A Super-Lovely Herreshoff 12 1/2

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.

Motor Yacht Ariel II

A 1931 Herreshoff Power Cruiser

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.

Helm station

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.

Herreshoff 30 square meter

A 1930 Herreshoff Thirty-square Metre

ORIELLE II is now for sale in Newport, Rhode Island. She is a stunning example of L. Francis Herreshoff’s design work, and was built in 1929 by George Lawley & Son. She was built for and originally owned by Elizabeth ‘Sis’ Hovey, an early pioneer of women’s yachting who grew up racing in Massachusetts. In the thirties, the family name Hovey was widely associated with yachting and America’s Cup history.

Oriole II was one of the first American designed and built thirty-square meters to race competitively in international competition. She was designed in 1930 by the famous yacht designer Lewis Francis Herreshoff for Elizabeth ‘Sis’ Hovey. Driving ORIOLE, Miss Hovey would become the first woman to race and win an international sailing event. Her purpose was simple, to race in Kiel, Germany and Sandhamn, Sweden to recapture the Marblehead and Hoover Cups in 1930, both lost the prior year to the Swedes.

While the American’s lost both regettas, Herreshoff relayed, ‘we had only one new boat on the team, the Oriole II, sailed by Miss Hovey, and it is said she proved to be nearly as fast as the best German or Swedish boat in this class.’

Oriole II stayed in the Marblehead area for many years after Hovey sold her in 1934, placing respectably in capable hands against larger Swedish-built boats. By 1994, she had been acquired by the Museum of Yachting in Newport, Rhode Island. The Museum completed a full restoration of the yacht before adding it to their collection. The boat was acquired by her current owner in 2006.

Later recalling ORIOLE II, Sis Hovey wrote, ‘To me there is no boat as enjoyable to sail or as enjoyable to look at as a 30 square metre. They are easy to handle, lovely to the touch, as fast as a scared rabbit. I’ve raced many different kinds of boats since (ORIOLE II); from J-boats, YANKEE and RAINBOW, 12 metres EASTERN and WEATHERLY, down to 210s and 110s and everything in between, and to me there is nothing to compare to ORIOLE. Correspondence with George Fisher

Classic Sailboats

ORIOLE II was designed by L. Francis Herreshoff, the first major proponent for the thirty-square meters in the United States. In an article printed in 1931, he stated, ‘It is safe to say that they (thirty-square meters) are the most modernistic-looking type we have, with their long fine ends and high, narrow sails. They are in their element in a strong wind and rough sea when they make really phenomenal speed for their sail area. In the races abroad, when there is any wind, they easily overtake and pass the Six-Metre boats.’

One of the most influential and successful yacht designers of the twentieth century, L. Francis Herreshoff, worked for: his father, Capt. Nat Herreshoff; the U.S. Navy in World War I; and for Starling Burgess, before going out on his own. L. Francis was also a prolific writer and, in addition to numerous articles, he authored The Common Sense of Yacht Design, The Compleat Cruiser, Sensible Cruising Designs, An L. Francis Herreshoff Reader, and a biography of his father, Capt. Nat Herreshoff: The Wizard of Bristol. Herreshoff’s writing influenced generations of designers and builders.

ORIELLE II is an open cockpit racer, with a dramatic swept-back mast, small jib and very large mainsail.  She has a full keel, with lead ballast, the decks are canvas and epoxy.  The bottom is a white oak keel with lead ballast attached by bronze bolts. She received all new rigging in 2016 and her set of sails have only been used six times. She’s listed by Herreshoff Yachts in Newport, Rhode Island for $45K USD.

Herreshoff Mobjack

Custom Herreshoff Mobjack

Well, this 45 foot 1980 Custom Herreshoff is pretty over the top, but that’s what we love about it. Currently cruising Malaysia, “Enchantress” oozes old world charm, but is built to take you anywhere in the world. She’s undergone a slow paced refit over the last seven years and has benefitted from many upgrades.

Her interior looks to be well maintained and in good standing, with her parlor room aesthetic. With portlights-a-plenty and her large butterfly hatches she’s sure to be well ventilated. It may be hard to ever leave that saloon.

The exterior brightwork is a beautiful contrast to the bare teak decks, and the red dorades are nice eye candy. She comes equipped with plenty of recent canvas work and additional shading. She’s registered in Australia, and clearly outfitted for cruising the tropics. She has a Coursemaster autopilot, Furuno GPS, a wind generator and three 80 watt solar panels.

Her accommodations consist of two single berths, one double berth, one twin berth and one head.

She is listed for $165K AUD, and is currently cruising Malaysia and Thailand. She can easily be viewed in Langkawi or Krabi.

This beautiful classic yacht was built to a standard not to a price and will take you safely to any destination in the world,, , she oozes old world charm and style….. with only two boat builder owners she has been kept in top condition. Her full history from the day she was launched is known. Most of the gear has been replaced or reconditioned over the last seven years 
Australian registered ‘Enchantress’ is now cruising in Malaysia and Thailand. She can be easily viewed in Langkawi or Krabi, Thailand.

Herreshoff 12 1/2 for sale

A 1936 Herreshoff 12½

Ballentine’s Boat Shop has earned a reputation in classic boat circles for thorough and meticulous restorations of original Herreshoffs. And this one is a real beauty. Captain Kidd was found in rough condition and heavily modified, yet still a worthy candidate for preservation. She is hull # 1298 and was built at HMCo. in 1936. Captain Kidd stands out in the designs long history as likely one of the last Herreshoff 12s built with oak trim instead of the later used Mahogany.

Herreshoff 12 1/2

Notes from Bellentine regarding the restoration: “Her restoration was done with methods to preserve her authenticity and remain as an accurate example of the Herreshoff legacy, but to also ensure a longer, less problematic lifespan.

New oak frames were steamed in replacement of the tired originals. Unfortunately, none of her original planking was found to be salvageable and it too was completely replaced. New deck beams were fit and a plywood deck laid down on top to be covered in fiberglass and painted with non-skid particles. While a new keelson and floor timbers were installed, the original lead ballast and yellow pine deadwood were able to be reused.”

Herreshoff 12 1/2

‘High quality bronze hardware was used to not only accentuate her beautiful finish, but to add a greater level of function. The final touch was the re-installation of her original Herreshoff builder’s plate preserving CAPTAIN KIDD’s long history as the boat is ready to be enjoyed by the next generation of ownership.”

Captain Kidd is ready for the 2019 season, having received her scheduled paint and varnish work. She’s currently priced at $55,000 – about half of what many go for.

1967 Hinckley H-41 for sale

1967 Hinckley H-41

If a classic ’60s Hinckley is your kinda thing (and how can it not be?), then Revel is likely about as good as it’s gonna get. Functionally, she’s several decades newer than her vintage implies, having undergone a complete refit in 2001-2002 by Strouts Point Wharf Company, that included ALL systems, every inch of interior and exterior finish. And the upgrades didn’t stop there, with several quality improvements since, like a new complete waste system, including holding tank, in 2012.


A 1967 Hinckley H-41 for sale.


The 41 Classic is famous for a reason, known for outperforming her little sister, the legendary B-40. Her aesthetics aren’t bad either, with a beautiful Herreshoff-style interior that accommodates up to six, with white flat panels and varnished mahogany trim. There is an abundance of natural light and ventilation with four large and six smaller fixed ports, two oversized hatches and two large dorades.  A Luke Soapstone solid fuel stove takes the chill off on foggy mornings or extends the cruising season.


1967 Hinckley H-41 for sale


On deck the Hinckley 41 offers an expansive cockpit measuring 8′-8” in length with large sail lockers custom locker aft of the wheel (which is dead space on other 41s). Her mast was replaced in 1996 with all new standing rigging, and was re-awlgripped in 2008. Her owners claim a notable performance improvement over the original spars.


1967 Hinckley H-41 for sale


Her owners have obviously cared for her greatly, and if you’re in the market for a classic, this one certainly earns your attention.



Orphan, a Watch Hill 15

On every sailors “someday list” – the Herreshoff Watch Hill 15. This one is especially sweet – built by the late Dave Corcoran of Bull House Boatworks in Arundel, Maine and professionally maintained by Artisan Boatworks – she remains in perfect condition. Orphan was Dave Corcoran’s personal boat, who was known to sail her at full speed and tack within inches of the dock, close enough to hand out business cards to the stunned onlookers.

She is traditional plank on frame construction over a laminated mahogany backbone and with a canvas covered plywood deck.  The Marconi mast is varnished sitka spruce, and all deck varnish is teak.

These boats are thrilling sailors, and to our minds one of the most beautiful objects of any sort. They are well known to be fast, stiff, and responsive. The hull is slippery, and even at speed such little turbulence is created that the boat leaves virtually no wake.  The original Buzzards Bay 15’s were designed by Nathanael Herreshoff in 1898, and with their gaff-rigs known as the E-Class at the Beverly Yacht Club.  In 1922 Sidney Herreshoff designed a marconi-rigged version of the same hull known as the Watch Hill 15.

Orphan has had all her seasonal maintenance performed for this year, is on a trailer, and ready to launch.  She also features a Mastervolt electric “pod” drive for auxiliary propulsion.

An Alerion 41 in Marblehead

The A41 descends directly from the original 28, designed in the 1980s by the late Carl Schumacher for Ralph Schacter of Southport, Connecticut. An enthusiastic owner of an Express 27, also by Schumacher, Schacter wanted to combine the classic good looks of Nat Herreshoff’s legendary Alerion with a modern underbody and rig. The 41 expands upon what has worked so well with Alerion’s popular daysailers and accommodates longer stays on the water.

But still, with all of that gorgeous space in the cabin, the cockpit is still the place to be on these 41s. Fully one third of the boat’s overall length is dedicated to the cockpit. Settees in the forward section encourage guests, especially the nonsailors, to just chill and watch the world go by. The articulated platform in the transom transforms into a swim platform when deployed, while making it effortless to board the dingy.

Underneath, the saloon fills the middle of the boat, and in a pinch can accommodate two guests for overnight stays. A drop-leaf teak table splits the area and serves both settees during meals. Finished in the Herreshoff style of white overhead and panels trimmed in varnished teak, the saloon is cozy and very inviting.

These are lovely weekend cruisers, and Nina, in Marblehead Massachussets, appears to be an excellent example.

The (Re)Making of Merillee

Okay, this post isn’t about a boat. It’s a post about a documentary about a boat. Specifically, a film documenting the restoration of Merillee, the 1926 Herreshoff NY40. Nautical filmmaker and photographer Alison Langley followed the two-year restoration of the Nathanael G. Herreshoff-designed New York 40 sailing yacht. This film captures the craftsmanship of the artisans at French & Webb in Belfast, Maine; the ingenuity of engineering and design from Herreshoff experts; and the vision of her current custodian. As Cruising World put it: “From interviews with the builders, designers, archivists and team members to footage of the artisans at work, the film captures moments where modern innovations and engineering were combined with meticulous craftsmanship to achieve extraordinary results. Paired with onboard and aerial racing footage of Marilee, this is a must-see documentary for classic yacht lovers.” We can’t wait.

The film is due to be released later this month. Watch the trailer here. 

A stunning Herreshoff Watch Hill 15

Jeanne is a replica of a 1922 Herreshoff Watch Hill 15, built by Artisan Boatworks in 2011. Her construction is wood and epoxy composite planking over steam bent frames with a laminated backbone. She features a 2 KW electric pod drive with folding propeller and is described as in “as new” condition.

The seller describes the boat as a thrilling sailor – fast, stiff and responsive, with a “slippery” hull that leaves no wake at hull speed. She just looks beautiful underway, that’s for sure.


The original Watch Hill’s were designed by Nathanael Herreshoff in 1922 and are a Marconi-rigged version of the legendary Buzzards Bay 15 class, designed in 1899. There were 3 variations of the “15-Footer” built, and all were keel-centerboard sloops with cedar planking on bent oak frames. The original design, the Buzzards Bay 15, has a 15 foot waterline, 24’6” LOA, a 2’3” draft with the board up, and a gaff rig. The second design, the Newport 15 only varies in its draft, which is 6” deeper. And in 1923, 11 Watch Hill 15’s were delivered to the Watch Hill Yacht Club. These boats drew 2’3”, and had a few minor modifications to the trim and freeboard, with a pointed coaming and slightly higher sheer aft.



Jeanne looks absolutely perfect in her color ways and is elegant in her simplicity. She comes equipped with a 2011 galvanized Triad trailer and sail covers. Located in Westport, CT.

Find Jeanne here on Yachtworld.