The Restoration of the Schooner Yacht Coronet:
The Balance between Historic Preservation
and Future Use
Susan Daly, Vice President of Marketing, International Yacht Restoration School, Newport, RI
The restoration of the 1885 schooner yacht Coronet is an historic preservation project con-
ducted on the campus of the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) in Newport,
Coronet is the last remaining schooner yacht of her age, size and degree of originality—a
magnificent example from the great age of yachting at the end of the nineteenth century.
Launched in 1885 for American industrialist Rufus T. Bush, Coronet was built to cruise the
world’s oceans in comfort and style. Her interior included appointments such as mahogany-
paneled staterooms, a grand marble-treaded staircase, stained glass doors, a main saloon with
etched mirrors and gilded moldings, a cloisonné chandelier, a tiled heating stove, and a piano.
Coronet’s state of preservation is extraordinary, and her hull and interior are substantially
original. Her remarkable record of ownership, extensive voyaging and survival from the 19th
into the 21st century, make her a unique and internationally important vessel. The National
Trust for Historic Preservation has recognized Coronet’s importance by designating her as a
Save America’s Treasures project, and she has been awarded a place on the National Register of
Historic Places, the first vessel in Rhode Island to receive that distinction.
Coronet is currently being restored to sail as she did in the late 19th century. Following IYRS’s
acquisition of Coronet in 1995, the process has included an exhaustive search through primary
sources to document her voyaging history and extensive documentation of her as-found condi-
tion. Her interiors have been recorded and removed. The next phase will be to restore her hull
and deck. Coronet’s original structure will be retained wherever feasible, and both materials
and workmanship will replicate the construction methods used whe