Preview: Restoring the Herreshoff S-boat Mischief

January 20, 2012

Maynard Bray

Brooklin Boat Yard began this Herreshoff S-boat restoration on speculation as a fill-in during slack periods. So it went forward by fits and starts until a buyer emerged, after which the pace picked up and became steady. Mischief is virtually complete now as I write this in mid-January, 2012, with only the finish paint remaining. I've divided the story into segments, and will take you all the way to launching and the sailing trials that follow, one episode at a time.

You can see the beginning of Mischief's restoration, as well as view a bit of her background and learn a little about the S-boat class of which she's a member, in our OffCenterHarbor.com reframing video.

Here are two more good sources for Herreshoff S-Boat photos and information:

Herreshoff S-Class of Western Long Island Sound
Narragansett Bay Herreshoff S Class Association

This first blog gets the deck into place, and begins soon after the reframing video was shot.

Here, the bilge stringers and sheer clamps have been put in, the new oak floor timbers primed with red lead, and Mischief now has brand new varnished oak sheerstrakes and transom, including its pair of laminated reinforcing knees. The few planks that were removed for reframing have been renewed, and scarfed-on ends have replaced the damaged ones near the stern. Five temporary cross-spalls assist the frames in holding the hull shape until the deck beams go in.

Herreshoff S-boat restoration

Permanent deck beams now have replaced the cross-spalls (except for one near the bow) and the forward bulkhead has been framed up. There's to be an opening through the bulkhead this time around so the forward compartment can be accessed for maintenance. The original S-boat bulkheads had no such opening so the space became an air chamber whose purpose was to keep the boat float if she were to capsize. This bulkhead can do the same with a dogged-shut door. Herreshoff's signature molded sheerstrakes show here, made of oak as were the originals on this boat. (Mahogany, and occasionally teak, were used on others of the class.) Brian Larkin (facing the camera) is in charge of this project. He's also one of our OffCenterHarbor.com

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