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Thread: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

  1. #1

    Default Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Has anyone on here built a replica of Nettle, the Herreshoff 12 1/2 that Mystic Seaport has? I've never built a wooden boat although I use to dream of it a lot. Somehow, getting married and having a family had put that dream on a back burner. Until, I watched a Youtube video of Louis Sauzedde recently, where he's been working on restoring a Herreshoff 12 1/2.

    I purchased the record set drawings for Nettle, the Herreshoff 12 1/2 at Mystic Seaport, and I want to practice lofting these beautiful lines but there are a lot of little details in the construction plan sheet that are not the same as photos I've seen of Herreshoff 12 1/2's, like the seat not being the full length of cockpit, no traveler, different tiller/rudder connection, no doors in forward bulkhead. I'm ok with the fact that there isn't a set of offsets, but I'd sure like to know if there is someone out there who I can pick their brain about little details I see in the construction plan. And I wonder if anyone on here has a boat they built using these lines drawings. If I ever do attempt to build a Herreshoff 12 1/2, I want it to be as close of a replica of Nettle as I can get, right down to the hardware. That sure is a pretty boat!

    Also, has any others on here closely compared these lines drawings with any other lines drawings of Herreshoff 12 1/2's? If so, what differences are they seeing?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Woodenboat Magazine did an article few years back comparing the Haven 12.5, Bolger, Somes Sound and I think the Herreshoff 12.5 with lines superiimposed. A Haven 12.5 draft would be easier to live with. A Somes Sound has the best plans and the tightest construction method.

    You might best use your time restoring one of the original 12.5 to 'concours'.

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    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    You might try contacting Dan Shea of Bristol Boatworks and Alec Brainerd of Artisan Boatworks, both of whom are deeply expert and accomplished in the complexities and uncertainties of building and restoring H 12 1/2s, especially given the incompleteness of the plans available. My guess is that you'd be better off building the Haven or Somes Sound boats also, using the extensive plans and guidance offered by the build instructions for the Haven and access to John Brooks, the designer of the Somes. A friend who'd never built a boat before built the Somes and it took him three years of off hours work, for example, and he was in close touch with John Brooks all the way through with questions and for advice.
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    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    The last time I needed plans of Herreshoff boats I found those done by NGH at MIT.
    And here is another place to check.
    http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=3426
    Jay

  5. #5

    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    The last time I needed plans of Herreshoff boats I found those done by NGH at MIT.
    And here is another place to check.
    http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=3426
    Jay
    Jay, I just spoke with Kurt, the person at MIT in charge of Herreshoff documents on file there, and he told me it has always been their policy to never release any of the drawings they might have on the Herreshoff 12 1/2. This is because of the claims by Cape Cod Shipbuilding about owning all the rights. I've seen articles though where other people have gotten information about the Herreshoff 12 1/2 from them but I didn't push the issue. He was very nice and also told me that in a few months they'll have a link on their website where you can view their archives online. That is perfect for what I am trying to do anyhow.

    I've messed around with the record set from Mystic and they are good drawings to use for practicing how to loft. It would be nice to have a basis of comparison though. One of the things I've noticed from pictures that differs from their lines drawings is that, in the aft section, the hull dies into the keel and doesn't really have a curved transition like the drawings from Mystic have. The photos I am talking about are from this website: http://www.herreshoff.info/Docs/AuxD...ration_Pt1.pdf

    I need to look up that article Edward Pearson mentioned on here about the comparison of lines drawings between the 12 1/2 and other designs based off of it.

    This also an interesting blog from a guy in the UK who built a Herreshoff 12 1/2 while attending a boat building academy there. https://yachtbuilding.wordpress.com/
    It's funny where he talks about his efforts to get drawings and a table of offsets for the design. Basically he had to do what I've been doing a little of lately, scaling the drawings of Nettle and creating his own full size drawings. I kind of think that is good though. Just the little I've done so far has been very informative. I'm the kind of guy who likes to have the whole picture in my head and having to do it this way makes that happen. But, it also creates a lot of questions. If I was given the task of building something like this for someone though, I'd expect definite dimensions and specifics about things. For example, the Mystic plans are a different scale when measuring along the waterlines than measuring along the buttocks. Not by much, but enough to make a difference.

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    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    George,

    Francis, Nathaniel's son, drew a 14ft lwl/ 17ft version of the 12.5: the Buzzards Bay 14, the offsets and lines are published in Sensible Cruising Designs. His father drew a larger one, the Fish Class at 16ft lwl. Offsets for that one might be available from MIT. Joel White's centerboard version of that boat, the Flatfish is available from Woodenboat store for $150.

    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 06-12-2018 at 12:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    George, do keep us informed as to how you progress from time to time. I have a suspicion that the 12 1/2 had a great influnence on L Francis's
    design of the H 28.
    Jay

  8. #8

    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    George,

    Francis, Nathaniel's son, drew a 14ft lwl/ 17ft version of the 12.5: the Buzzards Bay 14, the offsets and lines are published in Sensible Cruising Designs. His father drew a larger one, the Fish Class at 16ft lwl. Offsets for that one might be available from MIT. Joel White's centerboard version of that boat, the Flatfish is available from Woodenboat store for $150.
    Edward, thanks for the info about the lines for the Buzzard Bay 14 being in the book, Sensible Cruising Designs. I have that book and took a look at the lines after you mentioned it in this post. LFH drew the stations perpendicular to the waterline. It makes me wonder why the stations in Nettle are not perpendicular to the waterlines. Evidently, since the drawings for Nettle are suppose to be a record set for the boat, the frames on Nettle are not perpendicular to the waterline. The frames in Nettle must be perpendicular to the flat bottom of the lead keel. I wonder how this would compare to other 12 1/2's built in the same batch as Nettle.

    The waterlines not being perpendicular to the stations on the drawings for Nettle creates an issue for lofting the boat without a designer's set of offsets. Even though the lines plans that were sent to me are good, they are distorted some, which makes setting a scale for one direction not necessarily the same as the other direction. This creates a little work with fairing up the lines in the body plan. I guess when I am done, I can't really say my re-created lines may, or may not, accurately represent the lines of a true Herreshoff 12 1/2.

    I'd heard about the BB14 and the centerboard versions of the 12 1/2 but if I ever built a boat, I'd want it to be no larger than the 12 1/2 and also not have a centerboard. Although, the BB14 is just a tad longer, not much heavier, and doesn't have a centerboard. If I could get a copy of the plans, with offsets, of the BB14, then that would also be a big contributing factor. At least with the offsets, and the different views in the plans actually being at 90 degrees to one another, I wouldn't be wondering if the boat hull shape would be true to its intended design. Do you know where I can get a full set of drawings for the BB14? You may have just caused me to change course on what I am doing. Although, I'd still finish the lines drawings I am working on for the 12 1/2 and maybe one day someone who has built the design could verify the accuracy of what I've done. If there is anyone out there who has ever built a 12 1/2 off the drawings from Mystic Seaport, I'd sure like to talk to them.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    George, do keep us informed as to how you progress from time to time. I have a suspicion that the 12 1/2 had a great influnence on L Francis's
    design of the H 28.
    Jay
    The H 28 sure is pretty. I've seen some of these in fiberglass. If I ever ran into one built as originally designed, at a bargain price, needing just a little TLC, I'd sure be tempted to buy it and use it for coastal cruising.

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    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    LFH's planset for the Buzzards Bay 14 are at Mystic Seaport Museum.

    http://mobius.mysticseaport.org/medi...207605&media=0

    If it must not be bigger than the 12.5 and with a full keel, you should also look at Chuck Paine's homage, the Paine 14 (10% smaller).

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    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Quote Originally Posted by George Ferguson View Post
    The H 28 sure is pretty. I've seen some of these in fiberglass. If I ever ran into one built as originally designed, at a bargain price, needing just a little TLC, I'd sure be tempted to buy it and use it for coastal cruising.
    Thanks George, "Bright Star" is about as close to original as any H28 I have ever seen. The interior is a bit more than LFH designed as it has a separate forepeak, head and hanging locker. But, she is a snug little cruiser!
    Jay

  12. #12

    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Jay, I spent yesterday evening looking at the lines of the H28 in LFH's book, Sensible Cruising Designs, and reading the chapter. I see now what you mean about the lines having a big resemblance to the 12 1/2. It's kind of like a stretched 12 1/2 with a keel that is shorter in proportion, and a ketch rig, and a nice roomy cabin. And he sure has a way with words when it comes to describing all things about a boat. There's a good video about an H28 on offcenterharbor.com that was also fun to watch (I watched it twice).

    I've still been working on my efforts to loft the 12 1/2. The sloped waterlines in the drawings from Mystic Seaport sure have presented a challenge but I think I've gotten it to a point where I can convert it all to level "construction lines" and will only show the L.W.L. as a sloped line. This will let me work with all three views in sync together. Keeping my head wrapped around the idea of having to "look" down the sloped waterlines takes too much of my mind's operating capacity. Knowing that the drawings were distorted and that my lines based off of them may deviate from what the lines should be, still bugs me. It's a shame that a better set of line plans with a good table of offsets isn't available for this pretty little boat.

    The lofting is fun though. And going through the process makes me view a set of lines plans differently now.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Jay, I learned yesterday evening why the writer, Allan Vaitses, of the book, Lofting, basically says the first thing to do is to lay down the defining lines where your waterlines and buttocks end. Neither am I sure that "leveling" the boat was the right thing to do either. It looks like I'll be starting back at square one, kind of, except for the time I spend scaling and taking measurements. It sucks, but it will sure help me to remember the reasoning for that in the future. Except for the sloped water lines, this boat is simple, and I think I picked the right drawings to learn from. That was a good thing I've done so far. The boat Vaitses used in the book, Lofting, is Araminta, an LF Herreshoff design that takes lofting to a whole new level, including things like a curved transom and such.

    The other thing I've learned is that there is a lot of controversy surrounding the Herreshoff 12 1/2 design. More than I thought. I googled today for some more info about that and the thing that popped up on the top of the list was a thread on this forum from 2003 where a guy was threatened by CCSB with a lawsuit. Reading that thread was kind of scary and makes me think that anything I do, I better not send out, even for critiquing, for fear of being sued. I am thankful that Mystic Seaport is willing to share their drawings of Nettle. For the time being, it looks like CCSB will be minimizing the flow of information people could share to help keep this boat in existence as a wood hulled version of Herreshoff's 12 1/2 design.

    I also read in your profile that you are a boat designer as well as builder. What do you think would happen if the lines for Nettle were scaled down to 80%? Would that actually reduce draft by the same amount? The cockpit would then be about 6' long from bulkhead to bulkhead and 6" shorter from top of coaming to floor. But then if the sail plan is scaled down, does that still provide the proper sail size to boat size ratio, and what about the new weight of the ballast?

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    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Many think the 12 1/2 are pretty sluggish sailers due to their relatively small sail area. They were after all boats for beginners to learn to sail on.

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    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Both Joel White and John Brooks have designed boats that closely follow the lines of the H12. They must have started from somewhere. Perhaps a clue can be found in the archives of White, if they exist and are viewable. And a call or email could be put in to Brooks.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    Many think the 12 1/2 are pretty sluggish sailers due to their relatively small sail area. They were after all boats for beginners to learn to sail on.
    They were designed for the short, steep chop and gusty afternoon breezes of Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, specifiacally for those young ones who would (ideally) go on to sail and own the larger Herreshoff keeled boats. They are very forgiving and excellent for the introductory sailing courses at Woodenboat School preceding the follow-on cruising courses in larger keelboats: https://www.thewoodenboatschool.com/sailing.php
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    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    As to the hardware. I'm sure you've found Jim Reinick http://www.bronzeblocks.com/

  18. #18

    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    As to the hardware. I'm sure you've found Jim Reinick http://www.bronzeblocks.com/
    Thanks for the info on Jim Reinick. I'm a long ways from needing hardware, if ever, but it's still great to have that info. I liked looking at their catalog.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    The absolutely hardest part about lofting is being able to "see" a fair line and realize, if it is not fair, what adjustments to make that will also make the associated lines fair, or at least, keep them fair. After lofting the drawings for the 3rd time, I've gotten a good understanding of the process, but anticipating how one adjustment affects another is the hard thing. I'm picky, so just small amounts of unfairness in a line makes me start "correcting" things. But, I think in the end, if I do end up using my work to build off of, I'll be better for getting everything as perfect as I can.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    I have a photo journal blog detailing every step of my total rebuild of an original 12 1/2. https://erickswoodenboatpics.shutterfly.com/ The only difference from building a new one from scratch is that in order for it to be the same boat when I was finished, it had to look like a boat throughout the rebuild. I think building one from scratch would have been ten times easier. As much as I admire the Haven, I much prefer not having the centerboard trunk in the middle of the cockpit.

    Let me know if you have any questions. It was four years of my life, I remember it clearly.
    Last edited by esingleman; 06-25-2018 at 02:01 PM.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Quote Originally Posted by esingleman View Post
    I have a photo journal blog detailing every step of my total rebuild of an original 12 1/2. https://erickswoodenboatpics.shutterfly.com/ The only difference from building a new one from scratch is that in order for it to be the same boat when I was finished, it had to look like a boat throughout the rebuild. I think building one from scratch would have been ten times easier. As much as I admire the Haven, I much prefer not having the centerboard trunk in the middle of the cockpit.

    Let me know if you have any questions. It was four years of my life, I remember it clearly.
    Erick, I looked at every one of those photos. That was a huge treat for me. Thank you very, very much for sharing those! I picked these drawings to practice my lofting skills because the boat is such a really pretty thing and I've been over the plans so much that I think I know every piece of the boat by heart. You must feel the same way after having completed such an awesome task. Putting her in the water and that first sail must have been an awesome feeling!

    I do want to try to build a replica of Nettle at some point. And I say Nettle so that I don't get the guys at CCSB upset. After all, I'm using a set of drawings that does not provide a table of offsets. There are things about the drawings that are subtle but do not exactly represent Nettle, or a Herreshoff 12 1/2. The drawings are also distorted a little but all in all, I think I've about completed lofting an accurate representation of how the lines should be to represent Nettle. I've started over a few times already but it's ok because making mistakes that have caused me to start over have definitely taught me a lot about lofting and will keep me from making the same mistakes in the future.

    I really like the way you set up a jig for routing the rabbet. Or, at least, I think that is what that was. I didn't read all the descriptions.

    Again, thank you very much for sharing your photos.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    George,
    If you want to have a smaller version of the 12 1/2 you might consider carving a half model of that which you envision. This will tell you more than trying to adjust a set of lines that are out of whack to begin with. It will get your mind much more intimate with the boat and no one can say that you stole the design as you are creating it yourself! Pulling the lines off of a model is not all that hard to do.
    Fair Winds,
    Jay

  23. #23

    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    George,
    If you want to have a smaller version of the 12 1/2 you might consider carving a half model of that which you envision. This will tell you more than trying to adjust a set of lines that are out of whack to begin with. It will get your mind much more intimate with the boat and no one can say that you stole the design as you are creating it yourself! Pulling the lines off of a model is not all that hard to do.
    Fair Winds,
    Jay
    Learning to carve a model is something I want to do but that's another project. Now that I've learned how to loft, somewhat, I plan to learn more about designing boats. Yours and Edward Pearson's comments about the H28 and BB14, along with what I've know about other designs based off the H12, has started me really critiquing lines drawings these days. I see the resemblance of the H12 in a lot of the designs by LFH and other boats by designers I think were influenced by it and it's predecessors that I think influenced its design.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Nettle replica - Herreshoff 12 1/2

    Maybe this isn't a comment for this thread but since I started this thread I thought I'd post it anyhow. ..............I found a design today that is another real beauty and I'm thinking about ordering the plans and trying my hand at lofting it now. The Herreshoff 12 1/2 has been fun and I've learned a lot. I don't like the controversy with CCSB though. But, if I wanted to build a boat based off the drawings of Nettle, I'd do it anyhow, and just might do it still. My experience has been that those drawings from Mystic Seaport are good drawings if someone with enough determination was willing to tackle them like I have. At this point, I think my lines would allow me to build a boat that would be as close to replicating Nettle as could be done.

    Anyhow, the design is William Garden's canoe yawl, Eel.

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