Brilliant (schooner)

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Career USAUnited States
Name: Brilliant
Owner: Mystic Seaport
Builder: Henry B. Nevins
Yard number: City Island, Bronx
Completed: 1932
Status: Museum Ship
General characteristics
Tonnage: 30
Length: 61' 6
Beam: 14' 8
Height: 81'
Draft: 9'
Installed power: Sail, Diesel Engine
Propulsion: Detroit Diesel 353
Sail plan: Schooner
Capacity: 12

Brilliant is a schooner located at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut, United States. The Brillant was built in 1932 on City Island, Bronx by Henry B. Nevins. The Brilliant was built for Walter Barnum. The Brilliant was built as an ocean racing yacht, and on its maiden voyage crossed the Atlantic Ocean in just over 15 days, a record for a sailing yacht of her size.

During World War 2, the schooner was acquired by the U.S. Coast Guard and used to patrol the New England Coast for enemy submarines. During this time, two machine guns were mounted on Brilliant's deck.

After the war, Brilliant was purchase by the accomplished sailor Briggs Cunningham, who attempted to increase her speed by outfitting her with a larger rig. The new rig consisted of taller masts, a self-tacking forestaysail, and a Bermuda-mainsail, replacing the original gaff main. During this time, Cunningham also invented the cunningham, a tie-down for the tack(the lower, forward corner of the mainsail) which allows the sail to maintain a more efficient shape. This makes Brilliant the first boat to have the device, now standard on racing boats of all sizes. Despite the modifications, Cunningham was unable to significantly improve the speed of Brilliant, and he donated her to Mystic Seaport in 1957.

Mystic Seaport now uses the vessel as an offshore classroom and features it as part of their collection of watercraft.[1]

See also


  1. Mystic Seaport Accessed December 12, 2008.

Coordinates: 41°21′45″N 71°57′55″W / 41.3625°N 71.96528°W / 41.3625; -71.96528

fr:Brilliant (voilier)