Perry R. Connolly

1927 - 2018

Following EVANGELINE’s arrival on the scene, as mentioned earlier, Peter Davidson and I became close friends and, in 1951, partners in business. Another crew member, Perry Connolly, disappeared for about ten years, years during which he married Peter’s sister Pat, began their family, and developed his business, P. R. Connolly Construction Ltd., which evolved into the primary builder of Holiday Inns in Southern Ontario and later in the Caribbean. 

Not until the early 1960's did Perry reappear, sailing out of the Port Credit Yacht Club, where his sailing skills had been developed aboard his father’s Buffalo Knockabout, the one-design of choice in Port Credit at the time. Peter and I were pushing hard to sell the 35-foot CN35 steel yawls, designed and built by Beister-Werft in Norderney, Germany. 

The first, named CaVa, had been imported for Ian Morch of Belleville. We had designed a yawl rig for them to conform to the Cruising Club of America (CCA) Rule, then the prevalent handicap system in North America. Kurt Beister built the first six, then late deliveries caused us concern, which led us to shift construction to Cliff Richardson Boat Works in Meaford, Ontario, whom we knew well from the construction of INISHFREE. 

Perry ordered one of the first of the Richardson series but took her as a bare hull and had her completed by Dirk Kneulmann of Ontario Yachts Ltd. in Oakville. She was named “CAROUSEL” and, like her sisters, was eye-catching but not particularly fast. Nevertheless, Perry and his crew did surprisingly well with her, an experience which that we always felt stood him (and us) in good stead later—much like the batter who warms up by swinging two bats before stepping up to the plate. ~~~ 

RED JACKET Perry was an ardent hockey fan and often invited me to accompany him to Maple Leaf Gardens to cheer on the Toronto Maple Leafs. One night in the fall of 1965, between the second and third periods, he announced that he had decided that four years with “CAROUSEL” were enough and commissioned the design of, as he put it, “the meanest, hungriest 40-footer afloat.”


Yacht Name

Red Jacket, 


Manitou - Magistri - Manitou, 

Sightseer III


Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame 2022

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