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Diosa del Mar

Diosa Del Mar 1979.jpg
Diosa del Mar under sail in 1979
United States
Name: Uncas
Owner: Vanderbilt family
Builder: A.C. Brown and Sons, Tottenville, NY
Launched: 1898
Renamed: Uncas, Wal Gar, Bonnie Doone, and finally Diosa del Mar
Honors and
1979 Serena Cup: fastest schooner in the Newport to Ensenada Race
Fate: Sunk at Catalina Island, July 30, 1990
Notes: Burned and rebuilt in 1927
General characteristics
Class and type: Schooner
Tons burthen: 30 tons
Length: 66 ft 6 in (20.27 m)
Draft: 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Propulsion: Sterling gas engine (1916), GM Diesel engine (1925), 6-cylinder Chrysler engine (1951)
Sail plan: Sail area 3,321 square ft. (308.5 m2)

The Diosa del Mar (Spanish: Goddess of the Sea) was a wooden schooner that sank off of the coast of Catalina Island at 2:25 pm on July 30, 1990.

The two-masted wooden schooner was designed by A. Cary Smith and built in 1898 by the firm of A.C. Brown and Sons of Tottenville, New York. It was originally christened Uncas after the famous chief of the Mohegan tribe. Through various owners, the name was subsequently changed to Wal Gar, Bonnie Doone, and finally Diosa del Mar. In Lloyd's Register of American Yachts it appears as Bonnie Doone until finally disappearing from the registry in 1959 under the ownership of a Dr. Irving E. Laby in Los Angeles, California.

The yacht was originally built as a staysail craft for the children of the wealthy Vanderbilt clan. As originally built she weighed 30 tons, was 66 feet 6 inches (20.27 m) long, had a total sail area of 3,321 square feet (308.5 m2), and a draft of 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m). The Diosa was perfectly capable of deep ocean travel. Following the installation in 1916 of a Sterling gas engine, the vessel's capabilities were quite advanced. By 1925 she sported a full keel (modified from her original keel with auxiliary centerboard) and a GM Diesel engine.

According to Lloyd's, the Diosa was burned and rebuilt in 1927. By 1951 she had been refitted with a six-cylinder Chrysler engine and was operating out of Newport Beach, California.

In 1979 she won the Serena Cup as the fastest schooner in the Newport to Ensenada Race (California to Mexico). Subsequently, she sailed from Los Angeles to Hilo, Hawaii, where she operated as a charter until 1982 under the ownership of Roy Eugene "Gene" Deshler and Margo Deshler along with their two children Karen Smith and Stephen A. Smith. After returning to Los Angeles, she placed second in the Newport to Ensenada race of 1983. For most of the rest of her life she operated as a charter out of Long Beach, California.

  • Lloyd's Register of American Yachts (still listed in 1917 as Uncas; from 1925 through 1959 as Bonnie Doone)
  • Diosa del Mar at California Wreck Divers Under water color photos of wreckage. "California Wreck Divers" (retrieved March 2,2016)
  • [1] "Shipwrecks off the coast of California" by Gregory J. Robb (retrieved May 24, 2007)
  • [2] "Schooner's Sinking Launches Investigation : Accident: The 1898 craft Diosa del Mar was in a firefighters' race when it struck a reef and broke up off Catalina with 13 aboard." Jim Carlton, Times Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times August 01, 1990 (retrieved March 15, 2014)
  • [3] "Diosa del Mar Wreck" Dive Seven (retrieved March 15, 2014)
  • [4] "MY Diosa Del Mar (+1990)" The Wrecksite (retrieved March 15, 2014)
  • Color photos - by Susan Macafee


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