A Piute Class Express Cruiser, deep-v, semi displacement hull with a hard chine. NISCA evolved from the lines of the 1916 COUNTESS (40 feet) which William Hand, Jr. designed and raced. His record finishes were in races from New York’s Athletic Club to Block Island at an average speed of 27.6 mph. and another race from New York to New Bedford, Massachusetts, in which COUNTESS arrived in seven hours and 29 minutes racing at an average speed of 30 mph.
William Hand, Jr., born in 1875 in Portland Maine is credited, along with W.H. Fauber, John L. Hacker, Alfred Luders, and S.E. Saunders, with developing the V-bottom, semi displacement hull for cruisers and runabouts. Hand’s designs began with speedboats such as FLYAWAY III, 1914, (20 mph), and RACOON, 1915. These design concepts later became the notable express cruisers, motorsailers, schooners, and knockabouts that he is so well known for today. His V-bottom boats such as OLD GLORY (1912), COUNTESS (1916), CIGARETTE (1919), ARIEL (1921), NISCA (1924), and LITTLE GULL (1925) were known to the waters of the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound. His schooner designs include WHISTLER (1919), BOWDOIN (1921), and BLACK HAWK (1922). One of Hand’s motorsailers is the well-known NOR’EASTER (1927) built for Col. Edwin M. Chance and summers locally in Hamburg Cove, Connecticut