Hull No: NA

ca. 1935 Columbia Lifeboat

Length Over All: 11′ 9″
Beam: 4′ 1″

Because this dinghy would float on bow and stern air chambers even if swamped, HMCo. called it a lifeboat.


BILLOW II and some 200 other rowboats, sailing dinghies, power launches, and lifeboats of varying lengths and freeboards came from the single half model that N.G.H. carved in 1899 for the America’s Cup defender COLUMBIA. Every sizable HMCo. yacht from then on came with one or more of these tenders—but not BILLOW II. William Gilman Low II bought her simply for rowing in Bristol harbor after HMCo. began selling dinghies singly during the 1930s when work was needed. 


The Low family were no strangers to HMCo. yachts and dinghies, having had an 11’6” Columbia sailing dinghy built in 1909 for their early HMCo. S-class sloop PEPITA (ex-DELIGHT), and later having owned one of the New York 30s. BILLOW II remained with the Low family until 1992 – much of the time unused, and kept inside – when daughter Rhoda (Low) Seone donated the dinghy to the Herreshoff Marine Museum.

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