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Thread: Herreshoff dinghy

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    Default Herreshoff dinghy

    I was wondering has any one out there build the Herreshoff dinghy via the booklet ? Iíve built a clinker dinghy before however after reading the book there are a few un knowns about the meathod they used. Iím not sure if any thing is to be gained in steaming the ribs over the molds in the first place.

    I tried contacting the mystic museum with no luck so Iíd be interested to hear others view point if they have built this boat.

    many thanks Michael

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Herreshoff's method (steaming the frames over molds) is a better system than the British method of steaming the frames into the boat. The reason is that you can maintain the rib in compression as it bends, essential to maintaining its strength.

    The general British system of steaming the ribs into the boat does not allow you to maintain compression with a strap, leaving the rib weaker where it extends, on the outside. This later cracks and requires replacement.

    It also guarantees the boat is the correct shape as drawn, rather than timbering out a boat that has been taken off the molds and turned over.

    Lee Valley are where you get the compression straps from or make something up.

    If you want to look at one built, and it really is a very beautifull thing, then in Watercraft 98 March/ April 2013 Mike Hughes describes building one in 5 pages. He described it under oar "minimal bow wave and almost no wake...quite stable...turned as easy as you like...all in all a little gem". If you get the mag...check out his tipping trailer bunks!

    A N. Herreshoff dinghy built traditional lapstrake with a molded outwale will be something special.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 12-31-2017 at 12:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    Herreshoff's method (steaming the frames over molds) is a better system than the British method of steaming the frames into the boat. The reason is that you can maintain the rib in compression as it bends, essential to maintaining its strength.

    The general British system of steaming the ribs into the boat does not allow you to maintain compression with a strap, leaving the rib weaker where it extends, on the outside. This later cracks and requires replacement.

    It also guarantees the boat is the correct shape as drawn, rather than timbering out a boat that has been taken off the molds and turned over.

    Lee Valley are where you get the compression straps from or make something up.

    If you want to look at one built, and it really is a very beautifull thing, then in Watercraft 98 March/ April 2013 Mike Hughes describes building one in 5 pages. He described it under oar "minimal bow wave and almost no wake...quite stable...turned as easy as you like...all in all a little gem". If you get the mag...check out his tipping trailer bunks!

    A N. Herreshoff dinghy built traditional lapstrake with a molded outwale will be something special.
    On the other hand many excellent dinghys were built by by British boatbuilders over only one mould, sometimes over a half mould swinging like a gate on a post.
    You only need lots of moulds if you are building one design racing dinghys.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Americans too, but not Herreshoff.

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad View Post
    Americans too, but not Herreshoff.
    I guess that he was running a factory, not a boat shop.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Its clear that at the time and with hindsight, Nat demostrably figured out the best way of doing things. He led and others followed.

    Without any molds it wont be the right shape and getting likely hollow in the entry and exit waterlines will be much harder. You'll then have a higher entry and exit angles, less laminar flow, more turbulence and a slower boat at these lower froude speeds. A simple pram tender would be more suited to that approach. That will be a yacht tender. A Herreshoff dinghy is a rowing tender. Slightly different bag.

    A Nat or L.F.Herreshoff is a beautifull thing. It needs to be done with respect, and to get 'that shape' i'd sweat the lofting and make sure all the molds were in (theres only 7 from some scrap pine timber!). I'd also sweat that shearstrake gunwale molding in homage, just because.

    The lines and offsets were taken off a boat at Mystic in 1975, a 40 year old boat so perhaps things will be less fair than they might if it had been published like in Sensible Cruising Designs. I accept that.

    The nearest modern boat to Herreshoff's dinghy would be the 11'8" x 4' Oughtred Acorn skiff...
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 12-31-2017 at 02:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    Its clear that at the time and with hindsight, Nat demostrably figured out the best way of doing things. He led and others followed.

    Without any molds it wont be the right shape and getting likely hollow in the entry and exit waterlines will be much harder. You'll then have a higher entry and exit angles, less laminar flow, more turbulence and a slower boat at these lower froude speeds. A simple pram tender would be more suited to that approach. That will be a yacht tender. A Herreshoff dinghy is a rowing tender. Slightly different bag.

    A Nat or L.F.Herreshoff is a beautifull thing. It needs to be done with respect, and to get 'that shape' i'd sweat the lofting and make sure all the molds were in (theres only 7 from some scrap pine timber!). I'd also sweat that shearstrake gunwale molding in homage.
    Laminar flow Edward? Its a clinker row boat working in a chop.
    Loft the apron and stem knee correctly, ensure that your garboard is not pinched in and the rest follows.
    On a rowboat you need to ensure enough fullness in the bow for stability when going forward, so ensuring that the garboard is not too fine and that the stem knee is shaped right does the job.
    Lets face it, Norse boatbuilders shape the twist of the garboard ends with an axe off the boat, they don't need no stinkin' moulds.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    I too dislike the terms,"best" and "right", for shape and way of doing things, but it was the way they did it and it worked wonderfully well. It was a factory, but a factory populated by craftsmen they called mechanics. Charlie Sylvester came to Bristol (RI) as a young man around 1912, maybe 1914, and worked for Herreshoff until they closed down in the 1940s, mostly building the dinghies. His methods work as well for clinker building without molds (or few) and are really not unique, but they were well thought out. Many of Herreshoff's mechanics worked there for their whole career while others like Bigelow and Hodgdon came and went, back to their own yards to carry on building under their own names.

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    Post Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    Herreshoff's method (steaming the frames over molds) is a better system than the British method of steaming the frames into the boat. The reason is that you can maintain the rib in compression as it bends, essential to maintaining its strength.

    The general British system of steaming the ribs into the boat does not allow you to maintain compression with a strap, leaving the rib weaker where it extends, on the outside. This later cracks and requires replacement.

    It also guarantees the boat is the correct shape as drawn, rather than timbering out a boat that has been taken off the molds and turned over.

    Lee Valley are where you get the compression straps from or make something up.

    If you want to look at one built, and it really is a very beautifull thing, then in Watercraft 98 March/ April 2013 Mike Hughes describes building one in 5 pages. He described it under oar "minimal bow wave and almost no wake...quite stable...turned as easy as you like...all in all a little gem". If you get the mag...check out his tipping trailer bunks!

    A N. Herreshoff dinghy built traditional lapstrake with a molded outwale will be something special.

    Hmm.... Well when the hot rib goes into the dinghy the outer face is in compression and the inner is being stretched but quickly itís being backed up by the planking lands. Iíve never had a rib break in this system but you cannot really varnish the our side edge unless you let the rib cool and remove it. I get the concept that bending in Herreshoff method allows tight control of the hull shape.

    One thing I was wondering is for the Herreshoff dinghy are you meant to make a mould at every timber station ? Being as the outer face is being stretched in this method Iíd feel may be a strap is needed.

    My other query is looking at page 39 of the booklet the ribs donít appear to go over the hog rather are birds beaked in. It looks like I can just make out the tiny floor bearers have a screw screwing into the side of the timber.

    Id be interested in your comments on the above.

    I might see if I can get a back issue of water craft, many thanks for your I put by the way, Regards Michael

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarama View Post
    One thing I was wondering is for the Herreshoff dinghy are you meant to make a mould at every timber station ? Being as the outer face is being stretched in this method I’d feel may be a strap is needed.
    Check your other two threads, the answer to that is in one of them. A mould at every other timber.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    The ribs are bird beaked to the keel and fastened to the floors which are fastened to the keel. There were molds for every other rib set, with the others bent in after taking the hull off the molds. At that point the planks are riveted together between rib stations and pinned to the ribs that were on the molds. After righting the pinned joints are riveted, as are the ribs now bent in to the planking.

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Yes Nick, the problem with asking the same question in multiple threads.

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Thanks you all for all your comments, looking at the booklet there 21 ribs so that must mean 21 molds which the booklet doesn’t seem to show hence my confusion ? The last dinghy I build was a George cockshott international 12 and I did struggle in some areas with the hull not being tight against the molds which may be highlighted by pushing hot timbers in if a strict tollatance is expected in a racing craft.

    I guess herreshoffs method suits mass production but it’s a lot of work in creating all those molds for the one off build ?

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Are ok many thanks

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Are ok that makes sense, so some ribs are bent in the British system. I’m not sure why they didn’t go right across the hog ? Could be a way of saving on timber ?

    By by the way I was wondering whats the verdict of this boat as a sail craft ie how does she sail ?

    many thanks Michael

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    There are 21 rib stations but only 10 molds on which 20 ribs (one for each side) are bent after the backbone is sprung over the molds (transom and stem fastened to the floor/building base) and the floors screwed to the keel. After righting off the molds the other 11 rib sets are installed and the rest of the riveting finished. (Actually the plank to plank rivets are lust drilled for with nails pushed through for later riveting.)

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    My experience sailing this boat is very good. Sitting on the floorboards provides plenty of stability. The design leg o' mutton rig has a low center of effort with plenty of area. With no reef points I have found it easy to handle in quite lively conditions as well as ghosting.

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Thad- Glad to hear it. You are likely a much better sailor than the Apprenticeshop guys who sailed it on the Kennebec. And they may also have not built the rig exactly according to the plans.
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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad View Post
    There are 21 rib stations but only 10 molds on which 20 ribs (one for each side) are bent after the backbone is sprung over the molds (transom and stem fastened to the floor/building base) and the floors screwed to the keel. After righting off the molds the other 11 rib sets are installed and the rest of the riveting finished. (Actually the plank to plank rivets are lust drilled for with nails pushed through for later riveting.)
    Many thanks itís all becoming clear to me now.

    Best regards Michael

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Are ok great many thanks

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    FWIW, Edey and Duff made fg versions of the Herreshoff dinghy for a while but they were substantially heavier than the wood versions: https://picclick.com/Columbia-Tender...l#&gid=1&pid=4
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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad View Post
    There are 21 rib stations but only 10 molds on which 20 ribs (one for each side) are bent after the backbone is sprung over the molds (transom and stem fastened to the floor/building base) and the floors screwed to the keel. After righting off the molds the other 11 rib sets are installed and the rest of the riveting finished. (Actually the plank to plank rivets are lust drilled for with nails pushed through for later riveting.)
    You are going to need a helper for several days.
    I'd suggest clinking up the plank and timbers as soon as she is off the mould. Stand the keel on a strongback trestle so that you can climb in in safety and your helper can hold up underneath. You are going to need a cushion to kneel on. A sack full of straw was favourite, otherwise it is a fakirs bed of nails.
    Then steam in the other timbers and clink them up, again a two handed job.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    I have been able to clink all the rivets reaching in and our though the garboard/first broad is quite a stretch amidship. A helper would be good.

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Mike,
    I built a Joel White Catspaw which is really the same boat. At the time I bent all the ribs at the same time. My molds were setup with battons in the traditional method. If you are keeping the inside bright don't leave steel clamps on the oak as it stains the wood black. The other thing I would do is pre sand all the machining marks off the frames before steaming and installing them. It isn't to hard to sand the face surface of the ribs but the narrow sides against the inner planking is a pia.

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    Mike,
    I built a Joel White Catspaw which is really the same boat. At the time I bent all the ribs at the same time. My molds were setup with battons in the traditional method. If you are keeping the inside bright don't leave steel clamps on the oak as it stains the wood black. The other thing I would do is pre sand all the machining marks off the frames before steaming and installing them. It isn't to hard to sand the face surface of the ribs but the narrow sides against the inner planking is a pia.
    Hello sir

    yes you have to be carful with oak for sure. When I built my last dinghy I gave the timbers a quick sand after radiusing them and parting them of the saw. Of course steaming them raises the grain a bit so after riveting I lightly sand with a sanding sponge that rounds of the sharp copper rives a bit.

    I had good success using the thin Epifanes no sand varnish for the inner planking and timbers making sure to force it in for the back side of the timber. And Epifanes Standard varnish for the out side, seating and thwarts etc.

    Best regards Michael

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarama View Post

    I had good success using the thin Epifanes no sand varnish for the inner planking and timbers making sure to force it in for the back side of the timber.

    Best regards Michael
    One trick that the professional boat builders used to varnish behind the timbers was to pour a tin of varnish in the boats bilge and roll the boat about so that the varnish ran into every nook and cranny.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Herreshoff dinghy

    My buddy built one for Mary Rose in Antigua last year, here it is, battling it out in a rowing race with my "Resinante".

    Glue lap ply.He passed me in about 4 strokes, but dint want to get a ding from my hardwood boat.

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