Francis Herreshoff lived from 1890 to 1972, and, though not prolific, he designed yachts that will always be considered classics. Beginning his career in the shadow of his famous father, Nathanael G. Herreshoff, he emerged to become a designer who would come close to the perfection of form in yacht design. Despite his exquisite designs and wise, published writings on the subject, L. Francis never achieved the popularity of a John Alden or an Olin Stephens, yet his influence on yachting, now and in the future, deserves its place alongside those leaders. It is a purpose of this book to allow that possibility by presenting evidence of Francis Herreshoff's genius for public judgment.
As a young man, Mr. Taylor was acquainted with Mr. Herreshoff. As the founder of International Marine Publishing Company, he published Herreshoff's Sensible Cruising Designs and An L. Francis Herreshoff Reader. Taylor is a professional mariner with unusually wide experience, including a working familiarity with boats built to many of Herreshoff's designs. He is the author of seven books on yacht design and seamanship.
Mystic Seaport commissioned Taylor to write Herreshoff's biography and made available to him the L. Francis Herreshoff Collection at the Museum. He has studied the entire collection of plans and letters, has conducted dozens of in-depth interviews with Herreshoff's relatives and friends and with owners of Herreshoff boats, and has consulted published yachting books and magazines.
Volume 1 brings the story up through the design of the J-boat Whirlwind, a contender for the defense of the America's Cup in 1930, a definite turning point in Herreshoff's life and work.
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by Roger Taylor
hardcover, 459 pp