1950'ish Hershoff - WHAT TO DO WITH IT? Need Advice!

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by SMolson, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. SMolson
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    SMolson New Member


    I have a 29' Hershoff that I need to move. It is sitting in our backward in its wooden cradle. It is salvageable, although it requires much work to get it seaworthy. I need to move it because we are in the process of selling the house and property. If anyone has any recommendations please advise. Donate it? Recycle it's wood/components? What do you do with such a boat? It was my father's, who passed away a few years ago. He had it built for him and sailed it around Newfoundland a few times before sailing it up the St. Lawrence. It made it as far as Manotick on the Rideau, where it sat in its cradle for over 30 years, until it was moved to my place in Jasper, ON. Here's some pictures:

    The mast, rigging, keel and propeller are still in my Mother's basement.

    Attached Files:

  2. SeaSpark
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    SeaSpark -



    Seems optimistic, get an expert to look at it in person.
    Although it is hard to say anything sensible from a picture alone , better quality would be nice.
    The distorted sheerline indicates a major operation.

    Apart from destroying the boat donation is your only option, restoring a boat like this is hugely expensive unless you can do almost all of the work yourself.
  3. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Anything can be salvaged. When it becomes cheaper to build a new boat from scratch, a rebuild makes no sense unless the boat is exactly what you would have chosen anyway.
    The boat pictured, if it were only half as expensive to rebuild as to build new, would cost about 75-100k to do over, since a new bpat would be from 150-200k.
    The photos indicate this boat is a poor candidate for rebuilding (compared to many free boats out there in better apparent condition).
    As was just mentioned, a quick survey by a qualified person would refine your expectations.

  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I've seen quite a few boats in this condition and she's done, sorry. It's surely an LFH design, I recognize his stem knuckle, but from the little I can see with the poor quality images, she's baddy hogged and suffering other distortions.

    The hardware may be worth something to someone, but making these types of connections is often difficult. After 30 years on the hard, even in a cradle, she's had as much as she can take. If her design has some significance, possibly an enviable racing record or famous previous owner, she might be valuable enough to warrant a restoration, which would easy out weigh the cost of a new build of the same model.
  5. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    Unfortunately, I think the earlier comments are correct. She is a major restoration project, probably worth it for the right party because of her design and heritage. "Major restoration" typically equates to more time and expense than a newbuild. There is demand for Herreshoff designs among those who both love classic sailboats and can afford restorations. If you can afford several hundred thousand, go for it. If not, some of the folks mentioned in the links Sea Spark posted may be able to find her a home.
  6. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Look at it this way ,--free charcoal for the BBq for years to come.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Omeron
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    Omeron Senior Member

    30 years ago it would make somebody very happy,20 years ago it would be a fun/worthwile restoration project in the right hands, 10 years ago she would be lucky to find that rare person who would have the courage and money to pour into it. Today.... i am afraid, she has very little chance.
  8. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Yes, and how many boats looked shipshape in photos are even real life, but were hopelessly beyond repair when examined closely?
    With wood especially, the surface can look fabulous regardless of rotten deadwood, broken frames, and fasteners long let go.
    But when the surfaces look terrible, it's nearly always too too late.
    Bronze has a lot of value, especially cast and resellable parts like boom fittings, cleats, rudder fittings, tracks, and so forth. Lead has value, sometimes as is, as the basis for a new boat. Wood, though hard to reclaim, also has recycle value. The engine has marginal value, but may sell for parts.

  9. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    S Molson,

    You may want to consider donating the boat to the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, RI.


    IYRS is dedicated to restoring boats of all kinds to sailing condition. Being located in Rhode Island, they are particularly attracted to anything named Herreshoff, which name comes from Bristol, RI. Clark Poston is the instructor there at IYRS, and they use donated boats to teach students from all walks of life how to restore them. Yours might be a perfect candidate.

    On the chance that they don't want it, you can also try the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, run by L. F. Herreshoff's nephew Halsey. Their website is:


    I hope that helps. Good luck.


  10. SMolson
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    SMolson New Member

    Thank you all for the feedback, much appreciated. Sorry for the poor conditions of the photos, a friend who has a little background in boat making, had a look and took the photos on a dark, drizzly day. He, along with my Uncle who sails and restores boats in Newfoundland, both had first hand looks at the vessel and stated her as 'salvageable', but it would take lots of $$ (50K+) and tender loving care. More $$ (100K+) if we hire somebody to restore it. The vast majority of her ribs and planking are rot-free, we only found 4 that needed to be replaced. I've attached another photo, taken 3 years ago before the boat was moved to my property.

    To my knowledge it has no racing history nor is it of any historical significance. I will follow up with the links posted and let you know how I make out.

    If we can't find a home for it we will likely have to call a salvaging service and get them to remove it. Shipping it on a big flat bed truck is likewise going to be a very expensive endeavor.

    Attached Files:

  11. Kay9
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    Kay9 1600T Master

    I dont mean to be mean here to your friend and uncle. But I dont see any planks on that hull that I would want under my feet in a 3' chop let alone a 30' force 8.

    The rule with a wood boat restoration is get the best estimate you can and multiply by 10. Sounds about right in this case 500,000.00 based on your friend and uncle. If they think they can restore it for 50K then sell it to them for 1K and let em have at it. You will be 1K richer and it will be thier problem. Otherwise take the advice of EVERYONE here and scrap her or give her away.

  12. SuperPiper
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    SuperPiper Men With Little Boats . .

    Woodwind Yachts is in Nestleton, ON - about 3 hours west of you. They are a well known restoration yard. Give them a call. Maybe they will have some advice.


  13. Dalliance
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    Dalliance Junior Member

    why don't you advertise for free in wooden boat magazine www.woodenboat.com it will get to the whole country U.S.A. Canada and the world.
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