WEE FOUR KINGS OF ORIENT POINT
KINGS GO FORTH
Starring Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood & Leora Dana
With A Special Appearance by Joseph Fairchild Knapp
So here I go again, making a liar out of myself. Last month I wrote what I said would be the FINAL CHAPTER regarding the Knapps. Well in keeping up with all the spin coming out on everything new I read or hear these days..... might I present for your entertainment a Wee Update ?... see it's not a NEW CHAPTER but just a WEE UPDATE....made into something much larger than it really has to be, by the right half of my brain...or is it the left half? Might be as that's my defective side and I can feel the tumour acting up again...... Brains or not, it's something that's near and dear to another organ of mine.......No Not My Big Old Hammond (That's been removed and Lord how I miss it )..... No just my dear old heart,,,,, and the subject is .......Boats ! .... Boats of all kinds, power and sail and The Search for Capn' Joe Knapp's Three Storm Kings. The original Storm King (1931-1940), Storm King Too (1941-1946 which I have found in sad shape I'm sad to say) and Storm King III (1946- 50's which has been renamed more times than Liz Taylor )
But ... But... But...what's with the Wee FOUR Kings you say? And Orient Point ? and Kings Go Forth ? and yada yada yachta ??? So glad you asked old Capn' Ken matey.....Wordplay and fourplay says I.....See just like you who have read my ramblings hear too four about Joe Knapp's fine motor yachts called "Storm King" .... eye two thought there were only three..... especially with Storm King III tieing up at his port in Hampton Bays on his last years of sailing the seven seas...but lo ..... what did I know! A mere Long Island clam digger says ay with only a few small craft under my command.....save for my 1929 Elco Sedan Cruiser that I once lived aboard with my trusty first mate Rusty in Seatuck Cove near Speonk....
Elco 35 Footer 1930
But Orient Point ! a fine place indeed and the furthest place you can travel on the North Fork of Long Island... where I first saw as child the Orient Point Ferry, a converted WWII Landing Craft that I would later play on with my band Mrs. Murphy's Basement, getting a wee bit sea sick in the cargo hold at my Hammond Organ. Imagine a rock band playing inside a steel landing craft. As noisy as Omaha Beach on D Day just a lot safer. It was a graduation party of the Adelphi College Class Of '68 .... Wee Three Kings Of Orient ......
and Kings Go Forth ?... it was a fine 1958 film that Leora Dana was in... Leora was one of W. S. Dana's Three Daughters and grew up on the Dana estate just a Three estates over from Capn' Joe Knapp's. Shep Dana and Dodi Knapp were friends and rivals in their speed boats during the roaring twenties.....
So before you can say "Spooner's not playing with a full deck " may I present to you ...
The Fourth Storm King
"STORM KING" Motor Boating Magazine July 1952
Acting on a story given to me that Joe Knapp's last boat was not the Matthews 38 foot Storm King III, but rather a 35 foot Huckins "Fairform Flyer," I started digging again. That led me to the HuckinsYacht website of the folks who have been building Fairform Flyers since 1928, In January of 1951 their creator Frank Pembroke Huckins started writing his memoirs titled "Boats and Women The History Of My life" he never got to finish it passing away in May that year. However his family and old friends kept the company going and growing. In 1998 Huckins The Living Legacy was published. It's a beautiful coffee table book lavishly illustrated. Frank's stories are great too I might add and remind me of the ones I read in Gyro ..The Life and Times of Lawrence B. Sperry
As soon as I got it I started looking for 30 some foot Fairforms built after the post war. There were several. I started to look for the index and hit an appendice titled the Fairform Flyer Fleet. There before me was every boat they built from 1928- 1998. Seven pages into the records and there she be!!! Seven Down de Line .....and the first boat built in 1952.
PRO BONO, SONNY BONO & CHER BONO ! Holy Mackrel Andy! There she bee at 34 Feet, Hull # 251 Built in 1952 Original Owner J F Knapp !
ORIGINAL NAME..... "STORM KING " !!!! how original is that ?...instead of calling her Storm King IV or Storm King Fore ( he was a golfer ya know) or Miss Deferred ...he returns to the good name on the stern of the 53 foot sedan trunk cruiser of his earlydays in youthful retirement. Kudos to my original source, who was only off by a foot and who knows which lucky sea dog was holding the tape when she was measured or if they measured her at the waterline or the bust er bowline.... not to mention it was 53 years ago that Dodi took delivery. So what's a foot long? A mighty Hot Dog you say......but is it Kosher says I..... And also a major bonus.... Huckins listed the name of her last known owner Mr. Eric Williams, (my son is named Erik) and don't you know I have already e mailed Frank Pembroke Huckins' grandaughter Cindy Purcell, who now runs the place for further info. A factory that keeps records this good just has to have further info says I hopefully.
from book : Huckins A Living Legacy
I don't know what month Dodi took delivery yet, but even if he christened her in January of 1952, he still only got to enjoy her for less than 10 months as he was up in Hampton Bays when he passed away on October 23, 1952.
Motor Boating January 1952
Aboard The Elco Seatuck Cove April 1976 photo by Lou Stevens
My Grandpa Walter Joseph kept a boat just like this at Dodi's Mastic Beach Dock in the 1940's & 50's
So did my oldest pal Larry Schulz