Hull No: NA

1885 Rowboat

Length Over All: 12'
Beam: 3' 9"

GEM was Katherine Kilton Herreshoff’s fifteenth birthday present from her father, John Brown Herreshoff. GEM is of unusually light construction and fine craftsmanship. Built in 1885, she is the second oldest surviving Herreshoff boat after SPRITE. 


Katherine (Katie) Herreshoff accompanied her blind father around the yard and on business trips, and became thoroughly familiar with the workings of the company and its products. She became an ardent and skilled photographer who took scores of pictures, many from the water while rowing in GEM. Those photographs today are a major part of the Herreshoff story.


GEM has three rowing positions, a stern backrest with name carved in Old English letters, a boat hook, oars and oarlocks, and rudder with yoke. Katherine kept the rowboat for nearly 70 years, until her death in 1954. Her two daughters then cared for the boat, with Louise bequeathing it to the museum in 1986. GEM is essentially in original condition, having been cared for by a single family for over a century.

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