Larchmont O Boat

Doug - are you talking about the Alden design? It looks pretty close to Herreshoff’s 12 1/2 if it’s the one you mean. Pretty boat!

There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Kenneth Graeme, Wind in the Willows.

Rob, I’m embarassed to say I don’t know who designed my Dads boat. There may have been several designers in that class. My Dad owned one in the late 40’s. She was 60’LOA drew 7’ and had 9 tons of lead in the keel.He sailed it a long time with no engine…
Her name was “Georgia”-if you ever run across it or another Larchmont O please let me know about it. My(his) hometown was Mystic and he sailed all over up and down the coast…

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

Is that named after the Village of Larchmont in Westchester?

Heh - in any case, it ain’t the day sailer I found, eh? I’lll keep my eyes peeled. A sloop rig? Marconi or gaff?

This is like the boat a friend owned. It was 28’ LOA (or so), gaff-rigged, and if I had to guess designed by Herreshoff or a close variant. Fast, narrow, no engine…named Yare, which is what I’ve named my EC12. It means (sorta) shipshape…

There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Kenneth Graeme, Wind in the Willows.

Rob, it’s a sloop. If you have any old,old copies of Yachting around it was on the cover in June 1951.
Must have been named after Larchmont, LI(?)-but I’m not sure…

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

Interesting boat. Designed to the Universal Rule, so guaranteed to be pretty. Designed by William Gardner, the designer of the famous schooner “Atlantic” as a one-design class for members of the Larchmont, New York, and Manhasset Bay clubs. Rated at 35.63 feet under the Rule, between the official “N” and “P” Classes. Six were built by Wood & McClure of New York, and launched in the Spring of 1917:

“Varuna,” owned by James Ford
“Georgia” , Charles Lane Poor (author of “Men Against the Rule”)
“Celeritas”, H. Kendall Hester
“Mirage”, T.J.S. Flint
“Nimbus” E.P. Alker
“Grey Dawn” Philip Johnson (of Philadelphia).

Class symbol was an “L” inside a circle.

59 ft 10 in LOA, 38 ft 6 in LWL, 7 feet 10 in draft, 12 ft beam. 35,500 lbs. 1700 sq feet sail. Gaff, converted to Marconi by Gardner in 1926.

A one inch to the foot model would be about the size of an EC12 and displace 20.5 lbs. She wouldn’t be able to carry 1700 sq in of sail, so John Black’s trick of multiplying the linear dimension of the sail plan by .9 and then shortening the boom (to increase the aspect ratio and fool the eye into thinking the rig is taller than it really is) would take her down to 1100 square inches, which full-keel boats of that size (such as the 1920’s MYRAA D and R Class) were known to handle. That’s for the Marconi rig. If you left her as a gaffer I think she would be able to handle the 1300 sq in you get by just adjusting the linear measure.

All this data, and the lines plans below, from Edwin Schoettle’s “Sailing Craft,” the definitive work on yachts in the 1920’s. Reprinted a number of times, there are ton of them available on Abebooks ( from seven bucks on up. The book has photos, but unless you spring for the $150 up for the first edition they are too muddy to scan.



Download Attachment: [ lines1.gif]( Boebert/2004218205155_lines1.gif)

Download Attachment: [ lines2.gif]( Boebert/2004218205225_lines2.gif)

Download Attachment: [ gaff.gif]( Boebert/2004218205249_gaff.gif)

Download Attachment: [ marconi.gif]( Boebert/2004218205324_marconi.gif)

Earl -

can you provide a bit of education for us “non-rule type individuals” please? A request for information rather than to try to defend the rule…

Here we have a boat that is nearly 60 feet in actual, overall, length, with a 38 foot waterline, but it rates at 35 feet.

How does that take place (if easy to explain) and why would they rate these to such short waterline lengths. In today’s handicapping, the boat might be considered a dog - but then again, handicappers might look at the increased waterline length when the boat heeled and rate it faster than the 35 feet from back then. In today’s rating/handicapping issues, there is a tendency to rate slower boats shorter and faster boats longer, but never by so many feet.

Any info or help to understand that would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Earl, thanks for the history on my fathers "Georgia! If you ever run across her please let me know–I was but a gleam in his eye when he had that boat. Thanks again!

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

The rating under the Universal Rule was an artificial number that had no direct relationship to the size of the boat. The formula was 0.18 times “L” times the square root of the sail area, divided by the cube root of the displacement. The 0.18 was a “fudge factor” introduced so that the rating of a given boat would roughly correspond to the rating under a couple of earlier rules.

Especially in 1915-16, when these boats were designed, this formula forced a designer to trade off between LWL, sail area, and displacement. Overhangs were controlled by a measurement called the “Quarter Beam Length,” devised by Nat Herreshoff (who know a thing or two about beating rating rules). Basically, “L” was the LWL unless you stretched the ends out too much, in which case you took a big penalty, so the QBL in effect was a limit. Sail area, as in many such rules, was “rated” and not actual area based on mast height, boom length, and fore triangle size. Calculation of QBL is described in

The rule covered sloops, schooners, and yawls.

The rule was originally used to establish time allowances, and then evolved into a series of class rules by requiring that boats rate at the top end of the class range.

It produced uniformly lovely boats in all classes. Boats designed to the Universal Rule were designed to stretch out their sailing length by heeling and settling into the wave their motion produces, a very pretty sight on the water. Actual sailing length on a beat in any kind of wind was 120-130% of the LWL.

Notable classes were R (20 foot rating), see and J (76 foot rating), see



sigh of lust Can you imagine a 60-foot one-design class? Or having the MONEY to buy one? Lovely boat. Thank you, Earl.

There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Kenneth Graeme, Wind in the Willows.

Dick, the Universal rule is much like the rule that governs 12 meter, 6 meter and 8 meter class boats. It is the result of a calculation - not the length of the boat…

For example, 12 meters is just shy of 40 feet. Yet 12 meter boats are around 65 or 70 feet long… So the “12 meter” is not a measurement of length. Rather it is the result of a mathmatical combination of length, displacement, sail area and many other factors…

Hope that helps explain it…

  • Will

Will Gorgen

To both Earl and Will -

thanks for the education. Earl’s explanation about sail area “not” being real sail area- but “rated” area was one part I wasn’t aware of.

Many of the new classes today, seem to have (perhaps) moved away from these rules and ratings - perhaps due to lack of mathematical interest or understanding. I guess today, virtually “anyone” can purchase a software program and they are instantly boat designers (…he said to himself while looking into a mirror) - whereas back then, there were fewer people who really understood the differences and nuances of a “formula” rule.

I look at the Forumula 40 rule of recent past, and the “new” formula 14, 16 and 20 rules of today’s modern beach cats, and they really reflect waterline length and general dimensions - the sail areas are not tied in with any calculations about beam, length or weight. Thus the confusion. Even the old 18 Square cat rules, are still misunderstood, since the relationship is simply a boat 18 feet in length and with 18 square feet of sail area. In this case, it is strictly a definition of sail area - and the rest of the rules further define physical size.

Your explanations of the “old” rating and formulas, now makes more sense compared to “modern” formulas - not that I would step forward as now being an “expert” - but I have been “educated” a bit. Thanks, guys.