Biscayne Bay 14 by N.G. Herreshoff
Draft:1' - 3'
Sail Area:122.00 sq ft
Whether designed as an AMERICA’s Cup defender or the tender for it, each of N.G. Herreshoff’s yachts was very carefully thought through, and then critically examined. The comparatively simple skiff presented here is no exception. After studying the fleet of these for their first season, Herreshoff commented, “They have proved a great success, being safe, fast, and able, and they handle beautifully.” A dozen of these skiffs were built in 1925 for the Adirondack School, which had a station at Coconut Grove.
Originally intended fin. the shoal Florida waters for which the design is named, this 14-footer is offered in two versions: a shallow-draft, keel-and-centerboard combination, or a deep-draft fixed iron keel. The second version is the easier of the two to build, and better to windward, but the original model will float in a mere foot of water, and, of course, be handier to trailer. In addition to the keel options there are some interesting construction fea-tures that put this boat a cut above anything like it—but still within reach of the skills of an amateur builder.
The Herreshoffs were noted for strong construction using light scantlings. The Biscayne Bay boat has a double-chivied hull planked with solid wood and tim-bered with steam-bent half-frames (that is, the frames stop short of the keel where they connect with floor tim-bers). This knuckled hull looks better than a single-chined, V-bottomed hull of plywood construction, and behaves more like a round-bottomed boat when heeled.
Beneath the foredeck is a watertight compartment: side decks and cockpit sole accommodate the crew. So there are no scats or hatches to build, and the boat has reserve buoyancy in the unlikely event of a capsize. The rudder profile is unusual, but its construction is not—this shape increases directional stability without exceed-ing the boat’s minimum draft. Because the Herreshoffs preferred to custom cast much of the hardware for their yachts, drawings are sup-plied for this boat’s original fittings—if the builder is so inclined to make or obtain castings. Alternatively, stock hardware can be substituted, as indicated in the plans.
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