Model Yachting by Full-Scale Designers

The Herreshoffs

Both Nathanael and Francis Herreshoff were avid model yachtsmen. Francis sailed in competition in both Central Park, New York, and Redd's Pond in Marblehead, and established the "450" class that preceded the famous M Class.

Nathanael invented the vane steering gear, and sailed models to the end of his life. The picture below shows him and Commodore R. M. Monroe skiff sailing a Herreshoff model at Coconut Grove, Florida, in 1925 or 1926. It's pretty hard to see, but the model is carrying Herreshoff's vane gear. A closeup is in the page on free-sailing model yachts.

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Photograph Copyright The Herreshoff Marine Museum. Used by Permission.

Here is a close-up of the model. It is not known whether the model was designed to any particular class. The arrangement of the spars is of interest. Although not visible on the scan, the model had a high aspect ratio "dagger" rudder to complement the vane steering gear.

Photograph Copyright The Herreshoff Marine Museum. Used by Permission.

Another full-scale designer active in model yachting was Norman Skene, author of the classic Elements of Yacht Design. Early editions of that book had a chapter on model yachting and a discussion of rating rules. The plans below are for a 22" LOA model designed by Skene, and were published in 1930.