L. Francis Herreshoff

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Lewis Francis Herreshoff
Born(1890-11-11)November 11, 1890
DiedDecember 1, 1972(1972-12-01) (aged 82)
OccupationShip Designer

L. (Lewis) Francis Herreshoff (November 11, 1890 – December 1972), was a boat designer, naval architect, editor, and author of books and magazine articles.[1]


Herreshoff was born on November 11, 1890, in Bristol, Rhode Island, to Clara Anna DeWolf (1853–1905) and Nathanael Greene Herreshoff (1848–1938).

During his early career, Herreshoff worked for the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, founded by his father and uncle, where he gained valuable experience and knowledge in boat design and construction. The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company was known for producing high-quality yachts and racing sailboats. Later on, Herreshoff also worked for the naval architect Starling Burgess, further honing his skills in the field of naval architecture. In 1926, he went into business for himself in Marblehead, Massachusetts, as a designer of racing and pleasure yachts, canoes, kayaks and other small craft. Herreshoff died December 1972.[2]

In addition to his practical work in boat design, L. Francis Herreshoff also made significant contributions as an editor and author. He wrote numerous books and articles on boat design, sailing, and yacht racing, sharing his expertise and insights with the wider boating community. His writings often incorporated his own design philosophies and ideas.

Herreshoff's designs were characterized by their elegance, practicality, and attention to detail. He had a deep understanding of yacht design principles and a keen eye for aesthetics. Many of his designs are considered classics and are still revered today.

Herreshoff was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2014.[3]

Notable designs[edit]

Herreshoff's designs included:


His books include The Common Sense of Yacht Design, The Compleat Cruiser, Capt. Nat Herreshoff: The Wizard of Bristol, The Writings of L. Francis Herreshoff, Sensible Cruising Designs and An L. Francis Herreshoff Reader. The Common Sense of Yacht Design, published in 1947, became a seminal work in yacht design literature and continues to be highly regarded by both designers and enthusiasts.

He published numerous magazine articles, notably the 'How To Build' series in the magazine The Rudder. Herreshoff's success as an author is especially impressive in one sense; his dyslexia had led his father to shunt him into agricultural school.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "L. Francis Herreshoff Collection". Mystic Seaport. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
  2. ^ Boston Globe, The (December 4, 1972). "L. Francis Herreshoff, Sailing Yacht Designer". Obituaries. Vol. 202, no. 157 (main ed.). p. 35. Retrieved February 19, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ National Sailing Hall of Fame. "Lewis Francis Herreshoff 2014 Inductee". Nshof.org. Retrieved April 11, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: ref duplicates default (link)
  4. ^ Juneau Empire (August 22, 1999). "Whale Baleen Found in Hull of Sunken Sailboat" (AP). Archived from the original on September 8, 2017. Retrieved November 24, 2017 – via Internet Archive.
  5. ^ McArthur, Bruce (2020). "Buzzards Bay 14 sailboat". sailboatdata.com. Archived from the original on 6 October 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  6. ^ McArthur, Bruce (2020). "Prudence (Herreshoff) sailboat". sailboatdata.com. Archived from the original on 19 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  7. ^ McArthur, Bruce (2020). "Rozinante (Herreshoff) sailboat". sailboatdata.com. Archived from the original on 15 June 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  8. ^ McArthur, Bruce (2020). "Stuart Knockabout sailboat". sailboatdata.com. Archived from the original on 25 November 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.