70′ 1941/2019 Eldredge-McInnis Sardine Carrier - ID: 46159


LOA 70' 8"
LWL 63' 3"
Beam 15' 6"
Draft 5' 11"
Displacement 100,000 lbs
45,359 kg

70′ 1941/2019 Eldredge-McInnis Sardine Carrier


“Sardine Carriers are the queens of the Maine fishing fleet.  These are good sized boats, sixty feet and up in length, and are used to move sardines, or small herring, from the point of capture to the factory where the fish are processed and placed head-to-tail into cans…Many, although by no means all, were double-enders, dictated by the need for easily-driven shapes when both light and loaded.  For the same reason, the boats were long and lean, and consequently often very beautiful.”   -Joel White, Wood, Water and Light

The William Underwood is a prime and increasingly rare example, a 70 footer designed by Eldredge-McInnis and built at the Simms Bros. yard in Dorchester MA in 1941 for the Underwood Canning Company to meet a surge in demand for sardines brought on by the United States entry into WWII.  The spike in demand proved short lived and the Underwood was one of the last carriers built, a pinnacle of the 60 year evolution of carrier design built during the waning years of the industry.

Rockport Marine owner Taylor Allen had always found sardine carriers uniquely appealing, and retirement was on the horizon when the William Underwood, at that point a bare, partially restored hull, came up for sale in 2007.  While not exactly common, sardine carrier yachts were proven concept (see below) and the Underwood’s gorgeous double-ended hull had room for the spacious engine room, comfortable yacht interior, and carrying capacity one would want for the extended, self-sufficient cruising Allen and wife Martha White envisioned for their retirement.

With 25 years of experience at the helm of one of the country’s premier wooden boat yards overseeing large scale restoration projects like Brilliant, Bolero, Adventuress, Allen was uniquely well equipped to take on the project and ultimately, was unable to resist.  In 2007 Allen purchased the William Underwood from the owner of Atlantic Boat Co in Brooklin, ME, loaded her onto a barge and hauled her across Penobscot Bay to Rockport Marine where, over the next 12 years as time between paid projects allowed, she was restored and in 2019, relaunched.

Ultimately, for Taylor the greatest joy of the William Underwood was in the project itself. He and his wife, Martha, are happiest cruising locally on their smaller Aage Nielsen cutter Northern Crown. While Allen enjoys the Underwood gracing Rockport Harbor, it’s time to pass the torch to someone who will do the sort of extended cruising for which the Underwood is now so well suited.

The William Underwood’s refit is detailed below but in brief it was comprehensive.    Her structure was completely replaced, a comfortable thoughtfully designed yacht interior and top of the line systems package fitted.  She is offered for sale in turn-key condition at considerably less than the cost of restoration, and is stored on the hard in Rockport, ME this winter available for showings.

Hull and Deck:

The William Underwood’s hull was rebuilt to the original Eldredge-McInnis scantlings: 2” Douglas Fir planking on double sawn white oak frames and a white oak backbone but fastened with bronze rather than the original iron.   Her deck layout was modified slightly.   The pilot house is further forward and sits up off the deck on an elevated cabin house that improves light and headroom down below and allows room for the curved companionway down from the pilot house into the interior.

On deck she’s much as you’d expect for a converted workboat, straight laid decks, substantial bulwarks, cap-rails and hardware, very little varnish…all very tidy.  The absence of working deck gear, the colorful paintjob, varnished butterfly hatches and bronze hardware hint at her new purpose.  There’s a comfortable teak seat at the forward end of the pilot house, entry into the standing headroom engine room and a ladder to the pilot house top at the aft end.  Sliding doors on either side offer access to the pilot house.

Pilot House and Interior:

The pilot house is functional, spacious, and uncluttered with excellent visibility all around.  The helm is off set to port with a beautiful bronze and Alaskan Yellow Cedar wheel, gauges, throttle controls, a Raymarine electronics suite and the electrical panel all at hand.   A full width settee (captain’s berth) forms the aft end of the pilot house and the companionway to the interior is forward to starboard.

Immediately to port at the bottom of the companionway is the galley with its ample storage and workspace, residential style fridge, slate sink, and beautiful mahogany cabinetry.  To starboard, tucked in behind the companionway is a day head and forward the main salon.  The main living space is comfortable and thoughtfully designed.  With its raw teak countertops and Douglas Fir sole, 7+ feet of headroom, and white paint and matte varnish finishing scheme, it feels airy and modern particularly for a former fish hold.

The salon has two facing settees with outboard berths, a drop leaf mahogany table, a woodstove on the port forward bulkhead and a writing desk to starboard.  Forward of the salon there is an over under double berth cabin to port, the second head with separate shower to starboard and finally the spacious owner’s cabin in the forepeak with its queen-sized island berth and matching hanging lockers.


With the exception of the engine, a 250 hp Cummins 855 diesel which was rebuilt at Billings Marine in Stonington, ME in 2010, all of the Underwood’s systems have been replaced in the last 5 years.  She’s been fitted out with long-range, self-sufficient cruising and redundancy in mind and comes very well equipped with a Westerbeke generator and Victron Charger/inverter powering a 240/120/24/12v electrical system, Spectra water maker, multi zone hydronic diesel heater, and a full Raymarine electronics package, all of it in like new condition.  For more information see the inventory below.

Sardine Carrier Yachts:

In his article on the restoration and launch of the William Underwood  Woodenboat Magazine editor Matt Murphy cites three critical elements to sardine carrier’s suitability to yacht conversion.  “(1) they are efficient to operate, (2) they have plenty of cargo space that can be converted to accommodation space, and (3) they are good looking.”

In 1950 German yard Abeking and Rasmussen built the highly regarded steel motor yacht Little Vigilant to the William Underwood’s lines.  More recently the 1915 Rice Brother’s sardine Carrier Grayling was beautifully restored at Brooklin, ME yard Hylan and Brown and has proven herself to be a comfortable, stylish, capable cruiser.


-LOA – 70’ 8”

-LWL – 63’3”

-Beam – 15’ 6”

-Draft – 5’11”



-White Oak backbone timbers, double sawn frames, floor timbers, deck beams

-Douglass fir planking 2” with Purple heart sheer strakes, garboards

-Bronze fasteners and bolts

-Straight laid pine deck, conventionally caulked with TDS seam coumpound

-Plywood Bulkheads



-250 Hp 5-cylinder Cummins 855 diesel engine (Overhauled at Billings Marine in 2010)

-Twin Disk 3:1 reduction gear

-Stainless shaft

-42” 4 blade bronze prop

-Conventional flax stuffing box

-Dual 24v alternators

-Hydraulic steering

-Engine driven Fire/Crash pump



-Westerbeke 7.6 GTD (8KW)  3-cylinder diesel 120/240V generator

-12/24/120/240V Electrical system – 12/24V DC panel and 120/240V AC panel

-Vectron Quattro 24/1500/120 Charger Inverter

-2 x 12V AGM engine start batteries

-1 x 12V AGM generator start batteries

-4 x 12V 8D AGM House batteries



Raymarine Axiom Pro 16” Multi Function Display

Raymarine Magnum 4kw 4’ radar

Raymarine P70Rs controller and ACU-300 CPU

Raymarine EV-1 Compass

Raymarine AP rudder reference display

Raymarine i70S wind instruments

Raymarine Ray 70 VHF

Raymarine 650 AIS

Airmar B122-235-N2k depth and temp transducter



2 x 360 gal. fuel tanks located in engine room

2 x 125 gal. stainless water tanks located under settees

1 x 75 gal. stainless blackwater tank

1 x 75 gal stainless gray water tank


Ground Tackle:

-Ideal Horizontal Windlass  (24V)

-2 x 165 lb. Navy style anchors in Hawse with all chain rode


Miscellaneous Systems:

-110v/engine tied hot water heater

-Spectra Catalina 340Z 14GPH 12/24V watermaker

-Hurricane II hydronic diesel heater

-All bronze thru hulls

-24V freshwater pump and 24V heat circulation pump


Galley/Domestic systems:

-Force 10 4 burner LPG stove/oven w/ solenoid

-Slate Sink


-Soapstone solid fuel (wood) stove

-Fusion MS-AV650 Audio system

-28” TV

2 x Tecma freshwater, push button marine heads



-lifejackets, throwables, flares

-24V searchlight

-Engine driven crash pump

2 x 24V diaphragm bilge pumps

-Kahenberg horn


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