Wooden Boat Rescue Foundation Listings

Listing : Herreshoff Prudence-- H-23

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Type: Sailboat
Model: Herreshoff Prudence
Rigging: Sloop
Year: 1955
Length: 23'

Price: $0
City: East Haddam, Connecticut
Condition: poor
Draft: 3'
Beam: 8'


Condition Notes by Wade Smith John Gardner Boat Shop:
"Prudence (design #71) was designed by L.Francis in 1937, and her plans appeared in Rudder in 1942. In general terms, the Nat Herreshoff 12 1/2 was scaled up to make the NGH Fish class, and L. Francis' Prudence is based on an enlargement of the Fish. Five years later, he enlarged Prudence half again to make the yawl-rigged H-28 (design #80 1942); this was the subject of the famous 11-part series on backyard building an H-28, including every conceivable detail. Like H-28s, there seem to have been many of these built after the war, by boat shops and backyard builders alike. To highlight Prudence as a "2/3 size H-28" (which made it appealing to home builders), they later even called the design H-23. There are currently (2006) 5 Prudences listed in the WoodenBoat Register of Wooden Boats, and 40 H-28s.

Is it a Herreshoff? Yes. A Nat Herreshoff boat, from the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, denotes the finest of design, craftsmanship, and materials. An L. Francis boat, well he did have some "less-successful" designs; but the thing is they were built all over, so the workmanship and materials can range from equal to HMCo. - like Hodgdon-built boats - down to backyard jobs.

I haven't spent any time comparing this Prudence to the Prudence's plans, other than that she looks to me like a small H-28, but without what became the trademark L. Francis waterline stem profile knuckle. The yellow pine bowsprit with a Jonesport cleat, the portlights, and the 12 1/2-like outboard rudder with a tiller apature in the transom all match the plans. (note WBRF Admin: Fram # and size and all dimensions match).

One of the choices for planking was 3/4" Douglas fir - I believe that's what this boat is.

Again, I haven't performed a survey, but a cursory inspection shows the original fastenings are gone, the bronze used to re-fasten is nearly done, the frames all need to go, and much of the planking is bad. . Deck is gone - you'd probably remove it anyway to completely reframe. There is no transom. Stem, knee and gripe all look bad - red oak? The ballast keel really is the structural keel - later designs like Rozinante, he did away with a wood keel altogether, and the rabbet is cut into the lead. This boat does have a 2" keel, but thin red oak, pierced every 6" with alternating galvanized keel bolts and floor timber bolts - it has to be spent just from iron sickness.

Bottom line: this is a McCleve, Philbrick, and Giblin -- MP&G style total rebuild - with every piece of wood replaced in situ. Or take the hardware, recycle the ballast, and mast/rigging and build new with lofted plans, etc."

( Notes from WBRF Admin:

Mast, and sails are included as well as all rigging we think. She is in a local barn and ready to go. New owner needs a flatbed trailer to take her away. She has a cradle under her that is not part of the deal, but will be useable for transport and stabilization.)

Bruce Elfstrom
860 873 2169 not after 7pm or before 8am

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