Home Broker's Best Classic 1938 Nevins-Built Sparkman & Stephens Yawl

Classic 1938 Nevins-Built Sparkman & Stephens Yawl

by NWY Staff
Photo by Brock Burlando Photography

Begin your own chapter in the beloved Odyssey’s story: The 1938 Yawl is now available for sale via NW Yachtnet.

By Emily Molina / Photos by TBD

The Odyssey, a beloved fixture that has sailed the waters of Puget Sound as the Sea Scout Ship 190 training vessel in Tacoma for the past 45 years, has recently retired. To say “they don’t make them like that anymore” is an understatement, and now there is a rare chance to own, restore, and preserve a piece of U.S. history.

The Sparkman & Stephens designed yawl, launched at Nevins Shipyard in New York in 1938, was originally built for Barklie McKee Henry and wife Barbara Vanderbilt Whitney. The wooden-hulled beauty was the biggest boat built that year. Sailing the waters off the Eastern seaboard, she logged trips to Cuba, the Galapagos Islands, and beyond, then went on to an illustrious career as a commissioned ship for the US Navy during WWII. Afterwards the ship, now the USS Saluda (IX87), not only patrolled the coastlines of America, but research conducted onboard helped develop SONAR technology and underwater warfare as we know it today.

During her time with the Navy in San Diego, she also was a regular sight on the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race circuit—even winning the First to Finish Trophy in 1950.

In 1974, she made her way up the coastline to Washington and her final duty assignment with the Navy at NAS Whidbey Island. In 1978 she joined the Sea Scouts in Tacoma, where she has remained as Tacoma’s Tall Ship ever since.   

Today, climbing aboard is like stepping back in time where stories of the past are held safe—and if these walls could talk, oh, the tales they would tell.

From teak cabin floors throughout to early historic artifacts like the main salon gimbaled table, aft owner cabin flip-top vanity, and the stunning antique desk found in the captain’s quarters, many of the ship’s original details appear mostly as they did during Odyssey’s heyday, albeit in need of some TLC. Fitted with ten berths, two heads, and a current COI (Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection), this a perfect charter opportunity for the right outfit. 

Additional features include a double planked hull exterior constructed of 1.125-inch-thick Honduran mahogany, with the inner hull made of 1-inch-thick white cedar. A total sail area covers 3,453 square feet, between the 1,234-square-foot fore triangle, 1,872-square-foot main sail, and 347-square-foot mizzen sail, all held steady with 50,000 pounds of lead ballast at the bottom her keel.

In need of a mainmast replacement and further restoration, the vessel’s hardware, rigging, and sails remain in storage. A list of recent upgrades includes a 2015 repower of the main John Deere engine, new generators as well as major repairs and maintenance that took place during most recent haulout from December 2022 through March 2023.   

A timeless classic, the Odyssey is ready for a new beginning with the right buyer.

Specs & Info

LOA 88’ 6” · Beam 18’ · Draft 10’ 8”

Tankage (Fuel, Fresh, Black)

400 gal./ 594 gal./ 170 gal.


Auxiliary Power: John Deere Marine Engine


Kurt Kingman CPYB
NW Yachtnet
Tacoma Waterfront Office
Tacoma, WA, US 98402

Photo Courtesy of SSSOdyssey.org

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