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Hand-crafted plank-on-frame wood hull with white topsides, gold cove stripe and gold boot stripe . Varnished stained wood hull.
Hull size: 60cm.
Board size: 75cm X 20cm
|Half Hull Size||Medium (75cm X 20cm)|
|Size||75 cm L x 20 cm Hgh|
When after the 1964 races observers were able to examine the lines of Constellation in detail, they thought that the end of 12 Meters was nigh. It seemed difficult to go any further, to do any better, or even innovate. They had not reckoned with the creative genius of Olin Stephens: in 1967, Intrepid brought revolution to the world of Twelve !
Assisted by Mario Tarabocchia, Olin Stephens designed a boat with numerous innovations: the rudder was separate from the keel and the trimtab flush with the keel appeared. This increased the keel resistance giving extra lift to windward; used with the rudder, it improved the yacht’s handling capacity. The appearance of the skeg or bustle between the keel and the rudder provided the assembly with a high degree of stability. Finally, the winches and running rigging were put under the deck.
The Stephens / Mosbacher tandem performed miracles. In 1967, Intrepid was untouchable. She dominated the American selection trials and trounced Dame Pattie, the challenger, taking 11 seconds a mile out of her. The Intrepid concept was decisive in the design of Twelves to date, and is a turning point.
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.