Preview: Fine Boat Designs – The Herreshoff Fish Class

April 16, 2015

Maynard Bray

I'm sure that N.G Herreshoff (NGH) realized he'd created something pretty special when he finished carving this half model in 1914, for it was quite unlike any he'd carved before and supremely beautiful as well. From it, the Herreshoff Mfg. Co. built around 40 Fish class sloops at 20'9" in overall length and nearly ten times that number of the better-known 12-1/2 footers.

H.G. Herreshoff half model that provided offsets for both the Fish boats and the smaller 12-1/2 footers. (courtesy Claas van der Linde)

N.G. Herreshoff half model that provided offsets for both the Fish boats and the smaller 12-1/2 footers. (courtesy Claas van der Linde)

NGH lived to see this design flourish, but he didn't live to know of its longevity. Now, a century later, about half the Fish boats and two thirds of the 12-1/2s still survive—and replicas, vaiations, and derivatives are still being turned out in significant numbers.

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