Preview: What About CONSUELO? by Maynard Bray & N.G. Herreshoff

January 17, 2022

Avatar Maynard Bray

Nathaniel Stebbins captured CONSUELO sailing in Newport Harbor on August 19th, 1889—then owned by Pierre Lorillard. (courtesy Historic New England)

Note about the following writeup: Italics indicate quotes from N.G. Herreshoff. (Plain type is mine.)

This little cat yawl that was N.G. Herreshoff's initial foray nto the design of cruising sailboats has always intrigued me as she's such a complete departure from his earlier work. Launched for himself in 1883, she's the very first sailing craft considered substantial enough to be entered into the construction list of the Herreshoff Mfg. Co. (HMCo) since its founding five years before. She carried hull number 400, kicking off the thousand-plus that would follow over the next 63 years. (Numbers 1 to 399 were intended for power craft.) Drawings back in those early days were few and none specifically created for CONSUELO were known to exist. Until recently, that is, when a rough construction plan came to light—drawn in pencil by Nathanael Herreshoff (NGH) himself. Discovered at the same time were several of his studies leading up to this boat. With these documents at hand, a better idea of what CONSUELO was like is possible.

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