The Buzzards Bay 14 is Francis Herreshoff's enlargement of his father's famous 12½ footer. These are waterline lengths, of course. The 12½ footer, also known as the Buzzards Bay Boy's Boat, the Buliseye, and the Dough Dish, was an extremely popular, able, and handsome small daysailer built by the dozens at the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company in Bristol, Rhode Island, to the design and under the supervision of Nathanael Greene Herreshoff.
Llewellyn Howland, a great admirer of the Herreshoffs, father and son, and the man responsible for the creation of the Concordia yawl, wanted a slightly larger version of the 12½ footer for daysailing on his beloved Buzzards Bay. This design was the result with a waterline length of 14 feet and LOA of 17’3”. It distinguishes itself from the smaller 12½ by a cabin in the front that can comfortably store anchor, sail covers and gear. The full keel gives it astounding stability and agility.
The Buzzards Bay 14 is amazingly able in rough water. It was designed to cope with the hard sou'westers of the typical summer afternoon on Buzzards Bay and with the steep, cresting chop that inevitably results, especially when the tide is ebbing. The Buzzards Bay 14 sails comfortably under such conditions with six people aboard and full sail set. This is a true little yacht.
Galateia was built at Marblehead, Massachusetts by Graves Yacht Yard, a well-known yard that also built the 12-meter Nefertiti. She is a Buzzards Bay 14, design number 86 of the famous L Francis Herreshoff (who lived in Marblehead not far from the yard), penned in 1945 as a stretched-out version of his father’s famous 12½.
She was built in 1982-1983 just after the yard was sold by James Graves, the third and last generation of his family to run it. The new owner had ambitious plans and began a wooden boatbuilding school run by the former head carpenter at Crocker’s, another well-known wooden-boat yard in Manchester, Massachusetts. They selected the Buzzards Bay 14 as the students’ standard construction project. Galateia was the first of these boats, and was built mostly by the head man as the school had very few students. They changed a few structural details from those specified by Herreshoff. You will note that Galateia has a plank keel whereas Herreshoff called for the garboard strake to be rabbeted into the lead keel with no plank keel on top.
As it turns out, Galateia was the only Buzzards Bay 14 the yard would build, as the owner’s plans proved over-ambitious and he quickly went bankrupt. Apparently, he did so owing James Graves money, and James got Galateia as part of the settlement.
She was bought in 1992 from James Graves by Craig Stephens, who used to sail Galateia on evenings and weekends, mostly in Marblehead harbor. On a sail from Salem to Marblehead in a strong Northwestern, he discovered that Galateia takes good care of her people even when they screw up: In a moment of inattention, Galateia jibed all standing, and as she rolled down water poured in over the coaming to about 6 inches over the floorboards. Fortunately, she has plenty of reserve buoyancy and is exceptionally able for an open boat. The Binnington’s bought Galateia from the Stephen’s in 2000 and trailered her down from Maine to Bellport Long Island. Tim Binnington sailed her in Bellport and Patchoque Bays off Long Island. He sailed with his kids and in later years his grandchildren who all have honed their sailing skills, learned many sea chanties and have experienced the thrill of sailing the shoal waters of the Great South Bay.
He sold the boat to fund the acquisition of a larger boat that would allow him and his growing family (wife, two grown children and five grandchildren) to sail together and on longer trips.
I acquired her in 2013 for sailing in Coecles Harbor and around Shelter Island. I needed a boat that I could get ready sailing in 15 minutes or less and in all kinds of weather. My wife prefers a lighter breeze and a gentle evening sail with a glass of wine. Galateia is plenty fast, even in light winds, to be able to pull a tender for going ashore in the adjoining nature preserve. My son prefers strong winds, and Galateia handles comfortably in a summer squall. She can easily be handled by one person, and my son, then in his early teens, learned on Galateia the command of a boat. It’s a perfect boat on which to let a young teenager out for first time by himself or with friends. It’s a boat you can trust.
I now have moved to Florida and wary that Galateia will not do well in the tropical climate. Also, my family is growing and we find ourselves spending more time sailing the coast of Florida and the Caribbean on larger sailing boats. Galateia deserves to be sailed, teach a new generation of sailors and provide fun to family that enjoys a day sail in all kinds of weather.
Galateia is an extremely handsome boat. She was named after a greek goddess. Her name means "the goddess of calm seas" from galênê and theia or "milky-white" from galaktos. Galateia was one of the Nereides, the fifty goddess-nymphs of the sea. She frequented the coast of Sicily where she attracted the attention of the Cyclops Polyphemos. The giant wooed her with tunes from his rustic pipes, and offerings of cheese, milk, and wild fruit. The nymph, however, spurned his advances and consorted instead with a handsome Sicilian youth named Akis. When Polyphemos learned of this, he fell into a jealous rage and crushed the boy beneath a rock. Galateia was grief-stricken and transformed Akis into a stream. Galateia is the patron saint of sailors.
Galateia is frequently depicted in ancient art as a beautiful woman riding side-saddle on the back of a sea monster or fish-tailed god. Her name now graces the back the boat, written out in Greek letters.
*Custom Delrin Bearing Blocks by: J.M.Reinerand Son of Mane*
*Custom Sails by: Nathaniel S.Wilson of Maine*
*Custom made extended bright finished Ash wood Tiller*
*Custom Triad Road Trailer by: Triad Trailers Ltd. New Milford CT*
*Custom Canvas: Tan sail covers, cockpit seat cushions, sail bags*