Meet ARIEL II. Her 46′ profile from the plum bow to the gentle tumblehome aft illustrates a yacht of classic character and style. But its her craftsmanship and detail that went into her original construction by Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. and her reconstruction at Ballentine’s Boat Shop that really makes this a splendid vessel.
No piece of ARIEL II was left untouched during her four year restoration. Working from the building and detail plans obtained from the MIT Hart Nautical Collection, the restoration was completed with close attention paid to reproducing her original look while utilizing material and method upgrades where prudent.
Her new keel, stem, and forefoot were built of Angelique, a South American hardwood. The transom was layered and glued in Cedar and Mahogany then framed in Locust. The original frames were replaced throughout with steamed White Oak. Less than half of her hull’s planking was deemed reusable. The damaged planks were removed and replaced with South American Silver Bali.
Beyond the lines and craftsmanship, we were equally drawn to her warm and bright pilothouse. Large windows are incorporated into the varnished raised panel teak cabin, providing a clear 360-degree view from the helm.
From the helm station, you have all controls and navigational equipment comfortably within reach. Artfully concealed beneath hinged cabinetry to port are duel Furuno Navnet VX2 multifunction plotters with integrated radar data from the 40″ 4kw Furuno array. A Simrad AP35 Auto Pilot has been recently augmented with a Furuno SC-30 Satellite Compass.
Throughout the restoration process, the compromise between traditional styling and modern features was addressed thoughtfully. Its apparent her owner wanted to retain ARIEL II’s original character, while incorporating modern technology. This was done discreetly with all traces hidden within the teak paneling and bronze accents.
The decade after the market crash of 1929 was undoubtedly tough on the yachting industry. Even the venerable Herreshoff Manufacturing Company (HMC) in Bristol, RI saw a sharp decline in new orders. With few notable exceptions, the construction of new sailboats continued sluggishly, the majority of contracts being 12 1/2s, S-Boats, and smaller racing dinghies. However, the construction of new power yachts ceased almost completely, with less than two dozen built throughout the 1930s, many of those being smaller launches.
One of these was ARIEL II, a 46ft power cruiser style yacht built for William Woodard in 1931. Designed by Sidney Herreshoff, ARIEL II was a slight modification on an earlier HMC yacht, STROLLER. Similar to many yachts of the same period, ARIEL II was drawn with simple, yet elegant features.
From her nearly plum bow to the gentle tumblehome aft, ARIEL II’s profile illustrates a yacht of classic character and style. Her resemblance to other yachts of the era quickly become irrelevant when realizing the craftsmanship and detail that went into both her original construction by Herreshoff Manufacturing and her reconstruction at Ballentine’s Boat Shop.
Much of ARIEL II’s life after initial launching and until her discovery unused but afloat in Florida, is unknown. At the time of her purchase, ARIEL II’s condition was heavily modified, both mechanically and cosmetically. Her interior cabinetry had been altered to fit non-marine appliances and her exterior profile drastically altered with the attachment of a disagreeable flybridge. Engines had been changed over the years from the original Sterling gas engines, to the extreme GM 671 diesels, and back to the more reasonable Cummins 4 cylinder diesels in place at present with 300 total horsepower.
She’s available for $725,000.