Winthrop Warner was a naval architect, specialising in the design of wooden cruising yachts from the very start of his career in Connecticut.
After graduation in 1920 as a Naval architect and marine engineer, he spent time over the next five years at the Electric Boat Company, Portland Boat Works, as a draftsman at the Massachusetts design office of John G. Alden and William Hand, at the New York design offices of Chester Nedwidek and briefly, for Philip Rhodes. This time provided the on the job training necessary for professional perspective.
For the duration of his working career, Warner or “Wink” as he was known as, designed over two hundred vessels, the majority of which were built. He offered about a dozen stock designs which later, when he was semi retired, doubled and was promoted by a booklet titled, “Crusing designs from the board of Winthrop Warner”.
Louis Valier, Tere’s original owner, had her built by American Marine under the watchful eye of Robert Newton, in Singapore.
Valier was a member of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, where he was Navigation Instructor at the Planetarium of the Bishop Museum, know for its teaching of ancient Polynesian non-instrument navigation. Valier gave a series of lectures dealing with movement of the starts which can be used as directional guides during a voyage in a double canoe!!
Valier had previously owned a smaller Warner designed ketch and the two men had often corresponded.
The interior design was seen as being unconventional at the time and this arrangement of midship cockpit, aft owners double stateroom with enclosed toilet space, deckhouse just forward of the cockpit and forward of that, (under the trunk cabin) another stateroom with it’s own toilet space, was more Valier’s, by his own admission, than Warner’s, though the reports from that time are that it worked out very well. Valier was delighted with Tere’s performance, finding her very easy to handle and powerful enough to comfortably deal with Hawaii’s blustery conditions.
After owning Tere for 32 years, she was sold, and two years later, fell into the hands of the previous owners, Peter and Sharon Soden. Within a short period of time, Peter had the interior stripped, and, according to Sharon, with bean bags to sleep on, they and their two children immediately started their cruising life.
Over the following 25 years, Tere received an extensive, professional refit and upgrade. Peter has modernised the interior and exterior while maintaining her classic style and original charm maintained though bronze fittings and traditional hatches.
Joanne and I have returned yesterday from a terrific 1254nm passage from the Sunshine Coast, where we collected our yacht Tere, to Barnes Bay. We are aware that we are custodions of this remarkable vessel and, armed with numerous amounts of original documentations, drawings and personal letters between Valier and Warner, we will attempt to give her the time and effort that she deserves.