Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"You're Building a Boat?"

Yes, that seems to be the response from people when I reveal my latest project endeavor. The follow-up question then being "have you ever built a boat?" My answers are yes and no, respectively. I have been wanting to build a boat on-and-off for about sixteen years. I have lived almost my entire 51 years within a half mile of the ocean, so I see this as a perfectly natural and appropriate project after having my body and soul infused with salt air for so long.

The boat that I plan to build is a Herreshoff 12-1/2. I fell in love with this boat after bumping into her at the Woods Hole Historical Museum about 15 years ago. She was originally designed by Captain "Nat" Herreshoff and built by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company in Bristol, Rhode Island, in 1914. She was designed for sailing in Buzzards Bay and become the most popular boat they built, ending production in 1943. The company went out of business shortly thereafter.

The overall length is 15-1/2 feet, 12-1/2 feet along water, with a 5 foot 10 inch beam and 1-1/2 foot draught. The plans arrived yesterday, so I've just started immersing myself in them. The first order of business is to find a place to "loft" or draw the plans full size. Once that is done, I can start thinking about a boatbuilding shed...This is going to be great fun. Stay tuned.


  1. That's gorgeous boat. Good luck to you with this project.

  2. What a challenge ! May your curves be fair
    Do you have a target finish date ?

  3. Paul, only a loose timeframe of a couple of years. But, maybe a one hundredth anniversary edition for 2014?