Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Friday, May 06, 2005


Originally uploaded by lonniebruner.

"Genius" is an abused term. Most people who are called geniuses can hardly be considered such. With that disclaimer, I'd like to point out someone who really was a genius. His name was Nathanael Herreshoff and he was the designer of the above boat, The Rowdy (1916).

And hey, The Rowdy's for sale on ebay if you've got $975,000.00 to spare.

Here's Nathanael Herreshoff's resume in brief:

1) Designed and built five winning America's Cup yachts ( Vigilant - 1893, Defender - 1895, Columbia - 1899, Columbia - 1901, Reliance - 1903, Resolute - 1920. He sailed them as well, earning a reputation as a most proficient and skilled helmsman. Additionally, he built the winning cup yachts Enterprise - 1930, and Rainbow - 1934 (designed by Starling Burgess). In short, every winning America's Cup Yacht from 1893 to 1934 was built by Herreshoff!

2) Designed well over 2000 craft and produced more than 18,000 drawings. Between 1890 and 1938, the number of yachts he designed that won the Astor Cup, Puritan Cup and Kings Cup outnumbered the winning yachts by all the other yacht designers combined. An almost unbelievable accomplishment!

(3) Built the first torpedo boats for the United States Navy.

(4) Invented the streamline-shaped bulk and fin keels.

(5) Developed the overhangs on sailing yachts to allow longer lines and greater stability.

(6) Developed the first light steam engine and fast torpedo boats.

(7) Developed nearly all of the methods of constructing light wooden hulls.

(8) Invented the crosscut sail with cloths running at right angles to the leech.

(9) Designed more types of steam engines than anyone else.

(10) Developed light hollow steel spars combined with scientific rigging.

(11) Developed the flat stern form of steam yachts capable of being driven at high speed/length ratios.

(12) Designed the first folding propeller.

(13) Designed below deck winches.

(14) Developed the method of splicing rope to wire.

(15) Received the first U.S. Patent on catamaran sailboats.

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