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Few people know that the Kettenburg yard built Starlets. In the late 1920's, the San Diego Yacht Club was keen on training programs for younger sailors. The "big" Star boats (at 22' 6") were really the "smallest" and "first" jib/main racing boat that youngsters were expected to train on. These boats were just too big for a youngster to handle. In 1928 a gentleman by the name of Joe Ruski started building a "scaled down" version of a Star boat in San Diego. The boats were 16' long and had 130 sq ft of sail. They were designed with a "bulb type" keel to keep the boat flat. He built hulls number 1 through 6. One of the SDYC members saw the bulb as a design flaw and took the plans to George Kettenburg. Three days later, George made a keel change to include a "boiler plate" keel with no bulb. His first boats were #7, 8 and 9 built together for a fee of $125.00 each WITH SAILS!!!!

These boats became instantly popular. The Kettenburg yard built about 40 of these wonderful little trainers with very popular regattas held at the SDYC and in the San Diego area. All of the "founding fathers" and accomplished sailors (up until the '50's) grew up sailing Starlets. It has been said, "If you can master a Starlet, you can sail ANYTHING!!" PC skipper (Hull #24) and SDYC member Robert Hatch is proud owner of one of these original woodies!!

The enclosed photos are of a model Starlet on display in the members lounge at the San Diego Yacht Club. It was a gift to the membership presented on Opening Day May 20, 1990.

The source of this information came largely from "The San Diego Yacht Club-A History 1886-2000" by Iris Engstrand and Cynthia Davalos.

Richard S. "Rish" Pavelec SDYC PC Fleet

Posted 02/24/01

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