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1934 87′ 1934 Classic Trumpy Motorsailer Auxiliary Ketch

8 December, 2012 by EVAN

About this Sailboat:

The “Kick Back” is an 87′ Trumpy designed Auxiliary Ketch. She was built in 1934 by the Mathis Yacht Building Co, (later known as John Trumpy and sons) of Camden NJ. She was contract #219.

Hull construction is of conventional carvel pitch pine planking over grown and sawn 7″ x 14″ white oak flitch frames. Decking is of teak. Construction is heavy throughout.

Current Condition: She is in need of some TLC. Engine is fully functional. She is due for a drydock. Her last drydock was approximately 4 years ago. Please feel free to ask any questions

Her current owner is using her as a Bed and Breakfast until she is Sold.


To view full specs and all available pictures visit and go to: Boats for Sale, or visit – YachtWorld # is YW# (# removed)

Equipment on Board:

Interior accommodations provide berthing for up to 8 people in two staterooms and forward bunks. There is a workroom/tankroom including washer/dryer combo, workbench and storage. An enclosed head with marine toilet and shower are forward of the workroom

History of Vessel: Kick Back has been blessed with a Rich History
Originally known as the Elsie Fenimore, she was built for E.R. Fenimore Johnson, the wife of Eldridge Reeves Johnson, founder of the Victor Talking Machine Co (later RCA Victor). In her own right, Mrs. Johnson was known for her underwater photography, underwater camera design and marine scientific research. A scientific study on the absorption and scattering of solar radiation by the sea was conducted onboard the vessel and published in 1937 along with two colleagues.

In 1942, she ws purchased by the Maritime Commission, renamed and commissioned the USS John M. Howard (IX-75) in honor of a late Navy ensign. Assigned to the Washington navy yard for duty under the Bureau of Ordinance, she was outfitted as a floating photographic laboratory. During the war, the vessel was used for ordinance experiements. in January of 1943, she departed Washington for 100 days of experimental operations on the Atlantic coast. In 1945, she was decommissioned and placed in service until November of that year.

She was again resold to E. R. Fenimore Johnson in 11946 and resumed her life as the yacht “Elsie Fenimore”. In 1954, she again figured in a scientific paper on the study of the Gulf Stream.

According to the book “Trumpy” by Robert Tolf and the Lloyd’s of London Registry, she was renamed “Earl of Desmond” in 1962 and owned by two owners under that name, The Geraldines, Ltd (1962) and James W. Fitzgerald (1973). As of yet, we are unable to find any data regarding her adventures during this time.

She was again renamed “Northern Light”. Under this name, she was owned by Paul Lohmann, cinematographer. He is best known for his work with Mel Brooks and rich and diverse filmology including “Mommie Dearest, High Anxiety and Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen”.

In 1999, she was purchased by Capn R. Craig Chipman, a well known tall ship skipper and ancient mariner. His love of the sea, sailing expertise, shipwright abilities and extensive knowledge of maritime history made them a perfect match. She was renamed “Caroline Rose” in memory of his previous vessel, the 132 ft Nova Scotia built schooner Caroline Rose. His vision was to return her back into a research vessel, teaching children the importance of the sea and her preservation, as well as passing on his extensive knowledge of rigging and ancient mariner skills. ultimately, plans were drawn up to alter her design as a replica of a Baltimore Clipper.

I do my best to post the most accurate information I can find, but please be aware that information here may be incorrect. If you have any comments about this boat, corrections to the specifications listed, or can provide additional information or photos, please use the comment form below and share what you can. I will update information as it becomes available.

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