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About Mahdee


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  We have a few pictures of Mahdee in her "past life"...more  

We are lucky to have obtained a complete set of Mahdee's drawings and her specification... more


Mahdee is believed to be the first small electric drive auxiliary. She was designed in 1930 and launched in April of 1931. Her original owner, Alexander "Sandy" Moffat described her design and performance in the February 1932 issue of Yachting magazine. His article is titled '"Mahdee" The First Small Electric Drive Auxillary.' We have a photocopy of (most!) of this article and will post a re-print here if we can obtain the full article reprint. About the name: mahdee is a "pretty woman" in eastern India according to Mr. Moffats' writings. Mahdee was designed by naval architect Samuel Sturgis Crocker (March 29, 1890 - November 24, 1964). and built by G.F Lawson and Son boatyard in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Mr. Moffat stated in his article about Mahdee that "the cooperation between owner, architect, and builder together, with plenty of time to decide the details, was bound to produce a well-designed, well-built ship." They adhered to the mottos which Mr. Moffat believed anyone building a boat should swear faithfully to follow:

"The best is none too good; the most expensive is generally the cheapest in the end; and "if you are going to sea and going in safety you've got to be particular."

According to the 1930 US census, at the time Mahdee was designed and built, Sandy was married with four children: daughters Marian (15), Frances (13), and Faith (10); and son Alexander W (5). The Mahdee was to be an intermittent family dwelling for the Moffats. Sandy was an experienced captain who expected to sail Mahdee single-handed and had her designed with this in mind. He expected to take her out under power alone with some frequency and still wanted her to be quiet-thus came the desire for her quiet electric drive.

We will write more about Mahdee's designer, builder, and owners and her interesting past as we have the time to write and additional information to provide. We were happy to learn that information about Mahdee is available in print. Mahdee was included as one of Roger C Taylor's original "Good Boats" in his first book by that name in 1977. There is a full chapter discussing her design. The well-known book is out of print, but one may find a copy through www.alibris.com. The link is HERE . The full list of Sam Crocker's designs, including Mahdee (design #131), is provided on the Crocker Boat Yard website: HERE.

Mahdee is included in S. Sturgis Crocker's book of his father's designs. This book is available through booksellers as well as directly from the Crockers Boat Yard: HERE

There is a also a nice tribute to Mahdee's designer, Sam Crocker, at the website of the SS Crocker Memorial Race HERE