Lot 127
  • 127


15,000 - 20,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • paper, ink
Approximately 53 marine architect's drawings on translucent drafting paper, black ink with some occasional red, most signed lower right "designed by | Frederick M. Hoyt Naval Architect" or similar formulation (one signed by Charles D. Mower), most in scale of 3/8 in. or 3/4 in. = 1 foot, widely differing sizes, from 6 x 10 1/4 in. to 18 3/4 x 39 in. (151 x 264 mm to 474 x 992 mm), together with 3 printed blueprints; drawings generally very good to fine condition with occasional edge fading, blueprints with a few marginal tears.

Catalogue Note

Frederick Hoyt, a highly regarded yachtsman and naval architect, was a passenger with his wife on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. The Hoyts were initially listed as lost—on April 17, 1912, the Brooklyn Daily Times carried the headline "L. I. Yachtsmen will miss Frederick M. Hoyt"—but in fact both were rescued; he was pulled aboard Collapsible Lifeboat D, which already contained his wife.

Hoyt's rescue is one of the more remarkable among the Titanic survivors. He was a longtime friend of Edwin Smith, captain of doomed vessel, and according to the Patterson Morning Call of April 23, 1912, after seeing his wife safely into the lifeboat, Hoyt ascended to the bridge, where he had a drink with Captain Smith before climbing to a lower deck to take his dive into the ocean. In a letter written nearly two months later, Hoyt tried to explain the sinking: "...why they did not see the ice I cannot tell you... I have known Captain Smith well for the past sixteen years... he never took unnecessary chances... The only explanation for their not seeing the ice that I can imagine, is this -- the sea was absolutely calm, not a ripple in the water, a brilliant star light in which you could see the reflection of every star; and I think the stars reflected from the ice just as they did from  the sea and that the lookouts and bridge officers did not see the damn thing until they were right on top of it."

Hoyt’s observation is particularly cogent. He was a world-class navigator and no stranger to sailing the North Atlantic: seven years prior to sailing on the Titanic, Hoyt navigated the schooner Atlantic (Hoyt's winter sail plan for the vessel is part of the lot) under the famously maniacal skipper Charlie Barr in the famous trans-Atlantic Kaiser Cup race of 1905 and therein set a new mono-hull record that would stand for nearly 100 years. 

Hoyt, who lived until 1940, graduated from Yale's Sheffield Scientific School in 1895. He was a member of the Larchmont and New York Yacht clubs, owned his own racing yachts (including the Norota, the Syce, and the Isolda), and was sought after as a sailor as well as a designer. Hoyt studied under William Gardner, the designer and builder of the Atlantic.

The majority of these drawings date from the mid-1920s to 1930s, Hoyt's most successful period as a yacht designer. The subjects include profiles, arrangements, sail plans, hulls, and lines and were executed for a variety of vessels, including an 18 Foot Rating Sloop, an International 6 Metre, a 16 Foot Whale Boat, a 21 Foot Raceabout, a 55 Foot Rating Schooner, and a Class Q Sloop, as well as for the Machree, the Betty, the Clytie, and the Natka. The drawing of the Q Class is particularly attractive, showing features including the cabins, berths, galley, linen locker, toilet room, ice chest, and fresh water supply.

A very few letters by Hoyt related to the Titanic (including the one quoted above) have been sold at auction, but we have found no auction records for his naval design drawings.