The last schooner
The true connoisseurs of classic and vintage yachts get dreamy eyes whenever the name "Herreshoff" is mentioned. Nathaniel Greene Herreshoff was the most famous and successful yacht designer in the history of the Americas Cup. He built five winning sailing yachts between 1893 and 1920, winning six Cups and revolutionizing the then prevailing design concepts. He put all his bets on huge sail areas which resulted in enormous overhangs on bow and stern. Around 2000 yachts of highest quality were designed and built at the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company of Bristol, R.I., often compared to the Rolls Royce manufacturing establishment. Who would have thought that the schooner production series of "Captain Nat" would culminate in the staysail schooner Mary Rose.
Capt Nat designed and built his last schooner - Mary Rose - at the age of 78. On August 5, 1925, Harold Brooks from Long Island ordered a schooner with a length over deck of 64 ft. When ordering her he had already decided on the name of Mary Rose. Capt. Nat started immediately with the design borrowing some ideas from the sloop Flying Cloud whose lines he had drawn in 1910. Work progressed smoothly so that Mary Rose's white hull could be lowered into the Rhode Island waters in early summer 1926.
Although not successful in the Astor Cup of 1926, it was the annual regatta of the New York Yacht Club which was won by Mary Rose in light winds the following year. Worth mentioning is the victory at the City of Newport Cup in 1930 beating the 12 meter yacht Iris and the J Class Enterprise skippered by Harold Vanderbuilt. Many more prestigious first places should follow.