Unnamed COLUMBIA dinghy

Hull No:

ca. 1915

Length Over All: 13′ 2″
Beam: 4′ 3″

This is a perfect example of HMCo.’s iconic yacht tenders, furnished as standard equipment for each large yacht built by the company from 1899 onward.


Captain Nat’s son L. Francis Herreshoff wrote of the COLUMBIA dinghies in his biography of Captain Nat, “The Wizard of Bristol” :


“… While [the Coquina] model was generally well liked, my father saw that it could be much improved for towing, so soon after 1900 he brought out a model which we in the rowboat shop used to call the Columbia Lifeboat model. The first of these was the racing boat on the deck of the cup boat Columbia … and a very great many similar ones were built. Perhaps my father modeled ten row-boats of varying proportions after the Columbia Lifeboat model, but he never departed radically from this shape. This is the best model for a tender I have ever seen. They row well, sail well, are good dry sea boats, and will tow through anything. From that time on, what with the advent of the outboard motor, the small yacht tender has gone backward, so that many today do not even know what a good tender is like…”


Between 1920 and 1940 most HMCo. dinghies were built by Charles Sylvester, who began working at the shop in 1912 at the age of 16. “Charlie” Sylvester’s work is evident in the beautiful craftsmanship of many of the dinghies on display at HMM today.


This COLUMBIA dinghy was donated to HMM in 1977 by Mr. John Ferry and refurbished for display in 2002.

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