ANNAPOLIS, Md. – L. Francis Herreshoff, one of the most influential and successful yacht designers of the twentieth century, was recently inducted into the North American Boat Designers Hall of Fame, the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology reported in a release yesterday.
Herreshoff was inducted at the ABYC Annual Meeting in Miami, Fla. L.F. He designed cruising yachts, canoes, kayaks and other small craft. Racing designs included the 1930 America’s Cup J-boat, “Whirlwind,” and innovative R-class sloops “Yankee” and “Live Yankee.” His graceful cruising boats such as the ketches “Bounty,” “Tioga,” the “Araminta,” and the schooner “Joan” are considered the pinnacle of perfection in form and proportion in boat design, according to the release.
Herreshoff, who was also a prolific writer, influenced generations of designers and builders, pioneering the concept of the canting keel, which is now so dominant in ultra-high-speed ocean racers such as those that recently competed in the 2006 Volvo round-the-world race.
Herreshoff worked on design until his death in 1972, at the age of 82. He is the sixth designer inducted into the Hall of Fame. Past recipients include: John Alden, Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, C. Raymond Hunt , Philip L. Rhodes and Olin Stephens.
“Of all the designers in history, L. Francis had the most influence on me personally,” said Dave Gerr, director of Westlawn. “His books, “The Common Sense of Boat Design” and “Sensible Cruising Designs,” sat on my drawing table for almost daily reference. He drew the only U.S. 30-square meter boat, “Oriole.” It was stored next to my boat for a few years, and sighting down her lean, graceful hull would take one’s breath away. It is a particular pleasure to welcome L.F. Herreshoff to the Hall of Fame.”
In addition to honoring Herreshoff, Westlawn also honored Edward S. “Ted” Brewer and Bob Wallstrom with the Norman Nudelman Marine Education Award, in recognition of a lifetime of excellence and achievement in marine education.
Brewer is one of the co-founders of the Yacht Design Institute, and former YDI president Bob Wallstrom recently came aboard as adjunct Westlawn instructors to further enrich the Westlawn faculty. Westlawn also recently acquired the rights to the course material of the former YDI schools.
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