Tuesday, February 4, 2014


We Correct Another Key Word Search Deficiency 

   American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies   Capt. L. Francis Herreshoff was a yacht and small craft designer who lived between 1890 and 1972 and whose designs are popular around the world. Since his death some of his designs have been modified for production in fiberglass or adapted with modifications by other designers to incorporate some modern features. His smaller craft are still very popular with the amatuer boat builders. Many of our regular readers are amatuer boat and boat model builders and many more start research here.

 We were very disappointed to note a recent visitor who entered on the key word search "L.Francis Herreshoff dingy design". The google search engine directed the researcher to our site by apparently while we make mention of the books by Herreshoff at different places within the blog our visitor did not find the type of comprehensive information that was needed. We were mortified because Herreshoff is the major name in American yacht design and we want to be the place to start any type of maritime research. So we are herewith beefing up and centralizing our information of Capt. Herreshoff, his father "Capt.Nat", his brother Sidney, his uncle JB, and the Herreshoff  Manufacturing Company;  Books, links, etc.., every thing that we have on Herreshoff and his works will be condensed in this post and the post permanently installed in our BOAT BUILDING SECTION.
 American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies  
L. Francis Herreshoff wrote the following books, some of which contain simple study plans and drawings of his designs. The Common Sense of Yacht DesignThe Compleat Cruiser, Sensible Cruising Designs . He also published many "how to Build articles in Rudder Magazine. The following titles are about L. Francis Herreshoff or compile certain of his writings:  The Writings of L. Francis Herreshoff An L. Francis Herreshoff Reader. The Mystic Seaport Index to Rudder Magazine indicates that between October 1914 and March 1953  RUDDER published 9 designs by the Herreshoff manufacturing company ranging in size from 128 ' to 12.5 '. 

File:Nathanael G. Herreshoff.jpg The father of L. Francis "Captain Nat" Herreshoff .
 American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies  
The Herreshoff Manufacturing company was founded by two brothers , one was  Nathanael G. Herreshoff known as "Captain Nat" and the father of L.Frances. There is at least one book on the extraordinary and somewhat tragic life of "Captain Nat":  Capt. Nat Herreshoff: The Wizard of Bristol,: Capt.Nat is sometimes confused with his son L. Francis and like L. Francis was a naval architect and boat designer. However he started out designing commercial steam vessels but lost his steam engineer's license as a result of an accident during a sea trial of one of his designs where he served aboard as engineer . The boiler blew and one crewman was killed. Afterward "Capt. Nat' did turn quite a bit to yacht designs and some of his are considered classics that people still like to build and designers like to study, but many people are unaware that "Captain Nat" isn't L. Francis. Capt. Nat died in the 1930s and L. Francis was still designing in the 1950s so for two decades there was only L. Francis sharing the spot light with his far lesser known half or step brother A Sidney Dewolf Herreshofff  , which probably partially explains the confusion. "Capt. Nat" is credited with revolutionizing yacht design and designed several successful America's Cup defenders. 

File:Reliance & Shamrock III.jpg
Nat Herreshoff's RELIANCE AND SHAMROCK at the start of the 1903 America's Cup Race.  Photo: Library of Congress

 American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies    As mentioned, L. Francis also had either a half brother or step brother who was an accomplished yacht designer A Sidney Dewolf Herreshoff. A list of his designs may be found here:Designs of A Sidney Dewolf Herreshoff  Anyone visiting the site may notice that the site credits Sidney with the design of the GEMINI, a sailboat design often credited to L. Francis. In fact we couldn't tell you which of the two actually is responsible for the GENINI. But Francis was the only one who was a prolific book and periodical article author. That is how he emerged in the public perception as the Herreshoff of the "Hereshoff designs" and the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company.

John Brown Herreshoff or "JB" was the business brain behind Herreshoff Manufacturing and the brother of Capt. Nat.  JB was blind and so never developed as a designer but was a master of deal making, and could cost estimate each design in his head. It was JB who found the initial investors, the initial buyers, and managed the work force and other overhead, keeping the company in the black. He led the company from its start up with 20 employees to a long lasting status as a 400 employee company operating consistently in the black. J B Herreshoff created the sound business environment and regular cash flow that allowed the designers to flourish.   Without JB, there would have been no famous "Herreshoff designs" and all three brilliant Herreshoff boat designers would have spent their lives laboring in anonymity for various boat builders over their life times with the business owner's name associated with the designs.  

LINKS:  American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies  

Mystic Seaports L.Francis Herreschoff design index





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