Review: Artisan Boatworks Launches Buzzards Bay 18

Photo courtesy Alison Langley.

This past August (2012), Artisan Boatworks of Rockport, Maine, launched the first Herreshoff-designed Buzzards Bay 18 built since 1904.

Photo courtesy Alison Langley.

According to Artisan’s Alec Brainerd, only 5 Buzzards Bay 18s were built by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company during the winter of 1903/1904 for the Beverly Yacht Club (then located in Monument Beach, Massachusetts), and were known as the Beverly K Class. Essentially a larger version of the 15’ waterline E class (24′ 6″ overall), the original BB-18 measured 29’ on deck, with an 8’ 1” beam and a 3’ draft (centerboard up). None of the original boats remain, and there is virtually no documentation of their history; only 1 photograph is known to exist—a grainy postcard of K-4, named JAP, on her mooring off Monument Beach.

The Artisan Buzzards Bay 18 replica is edge-glued cedar planking over steam-bent oak frames with a laminated mahogany backbone. She’s powered by a Beta 14-hp inboard diesel, which is completely hidden from view within the cabin.

GMT Composites of Rhode Island designed and built the carbon-fiber mast, which is faux painted to simulate Sitka spruce, of which the booms and gaff are constructed. The carbon mast allows the new BB-18 to be sailed without running backstays. This feature, in combination with a full-length jib club, makes the entire rig easy to singlehand.

The new Buzzards Bay 18 (named Uncas after the last Sachem of the Mohegan tribe) has sail number K-6 as a tribute to her Beverly Yacht Club lineage. She was launched on August 2, raced in the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta on August 4, and then displayed at the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show in Rockland on August 10-12, before being delivered to her owners in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.


  • LOA: 29′
  • LWL: 18′
  • Beam: 8′ 1″
  • Draft: 3′ 11″
  • Displ.: 4700 lbs.
  • Sail area: 472 sq. ft.

Contact Information:


See how GMT Composites builds its carbon-fiber masts and booms, CLICK HERE.

Watch a video featuring Alec Brainerd of Artisan Boatworks at the 2012 Cape Cod Boatbuilders Show. CLICK HERE to view.

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