Columbia 1899

MM-20

New product

Columbia 1899 Expand

Columbia 1899 half hull wooden hand crafted. Designed by Nathanael Green Herreshoff.Order on line, worldwide delivery.

More details

$295.00

Hand-crafted plank-on-frame wood hull with light grey topsides, white bottom paint , gold cove stripe and blue boot stripe.

Hull size: 60cm.

Board size: 75cm X 20cm

Size75 cm L x 20 cm Hgh
Year1899
Half Hull SizeMedium (75cm X 20cm)

There was a crowd in attendance at the launch of the third America's Cup defender designed and built by the Herreshoff brothers. As ever, the boat has been built in an utmost secrecy, forbidding the access of the yard to every journalists and photographers. This time the defender helm was put in the hands of Charles Barr. This was the first time that the famous Scottish skipper, living in he States for some years , had been entrusted with a defender. Captain Nat  was to be his co-skipper.

As John Brown predicted, Columbia's steel mast broke after the first trials, due to electrolysis. It was replaced by another in Oregon pine for the rest of the trials. The final race was held on October 20th. The struggle was hard and none of the two teams managed to take a decisive advantage till the last mark. The two were now both fighting against the wind. They heeled over impressively, stemposts dipping into the spray and lifting immense cascades of water.Throughout this first windward beat, Archie Hogarth tried all he knew to escape Columbia, who was controlling him mercilessly. Columbia obviously cut better through the choppy sea, whereas Shamrock had to force her way through and tossed violently the Defender flying her mainsail, staysail and jib, performed marvellously and hauled the wind without losing speed, her sais always full. Scarcely 5 minutes after rounding the mark, Columbia had the race in her pocket. Shamrock tacked first after 20 mninutes, followed the Americans. The difference separating the two yachts could now be seen, since, from the same initial point, Columbia was already 1/8 mile to windward of the Irish. Barr decided to slacken off to avoid breakages and to make sure of victory, as he was a quarter of a mile to windward of his pursuer, and won easily.

The American skipper and the defender had fulfilled their contract, with their three crushing victories over Sir Thomas Lipton's yacht. Columbia had no difficulty in beating Sir Thomas Lipton's Shamrock, designed by Fife Jr III. Before his promise to come back to the following America's Cup, Sir Thomas Lipton paid tribute to his rival: "Mister Herreshoff has shown that he is the greatest yacht designer in the world".

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