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When, at the beginning of the summer of 1492, Christopher Columbus had the task of choosing three ships from out of all the boats along the coast of Andalusia, he knew very well what kind of ships he was looking for.
From 1477 to 1483, he had gone on long travels around the Atlantic and in Porto Santo he compiled documents that had belonged to his father-in-law, Bartolomé de Perestrello, who had for many years been the Governor of the Madeira Islands; he had also gathered information on the Great Portuguese Discoveries along the coast of Africa.
Finally Christopher Columbus choose the Nao Santa Maria originally named "La Gallega"which was owned by Juan de la Cosa, who sailed with Columbus as his Captain.
On the 3rd of August 1942 she left the Spanish harbour Palos de la Frontera bound for the Canary Islands together with the caravels "Pinta" and " Niña". Cristopher Colombus wrote in his "Book on the First Voyage "We sailed South with a strong wind until sunset for 60 miles, which are 15 leagues; then Southeast and South, a quarter by Southeast, which was the way to the Canaries, then...on the 12 of October the sailor Rodrigo de Triana made out land.
He left to reach the Indies, he finally discovered the New World..." The legend was born.
|Size||61 cm L x 63cm Hgh|
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.