Amaryllis Patent Tshirt
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PatentWear Herreshoff Catamaran design is printed in full color on a heavyweight 6.1-ounce 100% cotton unisex t-shirt using an eco-friendly water-based ink process, in shirt colors as indicated. The large design is printed on the back, with a “pocket” design printed on the front left chest.
From the Chinese double-hulled junks as early as 2700 BC to the ancient Polynesians who used a variety of large double hulled sailing canoes to colonize the South Pacific more than 3,000 years ago, it’s clear that catamarans have been around for ages. The word catamaran itself comes from the Tamil region of Southern India, and is a combination of kattu “to tie” and maram for wood or tree.
Some of the first catamaran designs were brought back from Asia by British soldiers and then built in England. Most likely it was one of these designs that inspired early innovators in America. In 1820 John Cox Stevens, one of the founders of the New York Yacht Club, experimented with a small catamaran named Double Trouble. Unlike another Stevens racing boat, the schooner America—first winner of the eponymous America's Cup international sailing trophy—it was a failure.
Nathanael Green Herreshoff, commonly known as “the Wizard of Bristol” is considered the most innovative sailboat designer of all time. He designed and built five winning America’s Cup boats, Vigilant, Defender, Columbia, Reliance and Resolute, and, was an excellent sailor in his own right. Other innovations from Herreshoff were the folding propeller, modern turnbuckle, fin and bulb keel, and the modern winch, all of which are still in use today.
But it was NG Herreshoff in 1875 who popularized catamarans when he designed and built his first, Amaryllis, and evolved the idea of connecting the hulls flexibly with ball and socket joints which allowed the connecting hulls to pitch freely. He was granted a patent entitled "Improvement in Construction of Sailing-Vessels" for this novel idea in 1877, featured in PatentWear's Herreshoff Catamaran design. To quote Nathanael from his patent application: “An improvement to sailing vessels by which I can obtain great speed and safety and comfort.”
Herreshoff entered Amaryllis in the annual Centennial Regatta at the New York Yacht Club in 1876, and won by a hefty margin. The cat was so much faster than traditional monohulls that catamarans were forever banned from racing in conventional yacht races. Herreshoff would build several more catamarans, but the “establishment” never came any closer to accepting them as legitimate sailing craft in his lifetime.