Legendary builders and their boats fill the pages of North Carolina maritime history books, with names ranging from sportfishing icons Warren O’Neal and Omie Tillett to production boatbuilding legends, such as Grady-White’s Eddie Smith and Hatteras founder Willis Slane.
You are looking at a Hall of Famer. The J/24 burst onto the scene in the mid-1970s, taking the racing sailboat world by storm. Here was a boat with a simple rig, an uncomplicated deck layout and a minimum of frills — and it won races.
No matter the shape, style or size, most new boats seem to be beyond the means of the masses these days. Take center consoles: They’re up to 40-plus feet and equipped with three and four outboards. Average price for a 40-footer: $600,000 to $800,000.
In April 1974, naval architect James S. Krogen signed off on a design for a 42-foot “trawler yacht” in his office on Rice Street in Miami. Krogen, an avid sailor and commercial vessel designer, developed the design with Florida yacht broker Art Kadey — a cruising powerboat based on the hard-working shrimp boat, known for its rugged seakeeping capabilities.
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.
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