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Since the turn of the century the image of the magnificent commuters - great, flashing yachts running at flank speed, racing each other down Long Island Sound or roaring swiftly down the East River - has epitomized luxury yacht building at its pinnacle. The years between the two world wars were the golden days of commuters when they were commissioned by the Vanderbilt, Stroh, and Kennedy families, but express cruisers first became popular in the 1880s when business men like J. P. Morgan began using steam yachts to travel from their country homes to the Wall Street area.
In a wonderfully anecdotal text, Phil Moore reveals the history of these glamorous boats, including each vessel's unique design, furnishings, and performance capabilities. Some of the vessels have been consistently cared for and valued over the years, while others more recently have been brought back to glory by careful restoration. All of them are beautiful vestiges of a time when the craft of wooden boat building reached its finest moment.
Altogether, over three hundred commuters were built by about seventy builders. More than fifty of the original vessels have survived and today a glimpse of their graceful movement through the water is a dazzling reminder of an earlier era.