Columbia 1958

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Columbia 1958 Expand

Columbia  ( 1958 ) half hull wooden hand crafted. Designed by Olin J. Stephens II.Order on line, worldwide delivery.

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$295.00

Hand-crafted plank-on-frame wood hull with white topsides . Varnished stained wood hull.

Hull size: 60cm.

Board size: 75cm X 20cm

Size75 cm L x 20 cm Hgh
Year1958
Half Hull SizeMedium (75cm X 20cm)

Starting with the lines of Vim, Olin J. Stephens II designed a new boat, which gradually took shape on Bill Maurogianni’s drawing board, after numerous comparison tests in tank. On completion of this work, Olin considered that Columbia would be slightly superior to Vim.

In the selection trials, there was a close struggle between Vim and Columbia.  Briggs Cunningham needed all of his strength and the two Stephens brothers, Rod and Olin, who were part of the crew, all of their vigilance to enable Columbia to snatch selection to defend the Cup.

Already Olin Stephens’ Twelve Meter science was half a second a mile ahead of Vim, and half a minute ahead of Sceptre, the challenger.

With over 2000 hulls built, Nathanael Greene Herreshoff’s 1914 design for a “Buzzards Bay Boys Boat” – the Herreshoff 12 ½ – has been in production for 113 years and is likely the most popular small yacht ever. Versions include a fiberglass redesign – the Bullseye, from Cape Cod Shipbuilding; exact fiberglass replicas like William Harding’s Doughdish, and Joel White’s Haven 12 ½ – a centerboard design built to sail shallower water. Uncounted copies from custom wooden boat builders also testify to its appeal.

 

With a 12 ½ foot waterline, the H 12 ½ is16 feet long. Proposed as a children’s training boat, it handled the choppy seas and brisk breezes of Massachusetts’ Buzzards Bay with an easy motion and a comforting sense of security. The design is informed by Captain Nat’s critical, innovative eye and long experience building trophy winning sailing yachts. By 1914 he was in his mid-sixties and drawing some of his best-loved designs – the Buzzards Bay 25s, Newport 29s and his own Alerion. Instead of rule-stretching high speed sleds his pen now drew human sized, sweet-sailing and uncomplicated boats that spoke of his deep appreciation for the arts of sailing and naval design.

 

Herreshoff gave the H 12 ½ a short ballast keel for stability and a deep, spacious cockpit to carry multiple kids and/or adults. Sold initially with a gaff and later with a Marconi rig, the sail area is small enough to be handily managed by a boy or girl – steel biceps not required. In experienced hands, however, the rig is big enough to slip along with a bit of a bone in her teeth. Adults have been known to downsize from trophy yacht to H 12 ½ just to relish casual sunset sailing into their golden years. It’s ironic that no one alive sailed on Captain Nat’s masterpiece, Reliance – a brilliantly engineered, extreme racer – but thousands have memories of sailing his “children’s” boat.

 

Particularly popular in Southern New England, H 12 ½ s are found all along North America’s Atlantic coast. In some families they’re handed down through generations, and rarely is one in need of repair not rescued and relaunched. Surprisingly, they have also traveled quite far afield: they sail in Norway, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and many countries far from Bristol, RI. The H 12 ½ truly has a hull shape and history for the ages.

Jeff Silva

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