Under Sail - Classic America’s Cup Yachts Being Detailed, Turned into Plans, Prints

Artist, sailor, furniture designer and cabinet maker William Sofrin is working out of an office at Newport Shipyard, and using original Herreshoff Manufacturing Company design data from the Haffenreffer-Herreshoff Collection at M.I.T. Museum, he is creating detailed architectural drawings for the seven great yachts Herreshoff designed for the Cup. His work is being done under an exclusive license from M.I.T., The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Each print is produced on acid free cotton rag using archival-pigmented ink, is signed and numbered by the artist and is accompanied with a certificate of authenticity,” he told Newport Seen.


 In addition to the America's Cup prints, Sofrin's work includes a number of other designs selected for their great significance in American Yachting. Sofrin is currently producing the J Class Yacht Weetamoe, and has just finished prints officially endorsed by both the NY-30 Class Association and the Pearson Ensign Class Association. Sofrin's subject spectrum is beginning to expand as he is preparing a composition of the first airplane to cross the Atlantic Ocean which was designed by Glen Curtis.


Nathanael Herreshoff's original notebooks

& specifications

As of this date he has completed Reliance 1903, Defender 1895, and Vigilant 1893. The remaining yachts in the series of seven are scheduled to be completed by June 2011. With the 2010 America’s Cup races just past, Yachting World magazine published an article based on the premise that the Cup is reverting to what it was 100 years ago: two wealthy contenders, two big boats. The contenders were Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle and new resident of Mrs. Astor's Beechwood, and the Swiss team, Alinghi owned by Ernesto Bertarelli. Ellison won.


“Interest in the classic, turn-of-the-century yachts from the Gilded Age has never been higher,” Sofrin says.


Will Sofrin is an instructor at the School of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. His extraordinary process and detailed work depicts the America’s Cup in a way never before done. The plans he is creating were never produced by the designer, and there is a growing interest now among yachtsmen to rebuild and recreate these amazing yachts.


Meticulous and detailed, Mr. Sofrin’s drawings are beautiful works of art and engineering, and have been placed in a number of settings, both contemporary and traditional. As he explains in a book he is preparing on the process, “Sofrin’s plans, along with the associated notes and research material will become part of the Haffenreffer-Herreshoff Collection in the Hart Nautical Collection at the M.I.T. Museum. In return for his exhaustive work, M.I.T granted Sofrin the exclusive right to produce a series of limited edition full-scale prints from these original lines plans. There are only one hundred prints per produced for each plan. Each print is produced on acid free cotton rag using archival-pigmented ink, is signed and numbered by the artist and is accompanied with a certificate of authenticity.”


Mr. Sofrin's drawings

Mr. Sofrin's work has recently been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and other international publications, including Yahoo!News, and Yachting World Magazine.The prints have been enthusiastically reviewed, and are being purchased by clients from the U.S. and Europe. More information is available on Mr. Sofrin’s website, www.willsofrin.com.











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