Conversations with Classic Boats

Published on August 25th, 2021

Conversations with Classic Boats is a podcast about classic boat designs and the stories behind them. Hosted by Tom Darling, his latest offering is a two-part series which profiles the challenge of restoring a 1959 vintage International One Design.

The IOD is one of the oldest and most venerable one design keelboat classes being raced, with over 125 still sailing of the more than 500 built beginning in 1936.

As a 1936 design adapted by a Norwegian boatbuilder from a famous Bermudian Six Meter champion, Saga, the IOD became the boat that in the teeth of the 1930s Depression motivated groups of hot Northeastern sailors to order dozens of an elite grand prix one design.

Soon enough, the class generated a virtual Who’s Who of skippers that went on to populate 12 Metre teams vying to defend the Americas Cup.

But it all began when Corny Shields from Larchmont YC saw Saga and asked the builder for two changes in the design – a shorter cabin trunk, a loftier rig and shorter boom for better performance in Long Island Sound’s fickle winds, and an extra 100 pounds of lead ballast.

Fast forward, the renovation came under the supervision of Jim Thompson, Jr, a marine carpenter with a soft spot for the IOD, contending it is the most fun you can have going four and a half knots.

To listen to the podcasts:

Part 1

Part 2

Tom Darling comes from a sailing family that’s been on the water since the middle of the 19th century. In modern times, he races Alerion keelboats in Nantucket along with vintage IODs in Western Long Island Sound. The podcast is available to at or via most popular podcast outlets, including ITunes, Google Podcast, and soon-Spotify

The podcast is written by Tom Darling and produced by Ned Darling. For further inquiries, contact

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