With Spartan's spars and those for the Buzzard's Bay 30s behind us, Andy Giblin and Ed McClave asked us to undertake the construction of a lapstrake dinghy for Spartan as part of her restoration.
In 1899, N.G. Herreshoff designed a 14 ft. lifeboat for the America's Cup defender Columbia. The performance of this boat was so satisfactory that most of the many dinghies subsequently built by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company were variations of this boat's model, altered as Mr. Herreshoff saw fit to suit each boat's particular use. Spartan's dinghy represents one of these variations, with fuller sections and molds spaced closer together to yield a shorter, more burdensome boat with added sheer height for higher freeboard and greater carrying capacity. She would be used to carry crew, sails and gear between Spartan and her tender (a sizable motor yacht), or perhaps to run out a heavy anchor and rode should the situation warrant it. Her short fore and aft decks combined with watertight bulkheads at frames 3 & 19 provide flotation tanks to support the weight of gear aboard in the event of a capsize.
Spartan's dinghy was built using the same methods and materials which the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company used to such good advantage, which should ensure that she has a long and useful life, given proper care and maintenance. Her frames and backbone are of white oak, planking of Atlantic white cedar. Transom, sheer strakes, seats and trim are mahogany from Central America. Fastenings are copper rivets for planks to frames and plank laps, with silicon bronze screws elsewhere as appropriate. Decks are ship-lapped cedar, covered with canvas set in white lead paste. She was built in 2009 by Emery Jackson with supervision and assistance from Bill Mills, to lines drawn by Ed McClave based on the offsets for Columbia's dinghy, HMCo # 499, drawing # 28-16, with changes for the 711 class as noted on HMCo 12 ft. rowboat drawing # 28-33.