The Best Of Boat WorldsTM

This Herreshoff 12 1/2 was built by Cape Cod Shipbuilding in 2007, and as the broker describes her, she’s a “dream boat”. Gorgeous from any angle, the 12 1/2’s are widely considered one of the finest small sailing boats of all time. At just under 16 ft, with plenty of cockpit, they’re big enough for a few daysailing guests, and with 750 pounds of ballast, they’re seaworthy enough for real adventure.

This beauty has just enough wood to make her appear older than her construction date, with mahogony transom, coamings, toerails and rubrails, and lightweight spruce spars that can easily be managed by one person.

Nat Herreshoff designed the 12½ footer in 1914. It has been in continuous production since then, and is nearly universally acclaimed as one of the finest small boats of all time. He was 66 years old by then, and had all the experience from a full and legendary career of designing and building yachts. He had already accumulated 5 of the never-matched record of 6 consecutive America’s Cup defenses, and 6 consecutive victories.

The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company took the first orders for the 12½ footer in 1914 and built 364 wooden hulls through 1943. Following the closing of HMC production, the Quincy Adams Yacht Yard was licensed by HMC to build the design. Quincy Adams used the Herreshoff builder’s plate, and built 51 hulls from 1943 through 1948. The Quincy Adams boats had hull numbers in the 2000s, and were planked with mahogany rather than the white cedar used by HMC. They also have something of a reverse sheer forward.

In 1947, Cape Cod Shipbuilding acquired the rights to the design. They built about 35 wooden hulls between 1948 and 1950, when they switched to fiberglass. You can still get a new fiberglass 12½ from Cape Cod Shipbuilding today.


This well maintained example also comes with a Torqeedo Travel 1003 Electric motor, a full winter cover and cockpit cover, and Triad trailer in excellent condition.

Listed by Swiftsure Yachts in Bainbridge Island, Washington for $36,000.

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