General George S. Patton had a dream. When, and if he returned from World War II, Patton planned to sail around the world in a schooner he had built for himself and his family. Aptly named When and If (“when” the war ended, and “if” he returned alive), the general never realized his dream. An automobile accident took his life in 1945, but his iconic schooner lives on.
Designed by John G. Alden and built in 1938 by F.F. Pendleton of Wiscassett, Maine, When and If was sailed by the Patton family until the 1970s when it was donated to the Landmark School in Beverly, Mass. In 1990 the schooner broke from its mooring in a gale and was considered a total loss. It was restored by Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway on Martha’s Vineyard and relaunched in 1994.
In recent years the yacht became entangled in a complicated bankruptcy and was eventually put up for sale.
Doug Hazlitt, owner of Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards of Hector, N.Y., purchased the 75-year-old, 63-foot schooner in 2012 for $180,000 and has plans to restore the historic yacht. The work will be done by Cayuga Wooden Boatworks of Cayuga and Ithaca, N.Y., and will involve an extensive rebuild including the cockpit, transom, cabin top, numerous frames, systems, and decking. When completed, Hazlitt hopes to realize some of Patton’s dream, voyaging to Europe in the summer and winter in the Caribbean.
The extensive restoration of the 75-year-old schooner When and If includes rebuilding the cockpit, transom, new decking and some hull plank replacement. This is the yacht’s second restoration. It was restored by Gannon & Benjamin on Martha’s Vineyard in 1994 after sustaining storm damage.