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Duane Post's SISU, Yankee #184, Minnetonka, Minnesota  

July 22, 2012. Duane Post has checked in back on July 14th as the first owner of Yankee $184, SISU, now David Williams, Icelander (click here to go there). We promised Duane that SISU would have her own page if he could get us pictures of her. Here are Duane's emails, and here is SISU

July 14, 2012


I just recently discovered your excellent website, and thank you for all the work required to keep it going. It’s very much appreciated by those of us who have enjoyed the design.

I’ve been following the purchase of #184 with interest, as I was the original owner. I have some material David Williams might enjoy having if you would provide me with a contact point. (We have advised David)

Thanks for your help.

Duane Post, owner of SISU, 1970 to 1987

At left SISU at anchor in Sturgeon Bay, Canada, August 1976. The bay is located a few miles south of Thunder Bay, Lake Superior.


July 15, 2012

Thanks, Ron, for your reply. David has already made contact and I’ll be sending him some material. I’m copying him on this email as he may have an interest in it too.

SISU’s home post designation was where I lived (and still do), Minnetonka. Her first two summers were spent at Lake City, MN., on Lake Pepin, the only natural lake on the Mississippi River. After that she was berthed for one summer each on Lake Minnetonka; Port Superior, Bayfield, WI; the municipal harbor, Grand Marais, MN, and the municipal harbor, Thunder Bay, Canada. The remainder of time she was dry sailed and launched at several locations on Lake Superior for extended cruises.

The name, SISU, came from a 1968 National Geographic Magazine article on Finland. One segment headline read: “They’ve got Sisu. Finns act as if they have always been free. They have a word for it, sisu, which translates as a mixture of courage, perseverance, and stamina…with a touch of stubbornness”.

The name attracted a lot of attention as I sailed Lake Superior as many Finish people emigrated to the US and Canada from 1870 to 1910 to work in the forestry and fishing industries in that area. People would approach me and to ask if I was Finish (I am not) and that would always start an interesting conversation. I would ask them for their definition of “sisu” and the most frequent answer was “guts” Anyway, I always thought it was an appropriate name for a sailboat which could take on all challenges and do it with class.

I discovered the Yankee Dolphin  in the spring of 1970 at the Chicago Boat Show and ordered it there. It was love at first sight and I never regretted the decision.

Thanks again, Ron, for your work on the website. It is appreciated.


My vehicle is a 1971 Chrysler Town & Country wagon. The picture was taken on the way from Minneapolis to Canada. I thought this picture was appropriate because I dry sailed SISU so much. Many miles on the trailer!

We thought the extensive dry sailing and mast stepping was worth a follow up - and here is Duane's reply. For more on mast stepping check out the Technical Section/Spars

Hi, Ron

The captions are great. Thank you. We used a gin pole (actually two parallel round steel poles which straddled the mast) to raise and lower the mast .It attached  to the mast hinge plate(stainless steel) via an  extra-long pin which was replaced after the operation was completed. A jib sheet winch was used to assist in the lifting and lowering.

The main and forward shrouds were secured with quick pins; the aft shroud was secured with a standard pin. We found raising and lowering the mast was most securely done with SISU on the trailer. If winds were high we waited. We never had an accident after the gin pole system was installed. But it was always a major effort and was eventually one of the reasons I sold SISU.

The Chrysler wagon was not an ideal tow vehicle considering what is available today. Today I would probably use a ¾ ton pickup truck. But the rig worked well enough for the 800 to 1,000 mile round trip.



July 23, 2012. Duane has been filling in the gaps in #184's history. It seems that he and Jim Armstrong, Yankee #189, Antigua II have travelled together. Both of these boats arrived in Minnetonka about the same time, and a year later Jim and Duane ordered trailers from the same west coast builder - they arrived together one on top of the other. Here is his email, excerpted. The rest of the story you'll find on David Williams' #184 page. Click here to go there

Jim Anderson (Yankee #189, Antigua II) and I ordered the trailers a year after receiving our Dolphins from a Los Angeles manufacturer who shipped them stacked one on the other and towed behind a truck to MN. After they arrived we flipped a coin to see which trailer we got. I got the one without mileage on the tires.






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