Columbia, Resolute, Reliance — so many great boats came from the mind of Nathanael G. Herreshoff. But the graceful little daysailer shown here, which he designed in 1914, is the only one that bears his name. A century after this boat was first sailed on Massachusetts’ Buzzards Bay, the Herreshoff 12½ is an acknowledged classic, prized for its easy sailing, comfort and stability, with active fleets and a national association.
Look up the word “utility” in the American Heritage Dictionary, and you’ll find the following: used, serving or working in several capacities as needed. And when it comes to boats, that can be a tall order.
Stout. It’s a profound word, short and to the point. Beer or boat, it doesn’t just describe something brave and bold or staunch and sturdy. It also expresses an attitude, something like “ready for everything, afraid of nothing.”
In 1960 Cornelius “Connie” Ray teamed with college friend Arch Mehaffey in a fiberglass boatbuilding venture. They took over an existing builder — Carr Craft, which also made fiberglass coffins — moved into an abandoned potato warehouse in Oxford, Michigan, and got to work.
It’s 2:30 a.m. when a ringing phone jolts a Maryland Natural Resources Police officer awake. A 25-foot cuddy with five adults aboard has run into a jetty off Deale, Maryland. He’s told to respond; there are critical injuries and fatalities.
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