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Thread: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

  1. #1
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    Post Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    UPDATE (July 3): Still searching per below. Lot's of interesting design details have been posted, but still no hard intelligence re her post WWII owners, names, homeports, and ultimate fate. Surely some blue water cruisers out there in the Wooden Boat community must have come across her at some point under another name in the fifties, sixties, of seventies. The tall deck house and massive outboard rudder/tiller makes for a rather unique profile. If anyone has a collection of old Lloyd's Registers from that time period, and has the time to consult them, please pass on what you find. Thanks in advance to anyone who might be in a position to help. - C.E.Paine

    On behalf of my father, who turned 91 years of age in May, I am searching for information on the current name and whereabouts of a large ocean-goingketch of possibly 70 + ft. or so, designed by L. Francis Herreshoff (LFH) in the early –to- mid-1930’s. The ocean-going ketch his family knew as “Landfall”was LFH Design #49, built 1931 by Abeking & Rasmussen, using steel-framed composite construction. I’m told she is in LFH's book "The Common Sense of Yacht Design.” Any information on her history after WWII – subsequent names andowners, countries of registry, etc., would be greatly appreciated.
    I believe “Landfall” was originally built for a Mr. Paul Hammond of Boston (but I could be wrong about that) who sold her to my grandfather Robert Treat Paine of Chesnut Hill, Brookline, MA in the mid- 1930’s. By the time my grandfather owned her, her stern was chopped and an odd outboard rudder (and massive tiller) added to squeeze her under the revised Transatlantic race rule. I’m guessing LFH did not approve of these design changes.
    My grandfather kept Landfall in Marseille during the mid-to-late 1930’s and was sailing on her in the Med in late summer 1939 when WWII broke out. My father spent several summers of his adolescence in the 30’s aboard her cruising the Med and the Adriatic, and he idolized the British adventurer captain who, unbeknownst to the family at the time, was secretly an officer in British naval intelligence who was using Landfall's cruises as cover to map the harbors of the Adriatic coast, and who later organized partisan resistance in Crete and the Greek islands before being captured and executed by the Germans just a few weeks before the end of the war in Europe.
    Landfall was sunk near the mouth of Marseille harbor by the Germans and/orthe Vichy government as a defense against submarines and later salvaged andrefurbished after the war under different ownership. My grandparents thoughtshe was lost in the war until, sitting in a movie theater in the mid-fifties,they saw Ava Garner sail off into the sunset aboard Landfall in the “BarefootContessa.”
    I would very much like to locate “Landfall” if she is still extant, surely under another name by now, and take my Dad aboard her one last time. Itwould mean a great deal to him. Any information on Landfall’s post-WWIInames and ownership that would help in finding her or tracing her ultimate fatewould be greatly appreciated.
    Christopher Paine
    celiotpaine@gmail.com
    Last edited by cpaine; 07-03-2014 at 10:44 PM. Reason: Update original post

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    Wow, what a great story in your family's connection to this boat. If you do find out more I hope you will keep us in the loop.


    Steven

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    She sure is/was a beauty:


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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    Thanks for the photo.

    [/QUOTE]

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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    Good luck finding out where she is . I was looking through a couple of books for her because I remembered how much LFH liked her. You probably know but there is info in both his ' Sensible cruising designs, and one of Uffa Fox's blue books. I've been going through them all and I've just lost which one , but I'll check in the AM and confirm. Very interesting to hear about her wartime history and the transom business, the drawings show her with a canoe stern or a transom rudder( like an H 28)

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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    You might contact the company that filmed Barefoot contessa, and ask them to find owner from their archives....some documentation might be in files.?? Might have the owner at that time.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    The Uffa blue book is Sailing Seamanship and Yacht Construction. The article goes into the 71 ft rule which meant she had to be modified to race( stern shortened)
    Tad would know , but I think its the same rule which the Spencer schooner New World was built to fit to, but was pretty well immediately outclassed when it was altered .( but that was much later .. 1960's?)
    Landfall is also one of the study boats in the chapter on masting and rigging, alongside some other special company ,like Nina and Dorade. There's 23 pages about her and her fittings , lists of gear , provisions etc.

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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    Landfall is/was quite a boat. Roger Taylor called her "the ultimate development of the Buzzard's Bay Boat line." She is all of that but finer than the smaller BBB's due to the stability increase with size, and she's proportionately deeper, drawing just short of 11' in a huge keel. One can imagine her carrying full sail in half a gale. Uffa mentions her carrying full sail in 45mph of wind off the Dutch coast. She was almost a magnificent 77' canoe sterned yacht, but for the length limit built into the rule. She was never chopped but was built with the sawed off stern and outboard rudder. But 71' by 18', with 3000 square feet of working sail, an outboard rudder with an 8+ foot long tiller, and a 2 cylinder Junker's auxiliary alongside the mizzen mast, she was an awesome hunk of boat.

    The drawings are labeled, " Landfall - Ocean Cruiser for Paul Hammond, Esq. and Captain Roger Williams"

    The British limit in the rule of the day was 60' on waterline, the American version limited overall length at 71'. I gather Landfall was indeed conceived as a 77' with the 59' 11" waterline, then the owner's decided they wanted to enter US races and the plans were modified before construction.

    She finished second (two days behind Dorade) in the 1931 Transatlantic race. Highland Light, the 61' Paine designed cutter was third to finish, 14 minutes after Landfall. Landfall was scratch boat and corrected to 6th out of 10 boats who completed the course. I'll try to get some drawings up tomorrow.
    Last edited by TR; 06-24-2014 at 07:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    Landfall's Sail Plan

    You can just barely make out the dotted in canoe stern. Both standing and running rigging was all stainless wire, yikes......Uffa Fox was sail trimmer on the 1931 Transatlantic race. He reported that the sails were good and the crew knew how to set them, so he concentrated on keeping the masts straight and in the boat. The only sail he was unhappy about was the mizzen staysail. The mizzen runners are more vertical than horizontal and don't do anything to oppose the pull of that big staysail, so all the load would go onto the mizzen sheet and thus the bumkin....worrisome on a dark night mid-atlantic.

    Note how LFH (or whomever did the final drawing) took the waterline out to the horizon, reducing the apparent freeboard.....tricky

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    That shows the light weather mainsail as well, sheets to the bumkin/ transom.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    If I was doing this I'd get to a place that has Lloyds Yacht Registers and start following the trail post WWII. They often list past names. Might need to find the foreign registries. From Charlottesville either Newport News ( Mariners Museum or the LC) would be the places.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Vernon Langille, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity and a quiver of unamed 'yaks.
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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    Landfall's hull lines....

    The canoe stern is dotted in, but if you look closely it's not quite a perfect fit. The deck edge on the double-ender is a bit narrower at the top of the transom, probably 5-6", which adds up to a big difference. It's interesting to compare this body plan with that of Hammond's previous boat, Nina. They are quite similar.

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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    A flat out ocean racer of her time. Uffa Fox's piece on her shows some of the clever and often innovative details in her. Not the least of these was the specially designed "seat of ease" hung over the stern at sea - in rougher weather it would also double as a bidet, I'd guess. A charming piece of LFH whimsy!

    Let's hope she's found and still well-found. (Sorry! )
    "The truth shall make ye fret" - Terry Pratchett

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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnJ2ds View Post
    A flat out ocean racer of her time. Uffa Fox's piece on her shows some of the clever and often innovative details in her. Not the least of these was the specially designed "seat of ease" hung over the stern at sea - in rougher weather it would also double as a bidet, I'd guess. A charming piece of LFH whimsy!

    Let's hope she's found and still well-found. (Sorry! )
    As a late teen I crewed with friends dad in a 35ft 1909 built yacht with this facility. Basicly a plank with a V cut and a big cleat to hang on to. Also seen at a Hobart WB show on a commercial fishing boat, but put there just as a stir I think.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    Landfall construction......she is composite with wood keel, bronze strapping, and wood planking, deck, houses, and spars. Above Christopher mentions steel frames, all the notes on this drawing call for Tobin bronze, I don't know if there was a mix of metals, I hope not. But if there was dissimilar metal used that will be the reason for her disappearance.

    Last edited by TR; 06-27-2014 at 06:03 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"

    Chris,
    I hope you have had some success in locating Landfall. I have long considered her L.F.H.s finest creation. I find it interesting that she was created at a time when when one of his former employers, a cousin of yours and my great grandfather had just created, what I consider his finest creation, Highland Light.

    To Ben Fuller's point; if she never returned from Europe, she might not appear in Lloyd's american edition.

    Jon

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    Default Re: Searching for info re L. Francis Herreshoff-designed ketch "Landfall"


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