Community Boat Project is the proud steward of the 23′ sloop Felicity Ann, which Ann Davison sailed into history as the first woman to single-hand the Atlantic in 1953.
Ann Davidson published an account of her voyage in the excellent book My Ship is So Small
The vessel’s history and restoration was covered by Wooden Boat Magazine www.woodenboat.com/felicity-ann
A Brief History
Ann Davison sailed Felicity Ann across the Atlantic Ocean in 1952 – the first successful solo crossing by a woman.
Ann Davison (1914–1992), at the age of 39, crossed the Atlantic in her small but mighty 23 foot wood sloop, Felicity Ann. Ann departed Plymouth, England on May 18th, 1952, then set sail from the Canary Islands on November 20th,1952, with the goal of making land-fall in Antigua. Instead, storms pushed Felicity Ann south, past Barbados, resulting in Davison landing in Dominica on January 23, 1953. After time to recover in the Caribbean, she sailed north to Florida then and on to New York via the Intercoastal Waterway, arriving on November 23rd, 1953.
Felicity Ann was designed by Sid Mashford in 1936, built in 1939 under the name Peter Piper, by Mashford Brothers Ltd. of Creymyll Shipyard in Cornwall, England. Her construction was paused for the war and she was finally launched in 1949 as Felicity Ann. Three other identical hulls were built at the same time, and all remain, though only Selene is still actively sailed.
Five years after arriving in New York, Felicity Ann was sold and shipped to California where she was eventually found abandoned many years later. She was privately acquired and partially restored in Haines, Alaska in 2008-09. The owner became acquainted with a former student of the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding and after consulting with him realized he could not fully complete the project. This led to Felicity Ann being donated to the NWSWB, whose history of fine woodworking and historic boat restoration was well known.
The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding has rebuilt her from the keel up, and, as of summer 2017, she has joined the fleet of the Community Boat Project.