Genesta 1885

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Genesta 1885 Expand

Genesta ( 1885 ) half hull wooden hand crafted. Designed by John Beavor-Webb.Order on line, worldwide delivery.

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$295.00

Hand-crafted plank-on-frame wood hull with light varnished topsides, mahogany varnished bottom paint .

Hull size: 60cm.

Board size: 75cm X 20cm

Size75 cm L x 20 cm Hgh
Year1885
Half Hull SizeMedium (75cm X 20cm)

John Beavor-Webb was born in August 1849 in Ireland. He attended Trinity College, Dublin, with the aim of becoming an engineer. An excellent racer, he raced his 25-foot Itchen and won 10 out of 12 races. In 1875, he worked with the modeler-builder Dan Hatchen, and had a part in the design and construction of the 5-ton yacht Freda.

He then devoted himself to yacht design and composite construction, in metal and wood, and then in iron or steel. In 1884, he built Genesta, a composite construction cutter, for Sir Richard Sutton. He also had an order for Lieutenant William Henn, a second steel cutter, Galatea. 

John Beavor-Webb in fact issued  a dual challenge with Genesta and Galatea. A good racing man, Beavor-Webb steered Genesta with Captain John Carter. His performance in the second race against Puritan was to be for a long time engraved in the memory of the yachtsmen who witnessed the race.

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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