About These Classic Boats
Few boats can stir the imagination as completely as the classics from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The racing yachts of this formative period have not only great power in their enormous sail area, but a grace and style of hull that has never been equalled. The finest yacht designers in the world strove to win the America’s Cup, and their names have become legendary: Nathanael Herreshoff, Starling Burgess, Olin Stephens, William Fife, Charles Nicholson and others. These supremely functional boats were also works of art, a creative marriage of form and line, of wood and cloth and metal, of great craftsmanship. If we widen the word “classic” to encompass other boats of enduring value, we find elegant cruising boats, some many decades old and some modern; magnificent traditional boats like the schooners and pilot cutters; and even humble workboats that were designed to face the harsh rigors of the sea and coastline, and yet were imbued with a timeless beauty. They inspire and appeal on many levels: the light on the wood and water; the skills of their boatbuilders, riggers, sailmakers, and sailors; their histories and stories. Yet many were abandoned when fiberglass and plastics revolutionized boat construction in the 1970s. Since those days, a new appreciation of these boats, their history, and craftsmanship has attracted enough interest that each year there are a few new painstaking restorations, each summer a few new launchings, a few more opportunities to enjoy the sight of these classically beautiful crafts. Let them stir your imagination.
About the Photographer
Kathy Mansfield comes from Massachusetts and lives with her husband in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, near the River Thames. After a career on the sales and marketing side of academic publishing, she returned to her interest in traditional and classic boats, writing and photographing for magazines such as WoodenBoat and Cruising World in the United States, Water Craft magazine, and numerous others in the U.K. and France. Her photography has also been used as book and magazine covers, in exhibitions, and on posters.