SACHEM, Brooklyn, NY – 1937
A 1937 postcard for Captain Jake Martin’s diesel yacht "SACHEM" from Pier 9, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY. The Pusey and Jones Corporation built her in 1902 for Mr. J. Rogers Maxwell as the steel-hulled luxury yacht "CELT". Mr. Manton B. Metcalf later purchased her and renamed her as the "SACHEM". The US Navy acquired the "SACHEM" from Mr. Metcalf in July 1917 for service during World War I and renamed her as the "USS SACHEM" (SP-192). During her wartime duties, the Navy assigned her to Thomas A. Edison, who conducted experimental ocean communications work during secret cruises to the Caribbean. She later operated as a harbor patrol craft in the Third Naval District until the US Navy returned her to Mr. Metcalf in February 1919. Mr. Metcalf later sold her to Philadelphia banker Roland L. Taylor.
In 1932, Mr. Taylor sold her to Captain Jacob 'Jake' Martin and she would become one of many yachts purchased during the Great Depression and converted to a party fishing boat. She made regular trips to the fishing grounds off Atlantic City, NJ. This advertising postcard was produced shortly after Captain Martin replaced her coal-fired boiler with a 750 HP Fairbanks-Morse diesel engine. While the new diesel was more convenient to operate, her speed dropped to 12 knots (she could make 15 knots when she was steam powered.)
The "SACHEM" sailed as a party boat until the start of World War II when the federal government appropriated her (a second time) for the then tidy sum of $65,000. The US Navy again converted her to an armed yacht and used her to patrol the waters off the Florida Keys under the name "PHENAKITE". At the end of the war, the US Navy returned the "SACHEM" to Captain Martin, who promptly sold her to the Circle Line in New York City. She was modified to carry 492 passengers on two decks and renamed the "SIGHTSEER" (she later became the "CIRCLELINE SIGHTSEER" and "CIRCLE LINE V"); and ran sightseeing trips around Manhattan. She was the flagship of the Circle Line fleet and their fastest vessel. At the end of her life, she was stripped of all of her fine mahogany millwork and brass fittings; and was purportedly dismantled in 1984, but we know better.