Last July, at the end of a Friday afternoon, Frank Gehry landed at Barnstable Municipal Airport, on Cape Cod, accompanied by his son Alejandro and his friend Bobby Shriver. The group drove straight to the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, and there the architect first saw her, anchored a little offshore.
A crowd had gathered, since, as Gehry says, "Hyannis Port is a real sailing community," and because Foggy, whose name (based on an acronym for Frank Owen Gehry) had been etched in Gehry's sloping scrawl onto its stern, is a sloop like no other. Fashioned out of traditional larch wood but accented with titanium and a glass latticework that glimmers like a school of fish, she looked schizophrenic, a hybrid of past and future.
Gehry boarded an inflatable tender (it had red seats that matched Foggy's towering 105-foot mast) and headed out, accompanied by a swarm of Kennedys and Shrivers. "I felt very proud," he would say later. Almost 87 years old (2/08/29, the date of his birth, is the number on the boat's sails), he had, in a sense, spent his entire life getting here.
Gehry is an avid yachtsman, and sailing informs much of his most famous work — think of the billowing motif of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, New York's IAC building, and, most recently, the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Yet only recently did he undertake his first sailboat design.