The editors of True.Ink have partnered with the When And If, the historic schooner built by General George Patton. We’re racing the boat to Havana from Key West, up the Eastern Coast, through the Great Lakes and (next year) around the world. Coming with us?
If you’d like to secure a berth on the When And If and receive a complete schedule, send us a note to [email protected]
Incredibly, the idea for the When And If came after General George Patton, one of the toughest and successful military leaders, was kicked in the leg by his wife Beatrice’s horse.
In the fall of 1937, his leg was broken and he was bedridden for months. Beatrice needed something to cheer her husband up, and she chose a boat they could build and share.
A dream boat.
“When the war is over, and if I live through it, Bea and I are going to sail her around the world,” Patton said then.
To make their dream a reality, the Patton’s reached out to John Alden, the master architect of race boats, who created a custom schooner to Patton’s specs. Not surprisingly, Patton wanted his boat to be rugged. As he left back to Europe to fight the Nazis, the boat was built like a tank.
General Patton never returned from Europe. In the later years of the year, he’d been suffering from depression. To lift his spirits, another commander suggested going hunting for pheasant. On the drive, the car veered and collided with a truck. Patton struck his head and broke his neck.
“This is a hell of a way to die,” he reportedly said, and spent twelve days in traction, paralyzed from the neck down.
Beatrice flew to see visit him in a German hospital, where he died in his sleep, and both never realized their dream of sailing the When And If around the world.
The boat stayed in the Patton family until the early 1970’s, when it was donated to the Landmark School in Prides Crossing, and used in a sailing school to train dyslexic children. In 2012, after a few accidents and renovations, the boat was purchased by Doug Hazlitt, who had repaired other Alden designed boats, and has now been restored to its original condition.
This spring, the editors of True formed a partnership with the When And If, and have formed several exclusive trips this spring, summer and fall for True’s LUCKY PIECE holders.
The boat itself is 63-feet long, with two large wooden masts. The decks are wide, the bulwarks high and the pilot house deck house is beautiful sanctuary, allowing an incredible view and shade and shelter from the sun and wind.
Down below, the boat has been designed for long sea voyages. In total, there are three private cabins for guests, including a master cabin with single berth, the forecastle with single berth, and a double berth cabin. The galley and saloon are ideal settings for gourmet dinners, prepared for guests, along with late night card games, artisanal beer, wine and the experience of a lifetime.
The When And If can be reserved for a variety of cruises. Through True and for LUCKY PIECE holders, we will be hosting afternoon and evening cruises for two dozen or so guests, along with private weekend trips up the Hudson and other longer passages for six passengers.