Hull No: HMCo. #1264

1934 Potter Frostbite B Class Dinghy

Length Over All: 11' 5.75"
Beam: 4' 7.5"

A freshly built Class B Frostbite Dinghy emerged from the Herreshoff Mfg. shop in Bristol on Dec. 3, 1934.
79 years later almost to the day, it returned in the back of a box truck after a 1,700-mile trip from Oklahoma…


Frostbite dinghy racing is not for the faint of heart; after all, who wants to swamp a dinghy in New England in February? Surely, only the most dedicated and competitive sailors! Even so in the early 1930s this mania for dead-of-winter small boat racing swept the East Coast, and soon sent the yachting world into a dinghy design arms race. Rudder Magazine, in an attempt to even the playing field, proposed a competition to select and promote a frostbite one-design. Entries were submitted anonymously, and the winning design announced in the August 1934 issue came from the firm of Potter and Strawbridge, made up of designer Nicholas Potter and yachtsman Bill Strawbridge.


HMCo. almost immediately received an order to build 21 of these for $325 apiece. Presumably the company was glad of the business during these lean Depression years, and they bear a resemblance in their construction to both the HMCo. Tech Dinghies and the Amphicraft of the same period. HMCo. wasn’t the only shop to build these B-class dinghies, however; a number were also built in New York, Connecticut, Florida, Texas and California, and the design proved to be both popular and accessible, as Rudder had intended.


Amazingly, this little frostbite dinghy had been lovingly cared for by the same family for nearly eight decades prior to its donation to HMM in 2013. It was donated by the children of the late Charles Moody in his memory.

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