The Nantucket Alerions are 26-foot cold molded sloops that are largely based upon the 1913 design of Nathaniel Herreshoff's personal boat called "Alerion". His design was modified by Club member Alfie Sanford, who founded Sanford Boat works and from 1977 to 1983 built 22 of these beautiful and iconic Nantucket sailing craft on Nantucket. Since then construction of hulls has continued under license from Sanford Boat Works. The Nantucket Alerion Fleet Association represents a vast majority of the current owners of the over 20 Alerions currently on island.
The Nantucket Alerion with its keel/centerboard design is an ideal boat for Nantucket waters capable of navigating our harbor's shallows all the way to Wauwinet, but at the same time easily capable of an exhilarating offshore sail on Nantucket Sound.
Herreshoff 12 1/2
The first H 12½ footer boats were built in 1914 by Herreshoff Mfg. Co, of Bristol, RI, from the original design of Nathanael G. Herreshoff. In 1914, the 15 footers had grown into a sizable class, but were found to be a bit too much to handle by youngsters. Emmons and a group of friends approached Mr. Herreshoff to create a smaller boat suitable for their children to sail, especially in challenging Buzzards Bay wind and sea conditions and to become familiar with the characteristics of the type of larger sailboats to which they might graduate later on. The resultant boat was the Herreshoff 12½ footer, and our great class was born. It is unlikely that in 1914 or 1915 the genius of Nathanael G. Herreshoff or the inspiration of Mr. Emmons could have foretold the unique popularity and longevity of the design we have now seen for more than 100 years. As was his custom, Mr. Herreshoff designed the 12½ by making a half model of the hull and then recorded measured offsets from the model. The offsets were used to build a series of skeletal mold frames in the building shop, and the framing and planking of the hull were then formed on and around the skeleton. The hulls were thus fashioned in an upside-down position, then removed from the mold frames, turned right-side up on their keels and completed. The mold frames were re-used to build successive hulls with the same controlled procedure, assuring the desired uniformity from boat to boat. No lines drawings or construction plans were necessary. Mr. Herreshoff would specify, in detail, the sizes and types of all the materials to be used, and the workmen assigned to the job would repeat their process in each stage of construction under Mr. Herreshoff’s supervision, right down to all the special hardware, designed by Captain Nat and cast in the shop foundry. Today, H Class boats can be found all over the United States, as well as Canada (Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Vancouver), Europe (England, France, and Norway), New Zealand, Bermuda, St. Barth’s, and Saudi Arabia.
The Indian has a long history on Nantucket. An Alden centerboard knockabout with an interesting underwater configuration is the Nantucket One-Design, Number 398. Designed for use not only on Nantucket Sound but also at Kennebunkport, Maine, Number 398 was a development of the earlier Number 135, called the Jamestown Class, and Number 148, the first Indian class. Indeed, the Nantucket boats were also called Indians. Number 148, in turn, was a refinement of the round-bottomed dory type of daysailer. The Nantucket One-Design was conceived by Buell P. Mills and other members of the Nantucket Yacht Club. Mills, who was then rear commodore of the club, presented Alden with the basic requirements, and between them they worked out the specifications. Most of the boats were built by George L. Chassion of Swampscott, Massachusetts, between 1929 and 1931.
- From the ITCH Report
Born in the halcyon days post WWII, the Rhodes 19 evolved during the next fifty years in response to advancing technology. Adaptability has enabled the boat and its class organization to enter the twenty-first century as a successful, exciting one-design sailing racer, day boat and cruiser, supported by a strong national following. available with centerboard or keel, Rhodes 19s have provided countless hours of enjoyment to thousands of owners, charterers and novice sailors, in and out of structured programs. This all-purpose one-design boat has proved an ideal platform for national championships, the sears cup, the Adams cup the Mallory cup, the Prince of Wales match races and their elimination series.
Marshall Cat 15
The Sandpiper (Marshall 15) is a scaled down version of the Sanderling (Marshall 18). She is the Club's newest fleet and its most rapidly growing. Since her introduction to the Club's racing program in 2013 the fleet has grown from three to an anticipated seven this current season.
The Marshall 15 was designed for ease of handling and dependability. With an optional hinged mast, lifting bridle and pad eyes, she is relatively easy to launch and take out at the club hoist. There is a Sandpiper Class Association and in 2012 she was made a one-design class member of US Sailing. Racing fleets are established in Florida, New Jersey and New England.
The first boat was built in 1972. Hull #1 is still owned by Geoff Marshall and was sailed competitively in the nationals the past two years. As an introduction of the fleet 12 boats were then built for an invitational regatta with, among others, Ted Turner, Gary Jobson, Robbie Doyle participating.
The Sandpiper fills a niche for club sailors that want to race in an easy to sail boat that at the same time is relatively dry and capable in the varying wind conditions of Nantucket Harbor. With her shallow draft, and ease of rigging she is a wonderful family boat and ideal for a picnic on Coatue.
Marshall Cat 18
Catboats have had a long history sailing out of Cape Cod and the Islands dating back to the Late 1800's. Designed originally of wood, they were relied upon as spacious workboats to withstand strong winds, variable shoals and tides. In the early 1960's, Breck Marshall introduced the Sanderling, an 18 ‘, shoal draft, fiberglass interpretation of the best original catboat designs. He developed a simple and dependable family sailing vessel popular for those who enjoy day sailing, cruising or racing.
The Sanderling is perfect for the waters of Nantucket as its simplicity, large cockpit and shoal draft make it the perfect cruising and one design racing class. Ease of handling in most weather conditions, low maintenance and classic beauty appeal to cruisers and racers of all ages and abilities. The consistently popular Sanderling One Design Class has been racing Saturdays actively for over 20 years at the Nantucket Yacht Club as it is ideally suited to our harbor and the comradery of our Club!