WestlawnMasthead27_Sept2013H.pub - page 11

The Masthead
A Brief History of Sailing Multihulls
dured in 1876 by his father Nathanael Herreshoff, which created a void in the devel-
opment of fast sailing yachts. In his chapter titled
The Sailing Machine
, which as-
sesses the future of yachting, he proposed several catamarans, including the above,
with two hulls borrowed from power yachts, and two swiveling and rotating wing sails
set on a quadruped rig.
Sailing Machine
, which L. Francis Herreshoff proposed in 1948, demonstrated
that besides the designer's great drafting talent, capable of turning out plans of ut-
most precision, he also had a very creative imagination: He would give proof of this
with his next catamaran,
(Lewis Francis Herreshoff)
By designing the more prosaic catamaran
, L. Francis Herreshoff proposed many new ideas which became common-
place forty years later.
The plans for the
were published in
The Rudder
May 1949 through
February 1950, and
three were built be-
tween 1952 and
1966. The
asymmetric hulls
served to act as keels
to reduce leeway and
her tripod rig reduced
the load of the mast
on the crossbeams, all
of which were aerody-
namically faired. She
was the first catama-
ran to feature a tram-
poline but the crew
was not likely to som-
ersault as on modern-
day AC45s!
L. Francis Herreshoff
met the demands of
The Rudder
ship, who wanted a
version of the
that would be cheap,
lightweight, fast and
easy to build. The
measured 27 feet in length and announced the development of beach catama-
In the next issue, we will continue to examine the development of beach cats.
Sept. 2013 Page 11
The Sailing Machine
Wing-sail ketch catamaran
Designer: Lewis Francis Herreshoff
Proposed: 1948
Length: 9.15m
Load Waterline Length: 8.85m
Beam: 5.35m
Draught: 0.67 / 1.15m
Upwind sail area: 44sqm
Builder: amateurs
Designer: Lewis Francis Herreshoff
First built: 1952
Length overall: 8.23 m
Load Waterline Length: 7,33m
Beam: 4.71m
Draught: 0.20m / 0.93m
Upwind sail area: 23sqm
François Chevalier is a naval architect, author, journalist,
illustrator, and university lecturer based in Paris, France. With Jacques Taglang, he has
worked on the history of the America's Cup and also on American and English yachts in
the nineteenth century. He is an alumnus of the Westlawn Institute of Marine
Technology and of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA) Paris.
Visit François Chevalier's blog with Jacques Taglang at:
1...,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,...36
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