Hull #2 (sold by Ted Jones)|
Howard Johnson acted as guardian for his brother George who had a slight mental handicap. It was Howard who ordered the boat for George. Their objective was to enter it in the 1960 Bermuda Race, and Howard put together a crew about 9-months in advance. There were monthly meetings over the winter with crewmembers very well organized and gung-ho. When it became obvious that the Javelin wasn't going to appear in time (none had even been started by race-time) the crew wanted to stay together and race anyway. Bill Tripp convinced Admiral Fred Trappnel to charter his Block Island 40 "Astral" to Howard, so the crew was able to race. Howard and George hung in with their order and Weather Vane was delivered to them eventually at Five Mile Landing, Rowayton, Connecticut later than the deliveries of hulls #5 and #8. Ted Jones (the agent for William Tripp) most likely picked it up from the ship in New York harbor and motored it to Rowayton, but had nothing further to do with the yacht as relations between the Johnsons and Tripp & Campbell had by that time become strained because of the long delay. There is no further record of where "Weather Vane" went or when the Johnsons sold her. She does not show up in any of the old race records, which indicates she was either only raced locally or not raced at all. The Johnsons later bought a Triangle 32 and those that knew them, only remember that boat.
We do have one further note on Weather Vane from "Skip" Raymond, a long time friend and neighbor of the Johnson family. Skip remembers that Weather Vane had the number 725 on her mainsail, instead of the 2 that would be expected from her hull number. The number 725 was assigned by the NAYRU (North American Yacht Racing Union), that has since changed in 1975 to USYRU (United States Yacht Racing Union), and was changed again in 1991 to United States Sailing Association, Inc. doing business as US Sailing. So, if you see a gorgeous boat with number 725 sailing out there, hail her and see if she is our lost Javelin - Weather Vane.