OHO was designed in 1947 by the famous yacht designers Sparkman & Stephens in New York. In the original blueprints (S&S design no. 757) the name OHO was already mentioned.
The first owner of OHO was Percival Burr from Vancouver, Canada. Even though the first ownership documents show his son and son in law as the official owners we know for sure that Percival Burr was the client of Sparkman & Stephens and the first owner for many years. This is confirmed by the living family.
His directions to the designers were clear, he wanted to have a yacht to sail regatta's in the region but it should also be possible to cruise comfortably along the Canadian West coast and lakes. No need to take into account all kinds of class rules and measurements. All attention of the designers could go to sailing performance. Since the sailing area of the OHO was characterised for light weather conditions, she was rigged with quite a long mast and boom. The result is a large main sail if you compare it to the length of the hull.
During the design Percival Burr, was in constant contact by phone with Olin Stephens, the chief architect in the design of the OHO. There were many conversations between Percival Burr and Olin Stephens about critical details in the design of the boat.
In the winter of 1947/1948 OHO was built by Eden Boat Works in New Westminster, Canada. The story goes that mr. Burr visited the shipyard every day and paid the boat builders in cash. Just to make sure they delivered the right quality while achieving good progress every day.
OHO was built with hand selected material from all over North America:
- Planking: Yellow Cedar from Queen Charlotte Island
- Mast and boom: Spruce from northern British Columbia
- Frames: Acacia from British Columbia
- Beam: Oak from Eastern U.S.A.
- Mahogony and Teak from South east Asia
- Bronze fastening from New York (specially imported]
Early 1948 she was ready to sail. OHO sailed in the waters of BC for over 30 years by Percival, and his son, William David Burr. It was moored for over 30 years at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club in Vancouver harbour.
In the first years OHO won almost every race and regatta she participated in. Particularly in 1947,1948,1949, 1950 and 1952.
In 1970 (we're not sure) OHO was sold to Charles Raymond Southwell who continued sailing her from the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.
In 1973 Leonard Angus became the new owner. He spent a lot of time in restoring OHO.
In 1980 Steven Frank Davenport bought OHO and brought her to her new harbour: Nanaimo (Vancouver Island, Canada)
In 1999 OHO was bought by Nicolas Pougnet who completed a renovation and moved her to Toulon in the French Riviera.
In 2005 Yves Meton became the new owner. He brought her to Port Grimaud, near Saint-Tropez in France. Mr. Meton spent a lot of money in restoring OHO back into her original state. In those day she participated in Classic races like Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez and she was a member of Association Francaise des Yachts de Tradition (AFYT). Here's the measurement form.
Since April 2009 OHO is owned by Karin Beezemer and Marc de Nies. Harbour: Brouwershaven (the Netherlands). Sailing primarily in the area accross the Dutch Delta in Zeeland.
This question has been unanswered for many years. Recently we had contact with family of Percival Burr. He always gave 3 answers and he liked to keep folks guessing, as to the actual original reason:
1. Around the late 40s the cartoon character "Woody Woodpecker" was being seen in the short reels in theaters, and Woody's famous on screen call was written, "OOOO HO!.... OOOO HO! HOHOHOHOHOHO!"
2. The word "OHO" was an expression of happy surprise.
3. If the boat should ever capsize (God forbid) the name could still be read, since it's an ambigram (reads the same from left to right vice versa and upside down).
We are interested in information about OHO: stories, pictures, former owners, people who sailed with OHO, etc. If you have material, or know people who might want to share it, please contact us.