Built by renowned Patchogue boat builder Gilbert Monroe (Gil) Smith (1843-1945) for Harry A. Walton of Bellport and launched June 6, 1906, Elvira is the oldest surviving original “P”-class sloop, one of the largest racing classes to have sailed on the Great South Bay, and is among the few remaining examples of Gil Smith’s work. Elvira was also the first boat to cross the finish line in Bellport Bay Yacht Club’s first race, Saturday August 4, 1906, the year of the club’s founding. In the 1920’s ownership of Elvira passed to the Starke family who sailed her with much pride and increasing acclaim as over the years as she gradually became the 'last of her breed' to survive.
Elvira, circa 1906; Photo courtesy of LI Maritime Museum
But at the end of the 20th century, Elvira had been laid up for some ten years after suffering an unfortunate collision with the jetty at the mouth of Fireplace Creek. In 1999 owner Bob Starke donated her to the Post - Morrow Foundation with the hope that she would be repaired and put into sailing shape again. And with the establishment of Carmans River Maritime Center and Elvira's impending hundredth anniversary, efforts were begun to bring her back to life. The Elvira 100 Club was established to raise $100 from 100 persons in honor of her 100th anniversary. The Post-Morrow Foundation agreed to match those first 100 club members' donations dollar for dollar. As a result, the Elvira Refurbishment Fund started off with a nest egg of $20,000. to 'jump start' the work.