Velsheda 1933


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Velsheda 1933 Expand

Velsheda wooden hand crafted half model. Order on line, worldwide delivery.

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Hand-crafted plank-on-frame wood hull with blue topsides, white cove stripe, red and white boot stripe. Varnished stained wood hull.Display with intricate deck details such as deckhouse, hatches, winches, vents, steering wheel.

Hull size: 60cm. Board size: 75cm X 20cm

Half Hull SizeMedium (75cm X 20cm)
Size75 cm L x 20 cm Hgh

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Velsheda 1933

Velsheda 1933

With over 2000 hulls built, Nathanael Greene Herreshoff’s 1914 design for a “Buzzards Bay Boys Boat” – the Herreshoff 12 ½ – has been in production for 113 years and is likely the most popular small yacht ever. Versions include a fiberglass redesign – the Bullseye, from Cape Cod Shipbuilding; exact fiberglass replicas like William Harding’s Doughdish, and Joel White’s Haven 12 ½ – a centerboard design built to sail shallower water. Uncounted copies from custom wooden boat builders also testify to its appeal.


With a 12 ½ foot waterline, the H 12 ½ is16 feet long. Proposed as a children’s training boat, it handled the choppy seas and brisk breezes of Massachusetts’ Buzzards Bay with an easy motion and a comforting sense of security. The design is informed by Captain Nat’s critical, innovative eye and long experience building trophy winning sailing yachts. By 1914 he was in his mid-sixties and drawing some of his best-loved designs – the Buzzards Bay 25s, Newport 29s and his own Alerion. Instead of rule-stretching high speed sleds his pen now drew human sized, sweet-sailing and uncomplicated boats that spoke of his deep appreciation for the arts of sailing and naval design.


Herreshoff gave the H 12 ½ a short ballast keel for stability and a deep, spacious cockpit to carry multiple kids and/or adults. Sold initially with a gaff and later with a Marconi rig, the sail area is small enough to be handily managed by a boy or girl – steel biceps not required. In experienced hands, however, the rig is big enough to slip along with a bit of a bone in her teeth. Adults have been known to downsize from trophy yacht to H 12 ½ just to relish casual sunset sailing into their golden years. It’s ironic that no one alive sailed on Captain Nat’s masterpiece, Reliance – a brilliantly engineered, extreme racer – but thousands have memories of sailing his “children’s” boat.


Particularly popular in Southern New England, H 12 ½ s are found all along North America’s Atlantic coast. In some families they’re handed down through generations, and rarely is one in need of repair not rescued and relaunched. Surprisingly, they have also traveled quite far afield: they sail in Norway, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and many countries far from Bristol, RI. The H 12 ½ truly has a hull shape and history for the ages.

Jeff Silva

Built at Camper & Nicholson Yard at Gosport for W.F. Stephenson, Velsheda was launched in 1933 and christianed of the name of her owner's three daughters: Velma, Sheila and Daphne. Velsheda never sailed in American waters,but only challenged British trophees. In 1933, she was the real star of the season,Winning 20 of the 43 regattas.

Her fame came also from her numerous victories on Sir Thomas Lipton Shamrock V in the competions. After numerous glorious seasons, she languished for years. Velsheda which had been used previously as a houseboat in this time, was returned to sailing form in a highly authentic, though low budget project in the 1980s. Her glory days are back, however, courtesy of a 1997 refit that added a steering cockpit, a second deck-house and carbon fiber spars. Velsheda 56 metres high mast carries 839m2 (9,034ft2) of sail area upwind and her largest spinnaker is 1,010m2 (10,871ft2). Below decks, she has an elaborate period-style interior.

In 1999 the two former cup challengers ended their lonely duels when Velsheda joined them in Antigua for the first real J-class racing since 1937. Oddly, the Js were never conceived as yachts to last through the ages. As the ICAYA maxi yachts of their day, they represented the state-of-the-art in racing craft, designed to be replaced after a season or two. The staggering beauty and elegant low hulls, 160-foot-high masts and their remarkable power under sail have led to the most improbable end of all their rescue and reverence some 60 years hence.


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