Friday, February 15, 2019
Herreshoff yacht, Reliance
This sloop- is it a sloop?- was America's entry for the America's Cup in 1903. The design made use of a loophole in the rules, that when heeled over, due to the bow and stern overhangs the waterline length greatly increased from 89 feet 8 inches at dock (just meeting the 90 foot limit) to about 130. Someone once explained to me why this is so, but an increase in hull length means an increase in the speed of a boat. I didn't understand it then and still don't really.
The hull was light as could be, 3/16" bronze plates over a light steel frame. The deck was 1/4" aluminum plate. The 19 foot deep keel was where the weight was, it was filled with 100 tons of lead.
Due to a 199 foot mast and long bowsprit and boom (totalling the overall boat length at 200 feet) there was 16,000 sq feet of canvas to propel the boat. It was the first yacht to have winches for the sails below deck. Despite the powered winches, there were still 64 crew members. To save weight the boat was completely unfinished below decks. The boat soundly defeated the English challenger Shamrock III in all three races.
The boat was sold for scrap 10 years later.
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What a wonderful yacht! Not-with-standing that we here in New Zealand are, not for the first time, the current holders of the Americas Cup how much I would like to see it raced for by boats built to one of these fabulous early specifications...
Thanks for your comment, I agree, the specs of that class of boat are still unbelievable. I also couldn't imagine the cost of building something like that today.
This is a FAMOUS and fantastic yacht. Probably the peak of this style. I'm a sailor myself and have studied this yacht before. There are some beautiful photos of it on the web. And they've built a 1/6th scale model of her: https://therelianceproject.com/
Thanks for the link, I'd love to see that model, despite the scaling it would still be an impressive craft.
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