Hull No: HMCo. #880

1922 Watch Hill 15

Length Over All: 24′ 6″
Length Water Line: 15′ 0″
Draft: 2′ 3″
Beam: 6′ 9″
Rig: Marconi sloop

1st Watch Hill 15 footer. Trial Dec 18 1922. [Inscribed in pencil on verso by Nathanael G. Herreshoff.]

A good boat is a good boat no matter how old its design, and the sailors of Watch Hill understood this in 1922.


Except for their sail plan, the Watch Hill 15s are very much like the Buzzards Bay 15s… The Marconi rig was widely accepted after about 1920 as being more aerodynamically efficient to windward than the gaff rig. It was also somewhat simpler to use, since the mainsail could be hoisted and lowered with only a single halyard. Because there was no gaff and no throat halyard, the building cost for the Watch Hill boats must have been a little less than for the standard 15-footers. In any event, the new boats were given pointed coamings as well as pointed sails, and were delivered to the Watch Hill Yacht Club for the 1923 season. There were eleven boats, all identical and all using the #503-class molds of 1899.


The Watch Hill Yacht Club came to the same realization again in the mid-1960s when they sponsored more new boats of the same hull design, this time in fiberglass, and with even taller and more modern rigs. The class today, now made up mostly of these new boats, is still active. But going strong as well, although no longer a part of the racing fleet, are a number of the original boats.


Today, thanks go ongoing sponsorship by the Watch Hill Yacht Club, JOSEPHINE serves as a perfectly appointed and immaculately preserved ambassador for the Herreshoff legacy – on display at the T.F. Green International Airport in Warwick, RI!



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