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1974 Buzzards Bay Boats Inc./Vaitses-Custom Herreshoff Ketch

$225,000 USD

  • $225,000 USD
  • R Craig Starns
  • Active
  • Used
  • Cruiser Racer Sailboats
  • 1974
  • Buzzards Bay Boats Inc./Vaitses-Custom
  • Herreshoff Ketch
  • St. Petersburg, Florida, US
  • Sail
  • 53ft / 16.15 m
  • Yanmar
  • Jh-2e4
  • Diesel
  • Fiberglass
  • 2016-07-11
  • 2016-09-02
  • 2280704

SHENANDOAH is a classic L. Francis Herreshoff design custom built in fiberglass by Alan Vaitses at Buzzards Bay Boats Inc. started in 1974 and completed in 1978. She has turned heads in all of the ports she has visited. She combines classic style and class with the convenience of very shoal (3’) draft with boards up and twin diesel /bow thruster maneuverability while retaining excellent sailing characteristics with boards down. She has a cockpit most suitable for entertaining, is light, airy, and comfortable down below; and awaits that unique owner who wishes to experience cruising on a pedigreed yacht. Current owners love their yacht and have actively cruised her since 1995. They are looking for someone to care for and appreciate her like they have. They would consider a trade for a two stateroom maintenance free trawler for their later cruising years.


LOA: 53' LOD 47'
Max Draft: 3'/7'
Ballast: 11,000# Lead External
Displacement: 22,000#


Total Power: 50


Fuel: 100 USG
Fresh Water: 90 USG


IN THE OWNER'S OWN WORDS: "L. Francis Herreshoff wrote The Complete Cruiser, in which he described a shallow draft cruising ketch named "Tranquillo" which at the time resembled a yacht he later designed, the "Golden Ball". He custom designed Shenandoah from the Golden Ball design.

In 1974 a Boston doctor named Harvey Marcellus read the book and called his acquaintance L.F. Herreshoff to ask if he would modify the Golden Ball design as he wanted to sail around the world following the trade routes. He wished to include tandem patent centerboards, the new Hood roller furling main and mizzen masts, twin diesels, 6800# of extra external lead ballast (50% of the yacht's designed weight )-and a slight change in the cabin layout. L.F.H. agreed and they contracted with Alan Vaitses of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts to build the boat of fiberglass and epoxy resin. The 11,000# keel was laid in 1974 and she was launched in 1978. (Alan Vaitses wrote Boatbuilding One-Off in Fiberglass, Lofting, The Fiberglass Boat Repair Manual, Covering Wooden Boats with Fiberglass, and What Shape is She In for marine surveyors) he built many of the keels for the America’s Cup boats.

Mr Vaitses said that he not only built the boat but also had made his own design contributions: the centerboard hinge was his idea, and he designed and poured the 11,000 lbs. keel. The entire keel ballast being external makes her very stiff and safe to beach. To quote L.F.H., "Goldenball" is as self-righting as Captain Slocum's "Spray" or Captain Voss's "Tillicum", and she is." She was launched in 1978 as "Shenandoah." Dr. Marcellus said that the boat was kept in New England for a few years and then was moored in the Abacos until 1989 when the current owner bought her.

The current owners have completely and lovingly rebuilt and upgraded her several times since they bought her. They have really enjoyed the ability to sail to secluded (shallow) places where there is no crowd, to snug in close behind an island or lee shore when it is storming, to go up rivers that for most would be too shallow, to get under 55' bridges that give access to some beautiful rivers, to have the power to head into a strong sea, to survive two fierce storms and a tornado strike very nicely.To be sailed by people over 75 years old and to be able to completely handle the sails and anchor from the safety and comfort of the cockpit is wonderful, but most of all she is a fun, fast, comfortable, and beautiful boat

  • Outboard rudder adds to waterline length and tracking.
  • Centerboards operated by stainless steel cables and bronze winches inside the cabin.
  • Forward centerboard is 8' long, extends 4' below keel and weighs 300#.
  • The fwd. board is used as a normal keel on all points of sail except running. It gives a 7' draft.
  • The mizzen is used to trim the boat and center the rudder.
  • Two centerboard trunks: one in salon and one forward in cockpit.
  • Top covers of centerboard trunks can be openned and boards can be removed from inside yacht.
  • Aft centerboard is 4' long, extends 3' below keel and weighs 200#.
  • The aft board (steering board) is used on all points of sail.
  • These two boards give the yacht the ability to sail relatively close to the wind.

Walk Through

Beginning first forward on deck is the varnished teak bow sprit with stainless steel bow pulpit. Next aft is the windlass and foredeck. Next aft is the hinged hatch to the chain locker below. Next aft is the main trunk cabin with a stainless steel framed Lexan light hatch forward, varnished teak half round trim moldings, four dorade boxes with stainless steel swivel cowl vents with stainless steel guards, and varnished teak cabin top hand rails. The deck and cabin are painted white. There are varnished teak cap rails all around the gunwales. The main mast lower shrouds have varnished teak belaying pin rails at the bottom with varnished teak ratline rungs up to the stainless steel crow’s nest hoop. There are varnished teak name boards in the ratlines. On top of the trunk cabin is a traditional varnished teak “butterfly” type skylight. Next aft is the cockpit with the main companionway slide forward to port. There is a full bimini top over the cockpit. The cockpit has teak gratings. The cockpit is 9’ x 10' with cushions and two pilot chairs aft. The mizzen is deck stepped aft in the cockpit with the helm pedestal aft of it. The helm is a varnished Teak traditional wheel with a Teak “destroyer” type ring. On the forward side of the mizzen there is a fold up drop leaf varnished teak dining table. The engine access hatches are under the forward cockpit seats and on the port side. The aft centerboard trunk and its top access is between the engine hatches running fore and aft. Next aft is the aft trunk cabin with a companion slide to port of the centerline facing the cockpit. Aft of the aft trunk cabin is a small aft deck. The varnished Teak boomkin which supports the mizzen back stay is last aft. There is a full solid stainless steel hand rail all around the yacht.

Beginning first forward below is the chain locker accessed from the deck hatch. Next aft is the forward (master) stateroom with a double upper bunk to port with storage under. There are lockers and storage to stbd.. The forward hatch on the trunk cabin is above the master stateroom providing light and air. The finish throughout is simple traditional sensible cruising design. The partitions and cabinetry are white eggshell finish painted wood with varnished Teak trim and Teak and Holly soles. The overheads are smooth white panels with varnished battens for accent. Next aft to port is the forward head with a separate stall shower with built in seat forward in it. The head sinks are white porcelain. Next aft is the main salon with a bench/Pullman upper settee on each side of the varnished Teak drop leaf dining table that encloses the forward centerboard trunk. Next aft to stbd. is the galley work area with formica counters, double stainless steel sinks, and built in dish bins and crockery storage. The reefer boxes are aft and top loading. The sole of the galley and at the foot of the main companionway down have varnished teak gratings open to the bilge. The main electric panel is to stbd. on the aft galley bulkhead. To port across is a day head. The traditional skylight above the centerline of the salon provides light and air as well as there are stainless steel framed opening ports all around the trunk cabins. The main companion is aft just to port of the centerline and up to the cockpit. The engine compartment is under the cockpit split at the forward part by the aft centerboard trunk. Next aft is the aft cabin entered by a companion to port aft in the cockpit. The aft cabin has port and stbd. quarter berths that extend forward under the cockpit, seating between them aft, and a navigation station forward. The steering gear is accessed from the aft cabin. The transom is last. The interior has ample storage and soft goods in good condition. The feel of the interior is that of a true sensible cruising yacht of a bygone romantic era complete with brass lamps and liberal use of varnished teak.

Safety Systems & Gear

Compliment of USCG required safety gear.
  • 3 x II B:C dry chemical hand portable fire extinguishers.
  • All around solid stainless steel hand rails on deck.
  • 12 volt horn.
  • 12 volt "Aqua Signal" navigation lights.
  • 12 volt deck flood lights on the fore of each mast.
  • 1 x I B:C dry chemical hand portable fire extinguisher.
  • Strategically placed grab rails in cockpit and cabin.
  • 12 volt Red "night vission" work light in cockpit.
  • 12 volt remote controlled search light on main mast.

Bilge Dewatering Systems

12 volt manual automatic and emergency hand pumps.
  • Four 12 volt manual/automatic bilge pumps.
  • Pump "on" indicator lights.
  • Hand plunger type bilge pump built in operable from cockpit port side.
  • Rule bilge alarm indicator for engineroom bilge at helm.


Twin Yanmar 50 Hp diesels driving counter rotating Maxi Props and an electric bow thruster make for many options in manuevering under power. Cruise on one engine at 6.5 knots and burn .6 gallons per hour fuel. 166 hours or over 1000 miles range under power. Twin engine reliability. Drive into headwinds and seas with power to spare. Typically run by alternating engines using only one at a time except for manuevers.
  • Racor fuel filter/separators for each engine and generator.
  • North Seas exhaust system (prevents backflow while heeling).
  • 12 volt oil change system for engines and genset.
  • Remote mounted oil filters for ease of changing.
  • 2 x cylindrical black Iron saddle fuel tanks in engineroom.
  • Split engineroom with cockpit hatch access.
  • Yanmar engine instrument panels in cockpit for each main engine with tachometer, coolant temp. gauge, oil pressure gauge, audible alarms, and pilot lights for low oil pressure and alternator charge indication.
  • Hydraulic steering.
  • Hydraulic steering bypass valve.
  • Morse type single lever controls.
  • Intake raw water screen strainers and clam shell external strainers on each engine and genset.
  • Maxi Props with line cutting spurs.

Spars & Rigging

Single spreader aluminum stowaway roller furling masts and aluminum spars. All roller furling rig. Stainless steel wire standing and dacron braid running rigging. Teak bow sprit and boomkin.
  • Vertical clearance 53'.
  • Keelson stepped main mast.
  • Deck stepped mizzen mast.
  • All lines lead thru Antal line stoppers to Barient 28+ self tailing 12 volt two speed electric winch forward in cockpit.
  • Hood Sea Furl type jib roller furler with two groove head stay for extra headsail.
  • 2 x Barient stainles steel 22 jib sheet winches.
  • 2 x Barient 10 stainless steel halyard winches and one Barient 16 stainless steel halyard winch on main mast.
  • Steps for going aloft on both masts.
  • Wood ratlines and stainless steel crow's nest hoop on main mast for coral sea "eyeball" piloting.
  • Windex instrument on masthead.
  • Twin whisker poles for "wing in wing" sailing.
  • Chain plates laminated inside of hull.
  • Rig has been regularly inspected aloft by professional riggers.
  • Lewmar 30 ST mizzen sheet winch.
  • Barient stainless steel 10 halyard winch on mizzen and Barient 3 chrome bronze wire halyard reel on mizzen.

Sails & Canvas

Dacron suit of cruising sails.
  • Dacron roller furling main, mizzen ,and jib.
  • Cruising Spinnaker.
  • Sunbrella companionway drape covers.
  • Sunbrella helm/pedestal cover.
  • Cockpit seat cushions.
  • Sunbrella full Bimini with new clear vinyl full enclosure.
  • Sunbrella winch handle bags.
  • Sunbrella outboard motor cover.
  • Sunbrella cockpit table cover.
  • Sunbrella full deck awning with drop side flaps from fore of Bimini top to main mast.


12 volt D.C. system. 120 volt A.C. system. 6.5 Kw Northern Lights diesel generator in sound sheild and shore power connections. Generator burns .5 Gallons fuel per hour.
  • Just over 1000 hours on generator.
  • Heart Interface 2000 Watt inverter/converter (charger).
  • 12 volt dedicated starting battery for engine and generator.
  • 120 volt 30 amp shore power connections on forward and aft trunk cabins.
  • 120 volt A.C. outlets.
  • 12 volt outlet at helm.
  • SVS LED battery status monitor.
  • Northen Lights generator start/stop instrument panel in cockpit with oil pressure gauge, coolant temp. meter, engine voltmeter, and hour meter.
  • 2 x Prevailer Gel Cell 8D batteries for "House" D.C..
  • 12 volt alternators on each engine and generator with battery isolator.
  • Battery isolator switches.
  • Dedicated 120 volt 30 amp shore connection for air conditioning only in fore of cockpit.
  • 12 volt lighting.
  • Link 12 volt battery status indicator.
  • Main electric panel with 12 volt D.C. system analog voltmeter and ammeter. A.C. system 120 volt analog voltmeter and ammeter.


Fresh water, salt water, and sanitary.
2 x 45 USG aluminum water tanks under salon settees.
  • 2 Raritan PH-II hand pump marine heads.
  • "Bladder" type holding tank for forward head.
  • Galley salt water hand pump.
  • Approx. 12 gallon 120 volt A.C. and port engine heat exchange water heater.
  • 12 volt fresh water pressure system with pump and accumulator antisurge tank.
  • 12 volt shower sump suction/discharge pump.
  • Shore freah water connection fitting in cockpit with pressure regulator built in.

Ventillation & Air Conditioning

Reverse cycle air conditioning and ample natural ventillation.
  • Raw water cooled Marine Air reverse cycle air conditioning/ heating in main cabin.
  • Dedicated shore power connection for air conditioning.
  • Stainless steel framed hatch with tinted Lexan light on forward trunk cabin top.
  • Slide and drop board companions for fore and aft trunk cabins.
  • 14 stainless steel framed openning port lights in trunk cabins.
  • 4 stainless steel cowl vents on forward trunk cabin with dorade boxes.
  • Varnished Teak skylight over salon in trunk cabin top.
  • 12 volt oscillating fans.

Navigational & Communications Electronics

12 volt electronics.
  • Comnav 12 volt hydraulic drive autopilot. Autopilot hydraulic pump serves as backup steering.
  • Ritchie flux gate digital compass.
  • Standard horizon digital depth indicator.
  • Ritchie Powerdamp hemispherical magnetic steering compass.
  • 2 Standard Horizon Omni VHF radiotelephones.
  • Owner uses laptop computers with navigation software and portable GPS inputs.


All electric.
  • Microwave/convection oven.
  • 4 burner Princess electric stove.
  • 120 volt A.C. 1 Hp Grundig refrigeration holding plate system in stbd. engineroom.
  • Top loading heavily insulated reefer box in galley, freezer box in galley, and drink cooler in cockpit.
  • Thermometers for all three boxes in galley.

Entertainment Electronics

Stereo in forward cabin and cockpit.
  • JVC 12 volt KSFX-430 AM/FM CD player in main salon.
  • Bose 151 speakers in salon.
  • Bose 151 speakers in cockpit aft with "kill" switch by helm.

Anchoring Gear

12 volt windlass with ample anchors and rodes.
  • 12 volt reversing horizontal capstan and chain wildcat bronze windlass with switches on foredeck and in cockpit.
  • Spare Danforth with 300' of 3/4" 3 strand rode.
  • 75# CQR plow anchor on bow roller with 300' of 3/8" chain.
  • 45# CQR.
  • Fortress storm anchor with 300' of 1" Nylon 3 strand rode.


RBI with outboard motor.
  • 12' Caribe rigid bottom inflatable.
  • Tender stows on foredeck when cruising.
  • 25 hp Mercury outboard.
  • Motor stows on bracket on port stern rail.

Miscellaneous Gear

Additional assorted gear and equipment.
  • 2 removable swivel pilot chairs in cockpit with fold down backs.
  • Rod holders on stern rail.
  • Teak cockpit gratings.
  • Assorted winch handles.


Owner's personal gear and "Jolly Mo" the parrot are excluded.


The Company offers the details of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. A buyer should instruct his agents, or his surveyors, to investigate such details as the buyer desires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.

For Sale By Ross Yacht Sales

500 Main Street
Dunedin, Florida, 34698