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Object Name Launch, Gasoline
Date 1915-1915
Artist Seabury, Charles
Maker Gas Engine Power Co. and Charles Seabury
Material Wood/Metal/Brass
Used Little Tupper Lake
Description Glass cabin launch built as a tender for a steam yacht by the Gas Engine and Power Company, Charles L Seabury, & Co, Consolidated. Transom-sterned with outboard rudder. Present engine (8 cyl. Universal) is not original. Propeller shaft has been cut off and prop detached from boat. Has driver's compartment forward of the engine compartment, glass cabin aft of that, with an open cockpit originally protected by an awning (now missing) aft of that. Seats all around inside with upholstered cushions. Aftermost seat back has WHILEAWAY (name of the tender on the mother ship) painted on it in gold letters.

L: 28'B: 6'3"Wt: 3500 lbs*

In 1915 the millionaire socialite Harry Payne Whitney and his teenaged son Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney watched their new 177-foot steam yacht WHILEAWAY slide down the ways at the Cramp shipbuilding yard in Philadelphia. The hull was steel and rather like a houseboat in style, with plate-glass windows instead of portholes, and light, airy staterooms. Soon to hang from her davits was what the builders called a wooden "Coupe Yacht Tender," hull #2443, built by the New York firm which had made its name in naphtha launches. The tender had the same name as her mother ship. She was powered by a 40-horsepower Speedway gasoline engine which could drive her about sixteen miles per hour. About 1925 The Consolidated Shipbuilding Company (the same firm that had built the original boat with a shortened name) built a larger and faster coupe yacht tender for Mr. Whitney, and the smaller Whileaway was sent up to his Adirondack estate.

The tender WHILEAWAY has survived in remarkably untouched shape. It is not hard to imagine C.V. Whitney cruising around Little Tupper Lake, sitting comfortably in the glass-enclosed owner's cockpit with its varnished mahogany wainscoting, leather cushions, and cut and frosted glass electric lights. He could signal to the skipper in his unprotected forward cockpit, by means of an electric bell. He and his guests sitting aft, on the bench seat with "Whileaway" painted on the backrest, were protected from the Adirondack weather by an awning.

WHILEAWAY's hull below the waterline has been sheathed in a rubberized cloth, probably in the 1950s. Her original power plant has been replaced with an 8-cylinder Universal engine. The historic photograph shows H.P. Whitney and his party visiting the yacht VANITIE from the tender WHILEAWAY. The photo is courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News, Virginia.
Notes 28'4" X 76"
Dimensions W-6.333 L-28.3 feet
Collection BBB210
Catalog Number 1956.016.0001
Other number cat 173
Imagefile 051\1956.016.0001.JPG
Species Launch, Gasoline
Owned by Whitney, Harry Payne and Whitney, Cornelius Vanderbilt