot of life in Santana yet. * JOHN BLAICH is a
local sailor who chronicles the history of the yachts and boats that have
called Newport Harbor home. His contributions appear on an occasional
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