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Thread: Herreshoff 15s

  1. #1
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    Default Herreshoff 15s

    This year's "Small Boats" has a 4-page article on both the gaff and marconi rig versions of the H-15. Great issue, folks! Congratulations. Here's what bothers me. The gaff rig looks classic, but the marconi rig just looks outdated. The boom is long, the mast is short, and the jib is small. Sorry, but I guess I have my prejudices. The hull looks like it might take a modern fin keel and support a taller rig. Has anyone tried it? It's a terrific daysailer, but I have to think that hull would point higher with a modern rig. Can anyone with an H-15 tell me how close to the wind it will sail with the present rig? Sorry if my prejudice offends anyone.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Herreshoff 15s

    The current Watch Hill 15 fleet has a more modern rig. Photo #15 shows the difference in the two rigs most clearly: http://mtrobertsphotography.smugmug....668_4jUbS-L-LB

    I can't speak to the performance one way or another. Try here: http://www.whyc.net
    Last edited by rbgarr; 12-31-2010 at 08:33 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Herreshoff 15s



    Ouch... consider me highly offended

    here's my own design, with a longer foot to the sail. I feel I am sacrificing a small amount of upwind ability for lots of power with minimal heel when eased on or off the wind, not ideal for a racer but a great compromise for daysailing where top speed (fun) may be more important than speed against the wind.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Herreshoff 15s

    Wow, those Watch Hill 15s look spectacular! The photos are inspiring.

    Sorry, Daniel, but your examples look just great the way they are. Older designs are fine. It just seemed to me that the 15 was a hull waiting to race with a modern rig.

    Thank you both for sharing.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Herreshoff 15s

    I loved Maynard Bray's description of a 'Hudson River turn (gybe?)' in his Small Boats writeup on the H-15. I can just see him doing that. Good writer.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Herreshoff 15s

    I Can't think of these boats without thinking of our departed friend Dave Corcoran.

    He got to be very good at building these boats.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Herreshoff 15s

    I suppose I am the wrong person to ask this question, since I began this thread by asking if a modern rig could be placed on this lovely design. Still, my friends and family are forcing me to recognize that I don't have the time for a wooden boat and that I really need to buy a glass boat for now. OK, they are right. So, where are all the lovely glass boats? I find myself not even getting to ask "Can I afford it?" when I can't get past "Can I stand to look at it?" So many ugly boats were built in the 60s through 80s that are cheap today, probably because of the material more than the design, but I may be wrong. Can you imagine a world in which some builders reproduced great designs in glass 30 years ago so that today they are plentiful and cheap? Find me a 30 year old fiberglass H15 or a Buzzards Bay 15, or better still 30 of them, and they will be just as lovely, great sailors, and cheap as chips to be appreciated by everyone who sees or sails it. Where are these boats or why don't they exist? Isn't it just as easy to build a lovely boat as it is to build an ugly boat?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Herreshoff 15s

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    I suppose I am the wrong person to ask this question, since I began this thread by asking if a modern rig could be placed on this lovely design. Still, my friends and family are forcing me to recognize that I don't have the time for a wooden boat and that I really need to buy a glass boat for now. OK, they are right. So, where are all the lovely glass boats? I find myself not even getting to ask "Can I afford it?" when I can't get past "Can I stand to look at it?" So many ugly boats were built in the 60s through 80s that are cheap today, probably because of the material more than the design, but I may be wrong. Can you imagine a world in which some builders reproduced great designs in glass 30 years ago so that today they are plentiful and cheap? Find me a 30 year old fiberglass H15 or a Buzzards Bay 15, or better still 30 of them, and they will be just as lovely, great sailors, and cheap as chips to be appreciated by everyone who sees or sails it. Where are these boats or why don't they exist? Isn't it just as easy to build a lovely boat as it is to build an ugly boat?
    Don't despair. There are lots of earlier glass boats of attractive design.
    How about an Alberg Typhoon?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Herreshoff 15s

    Would this be to your taste? It's a fifty year old fg design and there are a number of them for sale right now at a third the cost of new: http://www.shieldsclass.com/h_Boats_for_Sale.htm


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Herreshoff 15s

    You are both right. The Typhoon is a nice little boat just about the size I'm looking to find and I know a few others like it that I'm considering. I had no idea the Shields class came in fiberglass - a bit pricey for me now, but worth thinking about. There are some nice boats out there and I'm sure if I keep looking I'll find that right combination of racer, daysailer, and potential single-hander to keep my out of trouble in the summer. I do like a quick boat, but too often I can't take friends out in my little 2-person dingy racer and they never understand. I need something with the ideal combination of roomy and responsive. You've inspired me to keep looking. Thanks.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Herreshoff 15s

    A Pearson Ensign might be a candidate, too.
    Any other suggestions?

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