Saturday, February 21, 2015

100 Years of my dream boat the Herreshoff 12 1/2

I have always sailed small boats, starting with a Snipe as a boy.  When I collected on my first jury verdict I bought a City Island built cedar Snipe, put a 2 HP motor on the back, and tied it up at a silted-in marina - the Lighthouse Boat Club - in North Bergen, NJ.  I soon learned that the motor could barely push it against the North River tide.
After that I sailed Lightnings at Nyack Boat Club for ten years.  In 1994 we went to Friendship, Maine drawn by the legend of the Friendship sloop.
The next summer I saw a Herreshoff 12 1/2 bobbing at its mooring and fell in love.  I stopped in Mystic on the way home and bought what to me looked like a 12 1/2.  Actually I was cheated - it didn't come close to the measurements.  But it looked close enough for me and I got half my money out when I sold North River in 1999.  Then I bought my current boat - North River 2 - a Buzzards Bay 14.  Designed by L. Francis Herreshoff,  I call it a stretch 12 1/2 (17' LOA vs. 15'10" LOA).  The original H 12 1/2 was designed by the legendary Nat Herreshoff who called it a Buzzards Bay Boys Boat.