I Am Legend

With AutoCAD and computational fluid dynamics now casting long shadows across the field of sailboat design, it’s important to go back and learn how the game started, who the leading practitioners were, and what craft came from their drawing boards. There couldn’t be a better tour guide than L. FrancisHerreshoff for this particular magical journey into the past. He was a son of Captain Nat,
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Golden_Age_Yachting_books_cover

With AutoCAD and computational fluid dynamics now casting long shadows across the field of sailboat design, it’s important to go back and learn how the game started, who the leading practitioners were, and what craft came from their drawing boards. There couldn’t be a better tour guide than L. Francis

Herreshoff for this particular magical journey into the past. He was a son of Captain Nat, the Wizard of Bristol, and when this book was first published in 1963, he had for many years been practicing and writing about naval architecture and yacht design.

Herreshoff had plenty of opinions about the dozens of yachts he mentions, and he didn’t hesitate to season his narrative with the eccentricities of the captains and owners who maintained and paid for these magnificent craft. Like every great performer, Herreshoff knew that enthusiasm and humor would keep his audience from leaving the hall before his show was over.

The era when yachts sprang from a pencil, a hunch, and even the occasional touch of whimsy has gone. But Herreshoff’s eye for detail and his well-crafted phrasing allow our imagination to keep these boats sailing forever.

Related

QuarterdeckBuildingWatercolor

Bitter End Yacht Club 2.0

Amid the widespread devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria when they swept across the northern Caribbean in September 2017, the destruction of the iconic Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands was particularly keenly felt by sailors. The ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com The back door Satisfied with your headsails? So was I, until one day I took a long, hard look up the luff of my genoa, making sure I inspected the leeward side as well. The sail had plenty of life ...read more

02-Lydia12-01

Losing Sight of Shore

I arrived on the docks of Beaufort, North Carolina, in late April with two backpacks filled with new gear—everything I’d need for my first offshore passage. Though I’d been sailing for 16 years, graduating from dinghies to keelboats to a J/122, I’d spent my time racing and, in ...read more

Squall

The Face of a Squall

They are the worst of times, they are the best of times There’s a fabulous line from an old Paul Simon song that I often sing to myself while sailing: I can gather all the news I need from the weather report. It is part of the magic of sailing, this ancient process by which we ...read more

ntcktshtrstk

Cruising Southern New England Waters

One of the most wonderful childhood vacations I can remember was back in 1971 when my best friend invited me to his family’s summer home on Nantucket Island. For a 10-year-old kid, this was a thrilling trip for many reasons, not the least of which was the fact it was also my ...read more

IMG_8287GR16Mykonos

Cultural Charters: Mykonos

In last month’s column, I covered the amazing mix of cultures that have called the Dalmatian Coast home over the centuries. Croatia cruising is like a smorgasbord of intertwined centuries, and the islands are a movie set. A little farther south, though, you’ve also got Greece, ...read more

cookinglead

Cruising: No Oven? No Worries

Many cruising boats, especially smaller ones, don’t have a conventional oven. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have all the baked foods you want, from bread to brownies to breakfast rolls to casseroles and even a roast chicken. All it takes is the right bit of gear and a ...read more