Mecray honored for yacht preservation efforts
Today, in New York, artist John Mecray of Jamestown will be honored by the National Maritime Historical Society when it presents its Distinguished Service Award during their annual Awards Dinner to be held at the New York Yacht Club on 44th Street in Manhattan.
The NMHS award says, "John Mecray will be honored for using his considerable influence as America's preeminent artist of yachts and yachting to preserve our maritime heritage by working to restore the historic schooner Coronet."
In 1980, after reading an article about Coronet in WoodenBoat Magazine, Mecray began efforts to see the 133-foot schooner saved and restored. Since her launching in 1885, Coronet has been recognized as "America's Most Historic Yacht." The deteriorated vessel was donated to Newport's International Yacht Restoration School in 1995, where the yacht has been thoroughly documented, hauled and secured in preparation for restoration. IYRS recently finalized an agreement that will realize Mecray's 27-year dream, which is to see the restoration and preservation of this important American artifact.
While starting his career in Newport as a marine artist, Mecray became the principal founder of The Museum of Yachting and it's first Annual Classic Yacht regatta in 1980. He went on to help cofound Newport's International Yacht Restoration School in 1993, and today serves on the IYRS Board of Trustees as it's vice chairman. It was fitting that Mecray was involved in negotiations, which recently led to the merger of both institutions.