Without a closer inspection, it’s hard to say how much of this boat can be saved, but a cursory look at her topside planking and seam battens show them to be okay. Her bottom is probably otherwise. Rusting steel bolts in her frame intersections, backbone, and chines have caused the usual damage, so some of those timbers will need repair or renewal. But the work is straightforward, and the pieces are easily accessed. The boat’s simple construction makes her restoration a possibility for many who’d feel intimidated by a more sophisticated craft.
No prospective buyer as yet has satisfied owner Tucker Reynolds’s criteria: someone who he feels will do the boat justice. Luckily, Little Gull is inside Tucker’s shed—on ice, as it were—so there’s no rush. We believe someone, someday will come along, take the boat under his or her wing, and give her the restoration she needs. Having a boat designed by William Hand and built by Herreshoff makes her unique. What a pedigree! She’s practical as well, having good accommodations, a handsome appearance, and the performance you’d expect from her designer and builder.
As one develops an appreciation of yacht design, one runs into certain designers’ names again and again. The purpose of this article is to introduce 12 important 20th-century designers and to tell just enough about each one to describe the overall arc of his career.