Maine Boatyard Completes Replica Herreshoff
December 19, 2011
According to the newsletter of Maine Built Boats, Artisan Boatworks of Rockport, Maine, recently launched a Herreshoff 12 1/2 replica built to a set of original offsets discovered by Artisan owner Alec Brainerd. “A year or so ago, while researching a different commission, I was lucky enough to stumble upon the original Herreshoff offsets for the 12 1/2. This is the list of measurements that absolutely and exactly define the hull shape with little or no opportunity for interpretation,” Brainerd says. “They were previously thought to be lost. This accidental discovery led me to completely and thoroughly research the 12 1/2’s design and develop a definitive collection of plans, measurements, and construction history.”
Brainerd worked with Steve Nagy of The Herreshoff Registry to trace the design modifications that Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. had made through the years and assemble a database of measurements from existing 12 1/2’s. He then went to John Palmieri, curator of the Herreshoff Marine Museum, to study the actual half model that N.G. Herreshoff had carved, then traveled to Mystic Seaport to study Herreshoff’s original building jig. Finally, with the help of Halsey Herreshoff and Adam Langerman of Herreshoff Designs, he was able to view Nat Herreshoff’s original hand-written design notes.
In July, Artisan crews began building what is probably the first authentically shaped wooden Herreshoff 12 1/2 made since 1943, when Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. built the last one. The new boat was launched in early December and will make her debut at the Maine Boatbuilders Show in March.
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