Place: North America
“Captain Nat” Herreshoff is considered one of America’s most famous yacht designers, having designed the “Dilemma” on display.
Nathanael Greene Herreshoff (1848 – 1938)
“In all important yacht races from 1890 to the time of his death in 1938, Captain Nat Herreshoff’s yachts won more prizes than those of all other yacht designers put together.” – L. Francis Herreshoff, 1974
“Captain Nat” Herreshoff is considered one of America’s most famous yacht designers. His work included boats that successfully defended the America’s Cup six times: Vigilant (1893), Defender (1895), Columbia (1899 and 1901), Reliance (1903), and Resolute (1920). Herreshoff designed a catamaran in 1876 that may be the first modern multihull. He entered Amaryllis in a regatta featuring a variety of boats. Many competitors ridiculed the 25-foot boat until it sailed through the fleet to victory.
Herreshoff also designed boats for his own use, including this first successful fin-keel yacht, Dilemma. The keel features a relatively thin metal plate with most of the weight in the large bulb. Following upon the success of this design, over 100 more fin keel yachts were built. In 1897, many yacht clubs adopted measurement rules that penalized the design in the attempt to make other boats competitive,.
Origin: Bristol, Rhode Island, USA