Hull No: #402

1887 Catyawl

Length Over All: 35' 3"
Length Water Line: 28' 6"
Draft: 5' 5"
Beam: 9' 10"
Rig: catyawl

Clara. [Inscription on verso by Nathanael G. Herreshoff. The photo shows NGH and his wife Clara onboard the family cat-yawl Clara. Clara is carrying the novel batten sail which was exchanged against a more conventional gaff sail on August 25, 1890.]

Cruising boats were never Nathanael Herreshoff’s primary focus, but when newly married, he owned two in succession, both narrow and deep cat-yawls: CLARA (named for his wife) and before that CONSUELO (named for we know not whom). Despite her huge bat-wing mainsail, N.G.H. sailed CLARA alone at times, later admitting he preferred the smaller CONSUELO with her gaff rig, which was easier to handle. Eight years was enough of sailboat cruising, and after he invented the svelte and slippery fin-keelers in 1891, beginning with DILEMMA (HMCo. #412) he owned a succession of them. For cruising later on as a family man, he turned to steam yachts, mostly ROAMER (HMCo. #215), the 95-footer laid out specifically for him and his wife and their six children—and, of course, the paid crew.

More in the Hall of Boats