America’s Cup Preview at Herreshoff Marine Museum 5/3

HMM A cup

Wednesday, May 3 from 6 PM – 9 PM swing your local selves over to the Herreshoff Marine Museum for some background and a preview of what’s going on in Bermuda for the upcoming America’s Cup racing. It’s only 30 days away and it’s sure to be impressive, fast and furious!  Continue reading

Restoring Classic Hulls in the Workshop

 Water to wine: Nicer Cabin Shape for GRP Classic

When Mike Zani moved to the banks of the Sakonnet River in Rhode Island, he wanted a beautiful yacht for his mooring but was not willing to pay $50,000 for one of the fine-lined modern/classic daysailers on the market today, writes Chris Museler.

A cool $4,500 bought him a 1962 Cape Cod Marlin, a GRP derivative of L Francis Herreshoff’s Fish Class design, but with a blister cabin house and a strip of opaque GRP in place of portholes (ugh!).

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Go See Amaryllis – The First Catamaran

Herreshoff Amaryllis

Once upon a time, Amaryllis II, a replica of the first catamaran ever to be built, was dangling from the ceiling in the impressive Hall of Boats at the Herreshoff Marine Museum. This boat was the brainchild of Nathanael Green Herreshoff, who was busy inventing other important yachts and marine innovations in the late 1800s when Amaryllis was “born.” This week, the Bristol, RI Herreshoff Marine Museum finally lowered the famous replica from the ceiling to maintain and clean the 1933 hull.  It’s worth a trip to Bristol to see this amazing design and engineering feat.  If you can come tonight, you’ll catch Amaryllis and also a great lecture on Boston LightContinue reading

Boston Light – Herreshoff Marine Museum’s Winter Lecture


Winter is only just getting going, and with comes the need to keep busy and reminisce to sunnier boating days of summer. One solution to beating the winter blahs is to take a field trip to Bristol, RI to check out the amazing Herreshoff Marine Museum. By day, it’s a museum of America’s coolest and most important preserved classic yachts that is absolutely worth checking out. Some boats are even hanging from the ceiling, like the famous first-ever catamaran, Amaryllis, an 1875 NG Herreshoff design and invention, with other boats on stands with ladders so you can climb aboard. By night, the museum hosts galas, regattas and weddings – but come wintertime, you’ll find the museum hosting the Winter Lecture Series. The series is full of great speakers and storytellers. The next one, coming THIS THURSDAY the 19th (tomorrow!), features a great presentation on the history of Boston Light by the Keeper herself, Sally Snowman.  Continue reading

Classic Yacht Symposium at Herreshoff Marine Museum

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Now that it’s MAY, pencil this great event into your calendar if you love wooden boats as we do….

The Herreshoff Marine Museum invites you to its 7th biannual Classic Yacht Symposium from May 20th to 22nd. Attracting owners, designers, builders and enthusiasts, the day of talks and two additional days of related events is a highlight in the Museum calendar with a special collaborative atmosphere amongst participants.

Included are ten talks by experts in a range of classic yacht activities from sailing to restoration to building some of the great designs representative of the maritime heritage which is celebrated today. This year also features a special panel discussion about what constitutes the breadth and boundaries of Classic Yachts. This will be undertaken with a panel of highly recognized experts and opinion leaders in the field and held at the Museum on the Friday evening. Visits to active projects at boatyards will take place on Friday. Sunday activities will include tours of the Museum Exhibits and visits to several key yachts and boats on display. Roger Williams University will be the site of Saturday’s full day of talks and discussions. 

Frostbite Bash This Saturday at Herreshoff’s Hall Of Boats


This coming Saturday the 6th is the fourth annual Frostbite Bash! Join the party and enjoy full open bars and food tastings from a variety of top local restaurants and vendors. Dance the night away in the historic Hall of Boats (A must see!),  bid on items in the live and silent auctions, and snap photos with your friends in our photo booth. A night you’re sure not to forget!

Herreshoff Marine Museum uses this party as a major fundraiser for their great year-round programs. From adult and junior sailing and seamanship programs in their fleet of 12 1/2’s, to a lively winter lecture series and many fun and educational events at the museum – there is something for everyone.

The Herreshoff Marine Museum / America’s Cup Hall of Fame is dedicated to the education and inspiration of the public through presentations of the history and innovative work of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and the America’s Cup competition.

The Museum, bordering beautiful Narragansett Bay, in Bristol, Rhode Island, is one of the nation’s most important historic maritime treasures. We regularly host classic yacht regattas, sponsor symposia on classic yacht design and restoration, and operate an outstanding sailing school for youth and adults. We celebrate excellence in design, innovation, education, and technology.

Immerse yourself in exhibits about the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, the America’s Cup, and the fabulous people and yachts that gained fame around the world. Participate in our extraordinary events and expand your horizons. Visit, join, and be a part of a great tradition.

The Bash will also be your first opportunity to witness the unveiling of the RELIANCE Model, a 30 foot, museum quality model of the America’s Cup winner, RELIANCE.

Need a place to stay the night of the Bash? Be sure to check out The Inn at Mount Hope Farm. They are offering a special rate called “From Bash to Bed” for $99 with continental breakfast. This deal will run out fast so get it while you can. Call to make your reservation now at 401-254-1745. Mt Hope Farm, if you have never been, is a pristine, wonderful location on Mt Hope Bay in Bristol.

Herreshoff Marine Museum/America's Cup Hall of Fame's photo.
Purchase Tickets  to the Bash!
For a limited time, if you purchase 5 tickets you will get the 6th for free!

Tips From A Shipwright: How to Steam Bend In A Plastic Bag

Well, if this isn’t one of the most clever ideas you’ve never thought of – then please tell us what is! People invent plenty of crazy ways to steam bend wood when building or restoring wooden boats, but few have used or even considered using a plastic bag. Also extremely clever is how Lou demonstrates his method for progressive bevel cutting. Check it out!

If Louis Sauzedde isn’t the ultimate wooden shipwright and movie star, then who could it be? He has turned wooden boat restoration into a video series attracting lots of attention and fixing up some special boats along the way. We love that he attacks his projects with confidence and traditional sense, but is not afraid to try out a new material or new idea that challenges everything he was taught about his profession.

Follow along with the rest of this 4 part (so far) video series on the restoration of “Remora” here and delight in watching Lou work and in his super wicked Rhody accent. So killa!

Marilee NY40 at the Opera House Cup

Sorry if you can’t appreciate the draw of our neighbor, Herreshoff’s, amazing yacht design. We can’t get enough of looking at Capt. Nat’s amazing long overhangs, beautiful sail plans and wonderful wooden spars and decks. And then there is the performance of most of his designs… none of his designs are slow and cumbersome. Instead they slice through the water gracefully, and have historically mastered the yacht racing course and beyond.

So pardon the overdose of Herreshoff videos and content, but he continues to impress sailors and yachtspeople around the world. And this video is a testament to his amazing yacht design. Go for a sail on Marilee, a New York 40, and feel how awesome it is to be a part of yachting history.



The 12 1/2: Herreshoff’s Masterpiece

CB_H12aStory & Photos by Ellen Massey-Leonard | Article courtesy of Classic Boat Magazine

Upon my return from sailing around the world, the first thing I did was to take out my family’s Herreshoff 12½. My cruising yacht is evidently better for ocean crossings, but there’s something about the 12½ that hooks you, no matter how many sea miles you have travelled, no matter how many boats you have handled.

In a sunny but cool ’smoky sou’wester’ on Eggemoggin Reach in Downeast Maine, the 12½ flew along, water gurgling under her forefoot and a bubbly wake streaming behind her. With only a finger or two on the delicate tiller, I could feel her respond to every puff and lull. Moving only my arm I could tack, and gybing was almost as effortless, hauling in and letting out the mainsheet the only added task. As she glided back to the harbor in a dying zephyr, I thought how wonderful it was that she’s been doing this for almost 80 years.

I’m not the only one to love the simplicity and sailing qualities of the Herreshoff 12½. Two-thirds of the original 364 boats survive today, 101 years after the first was launched, although unfortunately that first (Robin, Hull No 744) is not among them. A thriving H-Class Association actively races these boats and their replicas, with about 80 racing on any given summer weekend. The class is still mostly American, ranging from Maine to the Chesapeake Bay, but a few boats are also to be found in England, France and Norway. It’s possible that there are more 12½’s sailing today than ever before.The Herreshoff 12½ has more than stood the test of time. Steady and seaworthy, she points well, can stand up to a stiff breeze and scoots along in light air. With her ballast and roomy cockpit, she feels like a little ship, and yet is as responsive as a dinghy. This responsiveness – coupled with a way of forgiving mistakes – makes her a perfect boat in which to learn to sail and to sail solo into your 90s, as one of my family’s friends did. Finally, she’s elegant: her quiet beauty has inspired many people to take good care of these boats over generations.Captain Nathanael Greene Herreshoff designed what was then called the Buzzards Bay Boy’s Boat in 1914. The ’Wizard of Bristol’ was at the peak of his eminently successful career. In 1893 he had designed and skippered the victorious America’s Cup defender Vigilant. Two years later his Defender again kept the cup in New York, and in the 1899 and 1901 America’s Cups, Herreshoff’s Columbia was the successful defender. Here two stories about the origins of the 12½ diverge slightly, as is apt to happen with anything of legendary status. Continue reading

3D Computer Imaging a Herreshoff S-Boat

Captain Nat Herreshoff probably never imagined someone (like his grandson, Halsey Herreshoff) would be taking the measurements off of his molds to make 3D computer images of the boats lines. For certain he envisioned them being used to create boats to the millimeter of his scaled models, but the computer 3D imaging – never! Don’t misunderstand though, Capt. Nat was at the forefront of yachting’s technological movement at his time, developing the first light steam engine and creating the first fast steam torpedo boats for the US Navy.