Crowd gathers in Rockport for Adventuress launch
Rockport — More than 1,000 spectators gathered in Rockport to witness Adventuress' return to the water. The 1924 Fife yacht was launched at Rockport Marine Park Saturday, July 21, after undergoing almost three years of intensive work at nearby Rockport Marine.
The 83-foot yacht was designed and built by Fife and Son at the Fife Yard in Scotland. Adventuress was built by William Fife III, one in the lineage of revered boat builders, according to the Rockport Marine website. She is one of few large Fifes in North America.
The launch commenced at 12:30 p.m. with hundreds gathered in Rockport Marine Park, on Goose River Bridge, bedside Rockport Yacht Club and from vantage points on the water. Many joined the festivities in dinghies and kayaks while others brought their own larger boats and observed from the harbor.
Adventuress owner Victor Janovitch, Rockport Marine owner Taylor Allen and Adventuress Project Manager Brian Englander each briefly took the microphone to address the large crowd from a small platform at the bow of Adventuress.
Rockport Harbor Master Abbie Leonard declared Janovitch "an honorary resident of Rockport" on behalf of the town.
Allen thanked a handful of people and organizations including Rockport Harbor Master Abbie Leonard, the town of Rockport and Tom Brownell and crew who were responsible for the heavy equipment used during the launch.
Englander said he was thankful for the weather.
"[We're] amazingly blessed with this beautiful day," he noted. He said the Adventuress restoration was "beyond any project [Englander] managed before." He went on to present Janovitch with a builder's plaque for Adventuress.
"I hope you're okay with where I drilled the holes," he said as Janovitch — and the crowd — laughed.
Turkish-born Janovitch recalled meeting Taylor Allen and making the decision to hire Rockport Marine to execute the work on Adventuress.
"I made the decision over a glass of beer in Newport," he said, noting that he and Allen had known each other for "under an hour" at the time. He lauded the team at Rockport Marine as "gifted professionals and artists."
"A thing of beauty is a joy forever," he said, attributing the verse to an 1818 John Keats poem. He likened the creation of beautiful things to a divine experience.
"The magic divine hands who made [Adventuress] possible are all around you," he said.
During the course of about 20 minutes, crews worked to lower Adventuress into the water. A small group including many of the builders responsible for the restoration then took the yacht for a short inaugural cruise before bringing her back to Rockport Marine where a reception for invited guests continued through the afternoon.
Adventuress is slated to join a handful of other Fife yachts — including Sumurun and Belle Aventure who have both undergone previous work at Camden's Wayfarer Marine — for a rendezvous in Castine Aug. 1. The yacht will be based out of Rockport for the remainder of the summer, according to Allen. Allen said Adventuress is "virtually a new boat" following the extensive refit.
Courier Publications reporter Jenna Lookner can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at email@example.com