When I went to St. Croix I set out to learn what happened to the tender that was on her. I did get answers to that and a whole lot more but let’s go over the tender. Over the years there were two tenders that were prominent on the Dauntless. I had no idea about two of them but now it makes so much sense. When I look at pictures there was no way of knowing what years they were taken so when it came to the tender there were always inconsistencies. Now it is easy to tell. I didn’t think that the tender would change. One owner Don told me that the tender was a Grumman, which makes good sense because it was the best one around at the time and it was aluminum construction which was fitting to D’s hull but he had the Alumacraft. After looking at the original photo of Dauntless without the shelter, there is a great aft view of it and it is also consistent with the 8 ½’ Grumman. It also fits within the length of the owner’s cabin. Also, looking at the crisp Rosenfeld photo that shows her at speed we can clearly see the round bow on it when we zoom in. So, in conclusion there was the Phil Rhodes designed Grumman on it.
This all changed however which led to a lot of confusion. In 1954 the 8 1/2’ tender was replaced by a larger 12’ Alumacraft Model E tender. When looking at later color photos it conflicted with the Grumman tender shown in earlier ones. In the color pics the bow looked sharp and the stern was longer than the cabin roof. Knowing about old articles and some of the notes in the captain’s logs I know that she was shipped to Florida and the Virgin Islands annually. During some of those trips Mr. Rockefeller slept on the D’ and landed on beaches by tender when the islands were literally still ‘Virgin’ is many respects. These were the years when he bought tens of thousands of acres throughout the Caribbean and donated them for conservation during the 1950’s is no secret either.
In conclusion the 81/2 footer was too cramped for beach landings and in a few years he changed it out for a bigger craft which turned out to be the Alumacraft.
For your Dauntless there are now 3 choices for your tender. 1) The stock Dumas boat 2) the Grumman tender (1948-1954) 3) The larger Alumacraft tender (1954-1989).
By making either of the two custom tenders and choosing some other details such as radar head, the shelter on/off, windshield and color scheme (blue or white hull) we can now model the Dauntless by year and have a nice representation. What a great way to distinguish your Dauntless from the next guy!
Enclosed are the brochures to each boat. Both of them give good measurements so it is easy to take the information and convert them into scale and build a good tender.