STANDARD HERRESHOFF "S"CLASS SLOOP
Length over all 27 1/2 ft.
Length waterline 20 1/2 ft.
Beam 7 ft. 2 in.
Draft 4 ft. 9 in.
Displacement 6750 lbs.
Ballast: lead 3350 lbs.
WHO WE ARE; WHERE WE SAIL; WHEN WE RACE
The "S"-Class Boat is a displacement boat that is quick in light air, stiff in a breeze, and
remarkably agile in response to her helm. She is powered by a five-eighths rig consisting of a
self-tending jib, a main, and a spinnaker. The cockpit provides unusually ample working space
for a one-design racer; it is moderately deep, comfortable, and relatively dry. The cabin
provides shelter from foul weather, storage and space for a portable head if desired. Most
were produced between 1919 and 1941 by the world famous Herreshoff Manufacturing
Company in Bristol, Rhode Island; designed and supervised by "Captain Nat" Herreshoff - the
Wizard of Bristol.
Legend has it that the Herreshoff Standard S boat was the first one-design marconi
type rig in the world. She sports a tapered, hollow, prebended 42-foot white spruce mast that
has a 5/8ths rig and running backstays to lower the center of gravity (to afford the height of
more sail area). Her overhanging boom again maximizes the amount of area she can carry
aloft. The Standard S also sports a fully eliptical, rockered keel of more than a
ton and a half of ballast with the rockered bouyancy in the white oak rudder and the long leaf
yellow pine just forward of the rudder post. S's have a special flat surfboard design located on
the bottom of the keel that enables the boat to surf at speed.
Our fleet is one of a number of one-design fleets racing under the flag of the Yacht Racing
Association of Long Island Sound. Members of the "S" Class Association sail from Westchester
and nearby Long Island and Connecticut harbors. The fleet currently numbers twelve boats,
many of which have undergone very extensive restoration in the past few years, either by
skilled owners or first-class professional boat builders.
These boats are no accident. They were designed by Nathanial Greene Herreshoff when he
was 71 and a half years old. He was a bright man and he brought together the most
sophisticated trade secrets that yacht design has ever witnessed incorporated in a one-design
craft for "knocking about" or club racing. It can be argued that the S is the fastest if not the
most powerful displacement sail boat of it's waterline length. If form follows function, then the S
in it's original form is an icon in the sailing world for excellence in design.
We race with a mainsail, a self-tending jib, and spinnaker. Under normal Long Island Sound
conditions a total crew of three is more than adequate, but in a fresh breeze four usually do a
smoother and better job of handling the boat in the sometimes tight quarters at the rounding
marks; although it is not uncommon to find as few as two or even as many as five in the
We race in the waters of Long Island Sound between Larchmont to the north, and Hempstead
Harbor to the South. Races begin at 2:25 pm most Sundays from May - October. There are
additional regattas which the S-class participates in, including Larchmont Race Week,
Independence Day regatta and the Larchmont Classic Boat regatta. Additionally, we frequently
have long-distance races and many social events throughout the year.
A (very) few "s" boats are usually available for purchase, and it is our intention to bring as
many of them as possible into our fleet to continue the exciting growth of our class that has
occured during the past several years. If we can assist prospective owners in finding a good
boat, we will be more than happy to do so.
We are a diversified group of wooden boat racing enthusiasts who have found the "S" boat too
appealing to resist. Once you sail in this extraordinary boat, it's very possible you'll feel the
same about it as we do.
Please note: Prints of the S-boat image above can be purchased online at
www.brayprints.com. Custom colors and captions are available.