19 juin 2010

Côtre Gloriana (1891)

Côtre Gloriana (1891)

Côtre Gloriana (1891).
7 août 1891.
Négatif sur verre, 25 x 20 cm.
Detroit Publishing Company.
Library of Congress.
Restauration © Carnet-Maritime.com.
Creative Commons License

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Le côtre Gloriana, dessiné par Nathanael Herreshoff, fut une révolution dans l’architecture navale de son époque. Dans sa classe des 46 pieds, il devait tout gagner lors de sa première saison, à la grande surprise des autres grands concepteurs comme Burgess et Fife. Ce côtre s’affranchissait de conventions de design que personne ne remettait plus en question.

États-Unis d'Amérique Gloriana
Type Côtre
États-Unis d’Amérique
United States of America
Nathanael Herreshoff (1848-1938)
Herreshoff Manufacturing Company
Bristol, Rhode Island
Coque/Hull #411
E. D. Morgan
N° - Signal 86152 - K.L.G.H.
Jauge brute TJB
Gross Register Tonnage GRT
Jauge nette TJN
Net Register Tonnage NRT
Longueur hors-tout
Length overall
71’ - 21,65 m
Longueur à la flottaison
Waterline length
45’ 3” - 13,80 m
13’ - 3,95 m
Tirant d’eau
10’ 3” - 3,15 m
Port d’attache
Newport, Rhode Island

Démoli en 1910.


The changes in the form of yachts have been so varied and contradictory that it is almost impossible to ascribe them to any sound technical foundation on the accepted principles of naval architecture ; and it would appear that, from the first, builders and even designers have followed very largely their own ideas, influenced by tradition, measurement rules, and local conditions. The leading characteristic of the first yachts was the “cod’s head and mackerel’s tail” form, with blunt bows and fine run, — a model which had no scientific basis and which was entirely wrong. The revolution brought about by George Steers, Scott Russell, and the designers of Mosquito produced a model in every way adapted for speed and for seagoing work, the yachts of the early fifties standing to-day as brilliant marks in the history of yacht designing. It was not long, however, before these models were cast aside, in England for the narrow cutter, and in America for the wide sloop, — flat, unshapely things whose bulging middles made necessary the most extreme form of hollow bow. Such forms were dangerous in smooth water from their lack of stability, and they were far worse in a seaway, the hollow bows lacking buoyancy and going under as soon as the vessel heeled and immersed her full, heavy quarter.

Under the guiding hands of Gary Smith and Burgess, yacht designing was placed upon a new and higher plane and a great revolution was accomplished in form, in both the keel and centre-board types, as shown in Intrepid, Fortuna, Papoose, Babboon, Puritan, Iroquois, Banshee, and Nymph. In all of these and many sister boats the general form, while modified in proportions and details according to size and intended use, possessed the same characteristics as that of the America, being based, like all of Steers’ work, upon thoroughly sound principles of design. In accordance with American ideas the proportion of breadth to length was high, and the proportion of depth to breadth was in some cases low, but taken together the fleet was characterized by seaworthy form and a stanch and strong construction. The general characteristics of these yachts were a liberal amount of displacement disposed according to the wave form theory of John Hyslop ; a fairly full midship section with round bilge (in the keel and the deeper centre-board boats this section being of S form) ; an outside keel into which was built most of the ballast ; and a rather fine bow, with a moderate amount of hollow in the forward water-lines of the wider boats, this hollow decreasing in the narrower yachts. In the British yachts of the same period, owing to the extremely limited breadth, designers had, almost as a matter of course, resorted to a full, convex water-line forward.

While the straight, plumb stem was seen on some of the yachts of the sloop era, the fashion of the day through the seventies was for the “clipper stem,” — a small amount of forward overhang, made up almost entirely of false work, deadwood, and ornamentation, and in no essential particular different in effect from the plumb stem. With the advent of the first cutters the plumb stem, either perfectly straight or with a very slight round, came into fashion in this country, being a distinguishing feature of Mischief, Priscilla, Puritan, Mayflower, Papoose, and their contemporaries, as well as of Genesta and Galatea.

The “clipper stem,” or “fiddle bow,” was generally used on schooner yachts in England ; but the plumb stem was so nearly universal for all cutters that something of a sensation was created when, in 1880, Robert Hewett, an amateur, brought out the 10-tonner Buttercup with a clipper stem, which was soon known as the “Buttercup bow.” In making his radical departure from the conventional cutter lines in designing Thistle, in 1886, Mr. Watson gave her a clipper stem which was more than a mere ornament, actually carrying out the deck line and the upper portion of the stem. Volunteer, designed a little later, had also what was called a clipper stem, but it gave practically no added length on deck. The centre-board cutter Titania, designed by Burgess in 1887, had a plumb stem ; but her classmate Katrina, designed by Gary Smith, in 1888, had the same bow as Thistle.

After the lead of Thistle the clipper stem became common on British cutters, but the Burgess boats were divided between the plumb and the clipper stem, the latter when used being very short and little more than an ornament.

All the new 46-footers designed in the winter of 1890-1891 had this short clipper stem, with a slightly hollow water-line forward and a decided forefoot, though the fore end of the keel was well rockered up.

About the close of the Civil War a small boatshop was started at Bristol, Rhode Island, by John B. Herreshoff, one of a large family of boys and girls, grandchildren of Frederick Herreshoff, a Prussian engineer, who settled in Rhode Island in 1790. A blindness, apparently hereditary, afflicted several members of the family, and when still a young boy John B. Herreshoff by degrees lost his sight. Living on the beautiful waters at the head of Narragansett Bay, he was already a skilful boat sailor, and in spite of his affliction he continued sailing and racing, his younger brother Nathaniel Greene Herreshoff, born in 1848, going with him and acting as lookout. The loss of sight merely served to develop to a most remarkable degree the other senses, and as a young man John Herreshoff was accustomed to work at the bench, making repairs on his boats ; and in time, while his brother was a student of engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he started to model and build yachts as a regular business.

While following the centre-board type, the Herreshoff models were deeper and abler than the New York boats, and of better form throughout ; and they soon became famous between Bristol and Boston. Most of the yachtsmen who have been prominent in recent years in Boston yachting were practically cradled in small sloops and cat-boats modelled and built by John B. Herreshoff at this time. After graduation Nathaniel spent several years with the Corliss Engine Works in Providence, having charge of the erection of the large Corliss engine which was a notable feature of the Centennial Exhibition of 1876. About this time the two brothers became interested in steam, and under the name of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company they turned out the fastest launches of the day and some of the first torpedo-boats, by degrees working into larger steam yachts. Occasionally a small sailing yacht was built to order, and “Na ” Herreshoff always had a yacht for his own use, but the main effort was concentrated on steam craft. In 1887 the Herreshoff catamaran made its appearance in New York Harbor, showing a wonderful speed, and making the type popular for a few years.

In 1883 Mr. Herreshoff built for himself a sturdy little cruising cutter, Consuelo, of 28 feet 6 inches water-line, 8 feet 8 inches breadth, and 5 feet 6 inches draft, with lead keel, rigged as a “cat yawl,” and fitted with many curious contrivances of his own invention. Other small experimental keel boats followed from time to time, until in 1890 he produced two that were notable departures from all existing practice. Both of them were derived from a very close study of Minerva, but she was only the starting-point for Mr. Herreshoff’s original ideas. When the formation of the 46-foot class became a certainty, he submitted to E. D. Morgan, the owner of one of the experimental boats, a design from which was built the noted Gloriana.

To the eye, the most notable feature of this yacht, which jumped at once to the top of the class and held the first place through the season, was the great over-all length and the peculiar forward overhang ; but these details were largely superficial. In the furor created by the press over the “Gloriana bow,” no one took the trouble to study, as it deserved, this most remarkable design.

Gloriana was built to race under the “length-and-sail-area” rule then in general use, with a classification by water-line length, and an allowance of time for measurement by water-line and the square root of the sail area, — conditions which induced a large hull on a short measured water-line, with a large sail plan carried by virtue of breadth, draft, and ballast. With a moderate breadth, 13 feet, and a draft of 10 feet 2 inches, the midship section was of the S form, but with more hollow, giving less area, and consequently less displacement for the dimensions, than in such a yacht as Minerva. The fine fore end of the water-line and the forefoot just beneath it that characterized the yachts of the time were boldly cut away, with several good results. The actual measured length was reduced by several feet, the area of wetted surface was also reduced, and the area of water-line plane was increased in proportion to its length, giving great stability whether upright or heeled.

All the early yachts were built with straight keels, from which the stem rose at almost a right angle, the draft at the fore end of the keel being almost as great as at the after end. This ” forefoot,” as it was called, was considered essential at first, but by degrees it was cut away. It was in evidence in a degree in Genesta and Galatea, but in Thistle and Minerva it was inconspicuous, the outline approaching a triangle rather than a rectangle. Mr. Herreshoff decided that this suppression of the forefoot, and the fine wedge-like end of the water-line, could be carried to a much greater extreme with a marked advantage in reducing the measured length, and no disadvantage in the blunter form of entrance, provided the work was skilfully executed. As an accidental feature of this cutting away, rather than as an essential point of design, the forward overhang was for the time of extraordinary length.

Apart from its special features, the whole form of the boat betrayed the skill of which additional evidence has since been given in abundance. All the fore-and-aft lines, the diagonals and dividing lines, were fair and true, with no hollows, following the practice of George Steers ; and the whole form was so moulded that when heeling in smooth water or pitching and scending in a sea, its general character remained unchanged. The different level lines of the bow, below and above water, had approximately the same angle of entrance, in place of being exceedingly fine below, and very full at the deck.

An important factor in Gloriana’s success was her construction. The new Burgess 46-footers, intended to be much lighter in proportion than the 40-footers, proved failures in the matter of construction, being heavy and not over strong, with a single skin of yellow pine, caulked, and steel frames. Gloriana was built after a semi-composite system perfected in the Herreshoff steam yachts years before, with steel frames and planking in two thicknesses, with no caulking, each outer strake being carefully fitted and laid in white lead, making a surface almost without seams. The sail plan was large, measuring 4100 square feet, or 100 feet more than Mischief, of 61 feet water-line ; and it was cleverly planned, while the mechanical points of the rig were care- fully worked out.

From keel to truck Gloriana was a masterpiece of original thought, careful selection of elements, and attention to minute detail ; and the wisdom and perspicacity of both practical yachtsmen and of expert yachting writers was never better exemplified than when they one and all refused to see anything to her but the over-all length and the point of the fore overhang. Just as British yachtsmen forty years before had servilely imitated the hollow bow of the America and the absurd rake of her masts, the yachtsmen of 1892 set to work to increase the speed of their yachts by means of added length on deck and long pointed bows, overlooking the true essentials.

So far from being exhausted by the production of Gloriana, the busy brain of her designer was at work through the summer following ; and in the fall of 1891 he launched a small experimental yacht for his own use. Dilemma, as she was aptly named, was practically a wide canoe with long overhangs, her length over all being 38 feet on a water-line of but 26 feet ; her breadth was 7 feet, and the draft of the hull a little over a foot. On these dimensions it was possible to obtain the same long, easy lines that characterized Gloriana.

The most remarkable feature, however, was the keel, — a rectangular plate of steel, to the lower edge of which were bolted the two halves of a cigar-shaped bulb of lead weighing two tons. This “fin keel,” as it was called, was secured to the oak keel of the boat by means of two angle irons and bolts. This new craft carried to a much greater extreme one of the essential features of Gloriana, — breadth as an element of power, depth as another element of power in the length of lever through which the lead keel acted, and with these a small area of midship section. The little craft showed exceptional speed on trial, and from her sprang yachts of all sizes, cruisers and racers, whose number it would be impossible to estimate.

The advent of Gloriana created as great an excitement as that of Puritan, and her influence on design was ultimately as widespread, affecting both sides of the Atlantic. Before the season’s racing was well under way Mr. Burgess was attacked by typhoid fever, the result of continued application to his profession, and he died on July 12, at the age of forty-three. Through his illness he was spared the knowledge of the failure of his new boats, and the advent of Mr. Herreshoff in the field of sailing yachts.

In 1892 a new Herreshoff 46-footer, Wasp, was launched for Archibald Rogers, former owner of Bedouin, with Captain Charles Barr in command. She was larger and more powerful, with some changes of form, but the same essentials ; carefully designed to the limit of existing rules, she not only won in her first seasons, but held a prominent place in racing for a number of years.

In the fall of the same year an order was placed with the Herreshoffs for Navahoe, a steel racing cutter of 84 feet water-line, by Royal Phelps Carroll. Following the general plan of Gloriana, the fore-and-aft lines were carried out into long overhangs, the length on deck being 123 feet, with a breadth of 23 feet 6 inches and a draft of a little over 12 feet. The hull was of steel, with a steel trunk for the centre-board, and the ballast was all cast in the keel trough. After the first trials of the yacht in the early spring, she was placed on a dry-dock at Providence, and at a heavy expense to her owner this lead was cut out and transferred to the outside of the keel, increasing the draft by over a foot. Later in the season she crossed the Atlantic and raced against the new Britannia, Valkyrie II, Satania, and Calluna with rather poor success.

STEPHEN (W. P.). American Yachting. Londres, The Macmillan Company. Avril 1904.

Vous pouvez achetez un tirage de cette photo à la Galerie du Cabestan : “Cutter Gloriana”.

| 2 commentaires

2 commentaires

Bonjour Laurent,
je découvre ces superbes clichés sur "carnet maritime" et je vois que tu as également tiré une belle épreuve du Côtre Gloriana sur http://navire.net/carnet-intime/2010/07/le-tirage-parfait.html ou encore les essais sur http://navire.net/carnet-intime/2010/07/la-recherche.html
Je note sur la majorité des images que tu ajoutes la mention "Restauration © Carnet-Maritime.com"
Est-ce à dire que tu as accès aux originaux (Library of Congress) argentique ou plus vraisemblablement à des copies (verre, celluloïd ?) et que tu les scannes avant rediffusion ??!

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