Elida: CAN 7

Built 1936
Hull Oregon Pine

Owner History
• [Bergen, Norway], 1937
• Dr. Bill Masters, 1950
• [Canadian Naval Officer], 1978
• Phill Fuller, 1992
• Johnathan WIlliams, 2001
• Jay Nadelson

“Elida” may have the most fascinating history of all the Chester IODs. She was built in Norway in 1937 and was based in Bergen, Norway. During the Second World War, two intrepid Norwegian sailors decided to escape under the cover of the foggy night. They fitted oars to the boat and rowed out of the harbour where they were discovered by a German patrol boat. The Germans fired on “Elida”, riddling her with bullet holes. The two men hid in the forward and stern parts of the boat, however, and survived. They patched the holes with pine tar and sawdust and continued safely to Wick in Scotland. They returned to Norway after the war, bringing “Elida” home again.

In 1955 Dr. Bill Masters’ was part of the Bermuda team-racing group that went to Oslo to compete against the Norwegians. He saw “Elida” and bought her and shipped her to Bermuda. One day when making repairs, Bert Darrell, a well known Bermudian shipwright and sailor, discovered a bullet in the planking of the boat. He asked Bill what to do with it and Dr. Masters said, “It came with the boat and it will stay with boat. It gives me good luck”. So, a hole was drilled in the mast step and the bullet was placed in it.

“Elida” was sold in 1978 to a Canadian Naval officer and shipped to Halifax aboard one of the Canadian frigates. After some years of neglect she was sold to Phil Fuller to be restored in Maine. When completely restored he passed her on to a gentleman in Connecticut where Jay Nadelson discovered her and brought “Elida” to Canada for the second time. As a side note, I was at a dinner party this past year and sitting next to me was Dr. Master’s daughter. She was delighted to learn that “Elida” was enjoying life in Chester and that “Elida” was an integral part of our fleet.

Richard Thompson