WestlawnMasthead27_Sept2013H.pub - page 9

The Masthead
A Brief History of Sailing Multihulls
The World
printed a column, which said in part:
The catamaran
, constructed by Mr. Herreshoff, of Providence
fairly flew along the Long Island shore, passing yacht after yacht as
if they were anchored. As
dashed over the line a winner she
was saluted by guns from the yachts that were lying at anchor, and the
excursion steamers screeched their loudest in honor of her victory.
The World
also printed an editorial about the boat:
A Revolutionary Yacht
Nobody protested against entering her for the race yesterday, for the
reason probably that everybody expected to beat her, but everybody seems to have objected to being beaten by
her. It behooves the owners of the large schooners, however, to take counsel together lest somebody should
build an
a hundred feet long and convert their crafts into useless lumber. It is a matter quite as impor-
tant as keeping the America's Cup.
The previous discussion of Pacific pirogues and the new, small catamarans would have seemed distantly related to the
subject of the America's Cup—even if similarities and influences can be found between the different concepts of sails and
hulls of the early Pacific multihulls—however, the question regarding the future of America's Cup was raised on the first
day that an American catamaran was raced. It was 112 years later that Dennis Conner defended the America's Cup with a
catamaran in 1988.
The lines and sailplan of the
John Gilpin
(1877) were first published in
1870-1887 American and British Yacht Designs
(François Chevalier & Jacques Taglang, 1991). The drawings emphasize the elaborate and subtle design of Herreshoff
catamarans. Besides the two narrow hulls, the complex assembly with spherical joints and tensioners made the yacht an
expensive purchase.
It is interesting to delve into the designer's thinking, and to stop at step (4), where the centerline keel was raised in effect
above water: Mr. Herreshoff's "ill-shaped hulls." In 1898, twenty-three years after the launch of the
, Canadian
designer George Herrick Duggan
sought to reduce the wetted surface
of his one-tonner to defend the Royal
St. Lawrence Yacht Club's tenure of
the Seawanhaka Cup. The rating rule
only took into account the load wa-
terline length. With their extremely
long overhangs, powered up yachts
would heel and in effect increase
their sailing waterline length. To
benefit from this, the deck would
look increasingly rectangular from
Duggan created a dou-
ble-hull by raising the centerline
keel. With wetted surface reduced
Sept. 2013 Page 9
John Gilpin
Designer: Nathanael Greene Herreshoff
Builder: Herreshoff Manufacturing Company
Introduced: 1877 (four built)
Length: 9.75m
Load Waterline Length: 9.37m
Draught: 0.50m / 1.26m
Displacement: 1.5T
Upwind sail area: 85sqm
One-tonner (Seawanhaka Cup)
Designer: George Herrick Duggan
Launched: 1898
length: 10.83m
Load Waterline Length: 5.28m
Beam: 2.31m
Draught: 0.28m / 1.70m
Upwind sail area: 45sqm
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