RI artist making designs for classic America’s Cup yachts, rankling original builder’s family

By Eric Tucker, AP
Saturday, February 6, 2010

RI artist making prints of classic American yachts

NEWPORT, R.I. — A Rhode Island artist and licensed captain is making original drawings of some of the classic America’s Cup yachts.

Will Sofrin is taking design data owned by a museum at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and using it to create mathematically accurate drawings of yachts designed by Nathanael Herreshoff.

Herreshoff was perhaps the world’s best boat builder at the turn of the 20th century, designing yachts that dominated the America’s Cup.

But he generally designed boats with model hulls shaped from blocks of wood instead of first creating lines plans — architectural drawings that reveal the shape of the hull.

Sofrin is making lines plans for two dozen Herreshoff yacht designs. He’s giving the originals to MIT and is selling copies.

The 33rd edition of the America’s Cup starts Monday.

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