Volunteer (yacht)

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JSJ-volunteer turning.jpg
turning Sandy Hook Lightship during the America's Cup race on Sept. 27, 1887. Photograph by John S. Johnston
Yacht Club:  New York Yacht Club
Nation:  United States
America's Cup Year(s): 1887
Designer(s): Edward Burgess
Builder: Pusey & Jones Shipbuilding Company
Launched: 1887
Owner(s): General Charles J. Paine
Skipper(s): Hank Haff
Notable Victories:
Fate: Broken up in 1910
Displacement: 130 tons
  • 108 ft 0 in (32.92 m) (LOA)
  • 86 ft 0 in (26.21 m) (LWL)
Beam: 23 ft 2 in (7.06 m)
Draft: 10 ft 0 in (3.05 m)
Sail Area: 8,981 sq ft (834.4 m2)

Volunteer was an American racing yacht built in 1887 for the America's Cup races. It was the victorious American defender of the seventh America's Cup match that same year against Scottish challenger Thistle.


Volunteer, a centerboard compromise sloop, was designed by Edward Burgess and built by Pusey & Jones Shipbuilding Company at Wilmington, Delaware in 1887 for owner General Charles J. Paine of the New York Yacht Club.

Volunteer was the first America's Cup yacht with an all steel frame and hull. Her deck was made of white pine.


Volunteer easily beat the 1886 America's Cup defender Mayflower during the defender trials for the 1887 America's Cup and won both Cup races on September 27 and 30, 1887, against Thistle. Volunteer was skippered by Captain Hank Haff with the assistance of Captains Terry, Berry and L. Jeffreys.

Soon after the Cup races, Volunteer was bought by John Malcolm Forbes (who also owned Puritan) and was altered as a schooner in 1891. It was broken up at a New York junkyard in 1910.

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