It is not every day that you see a yacht adorned with a cheetah print vinyl-wrap cruising the Maine waters. When you do, however, you’ll know it belongs to Steve White, president of Brooklin Boat Yard. A boat of simple elegance, and expert craftsmanship, this 1941 Luders L-24 maintains both character and history.
Bill Luders designed this classic wooden boat, devoid of engine and electronics, in Stamford, Connecticut. One of seven, it was built utilizing the hot-molded construction method, a form of technology developed in WWII for airplanes and rescue boats. This method would continue to be utilized in additional Luder vessels.
Previously owned and anchored in Pensacola, FL, the Luders L-24 came into the hands of Steve White, who was passionate about maintaining and restoring its original Luders's appearance. He brought the yacht up to Maine, and began the vessel's refit in fall of 2019. “It was designed to be very simple and I wanted to keep it that way.”
When White began the refit, he noted the terrific condition of the hull, rudder, keel, and deck frame. However, the deck itself was tired, thin, and in need of replacement. White, therefore, installed a new plywood deck, before moving on to the cockpits renovation:
“Luders did several variations of the cockpit designs for these boats; I took a couple of different versions and put them together. It has a small cabin, which is trademark Luders, and then a long cockpit.”
Previously a large, open cockpit, White opted for a more refined conglomeration of Luders’ designs.
While the rig used to have running backstays, White wanted to eliminate those for the ease of simple day sailing. He moved the chainplates aft about 18 inches and reconfigured the rig, while maintaining its original dimensions. Additionally, he installed a masthead asymmetrical spinnaker in place of a fractional symmetrical spinnaker that Luders’ had originally designed.
A unique addition to the yacht’s refit, White included a rather adventurous makeover in preparation for the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta,
“I didn’t have enough time to paint the boat, so I bought a vinyl wrap for the boat, and it looks like cheetah fur all over. I kept it on for all of this year. People either love it or hate it.”
White continues to sail his L-24 in Maine in all her cheetah fur glory, declaring that she “steers like a dream.”