The Paine 14 – A Herreshoff – inspired daysailor

The perfect motoryacht sailing toy.                                                                                        Note photos show optional extras


Unlike centerboard boats of this size, she can be kept on a mooring.

Unlike most centerboard boats of this size, she can be kept on a mooring.                          Note photos show optional extras


Tired of owning and spending lots of money on a boat you never have time or available crew to enjoy? Read on. This is the sailboat you’ll actually USE.  The PAINE 14 is a slightly scaled-down adaptation of the venerable and much-loved Herreshoff 12 1/2, with a much lower wetted surface hull, fin keel and separate rudder. They are now built in seamless epoxy cold-molded wood construction at French & Webb Boatbuilders, Inc. of Belfast, Maine. At approximately 10% smaller in length, breadth and depth, she preserves much of the “big boat” feel of her predecessor thanks to a lead ballast keel that accounts for nearly half her entire weight, but is optimized for easy trailering, maintenance, launch and retrieval, and home-stowage in your garage, on your boat-lift, or the boat deck of your motoryacht. The two prototypes shown in these photos have been built and tested, many small refinements have been made, and the boat is now in a word, perfect. The PAINE 14 may be either gaff or marconi rigged though for quick setup and takedown and an edge in performance, the latter is preferable.

Want to know just how fast a PAINE 14 is in light airs?  Watch the video below. Note also that unlike most centerboarders you don’t have to move to the windward side every time you tack- the heavy lead keel keeps her upright and all you have to do is enjoy the ride and steer. First of all she pays homage to her predecessor, Chuck Paine’s 80- year old Herreshoff 12 1/2. Then you’ll see that like the very best boats, she is so fast she “makes her own wind” when going to windward in light airs.

Amelia from Jim Dugan on Vimeo.

you just can't slow this beauty down!

You just can’t slow this beauty down! And even if you could make it go slow, it’s gorgeous.        Note photos show optional extras


REDWING, built in New Zealand, had a removable keel to fit more neatly onto the deck of a motoryacht.

The first built yacht to the design, REDWING, built in New Zealand, had a removable keel to fit more neatly onto the deck of its Paine-designed 72-foot mothership, ADAGIO.


The PAINE 14 is in every possible way optimized for trailering behind a standard-sized automobile. Her carbon fiber mast requires no stays and weighs with its halyards a mere 20 pounds, so it is as easy to deploy as that on a Laser dinghy. Easier, actually, as the sail need not be attached before stepping the mast, and is simply swung up into its Herreshoff-type mast ring, Iwo-Jima style. We have invented a nifty way to attach the mainsail to the mast very quickly… no tedious fitting of little slides to little tracks, so the boat can be launched and gotten going in a matter of minutes.





The simple Velcro-strap attachments render obsolete tracks and slides, and mast hoops, with all of their expense and tedium, and make getting a small boat rigged and sailing almost instantaneous.




The PAINE 14 AMELIA was the first yacht ever fitted with the PAINE DVT jib-vanging system. Until now all jibs, and jibs set on jib-booms especially, had the annoying habit of losing effectiveness as the jibsheet is paid out. The jib clew would rise, rather than rotate around the headstay as one would prefer. When this happens the lower part of the jib is overtrimmed and stalls, while the upper part is let out too much and loses all its drive.

The PAINE DVT invention consists of a series of fiberglass battens, fitted parallel to the luff, and extending from the leech to the foot of the sail. These battens both stiffen the leech of the sail as do other battens, but in extending to the foot of the sail prevent it from rising.  (Note some other photos in this website show the conventional jib, which is also available).

The PAINE DVT at work.

The PAINE DVT at work.


Off the sind, the sail goes OUT, not UP!

Off the wind, the sail goes OUT, not UP!

Note that the leech of the jib remains parallel to the luff even though the sheet has been let out.

Note that the leech of the jib remains parallel to the luff even though the sheet has been let out                            Note photos show optional extras

Even let out this much, the angle of the sail to the wind is nearly constant from foot to head.

Even let out this much, the angle of the sail to the wind is nearly constant from foot to head.

Make no bones about it, though, inidividually hand-built by the few remaining American craftsmen with nearly half of its weight in cast lead ballast and lots of beautifully varnished (or painted)  mahogany trim, this is in every respect, including its construction cost and the need for yearly maintenance, a true yacht of the old school. But you don’t need a mooring or a marina slip with this one, just a garage, boat deck, or boathouse. Her cruising grounds are anywhere you might like to sail that has a launching ramp, or anywhere your motoryacht might transport her.


This design has a balanced rudder, making it exquisite to helm. This means that some of the rudder blade area is forward of the pivot axis. This is great for the helm balance, but since the aft end of the boat has deadrise, as soon as the rudder is swung off-center, a gap opens up between the rudder and the hull. It’s like a forward facing pair of scissors.

One week this past summer I took my friend Dennis sailing. It was blowing pretty hard, and just as I cast off the mooring a gust caught us on the wrong tack, forcing us to sail over the dinghy painter which was tied to the mooring float. Needless to say, in she went, and almost immediately we were tethered stern to wind, and a lot of it. The forces involved are huge. There was no choice but to wrestle the mainsail down- no small feat- and roll up the jib to remove the pressure. Then fish around underwater with the boom crutch to finally release the jammed rope, near the point of exhaustion. Not exactly a day of elegant relaxation on the water.

Then just to drive the point home we sailed over a lobster pot line an hour later and did the same thing all over again!

I was determined that this would never happen again. I considered the other ways that have been used to mitigate the problem: A windsurfer fin installed just forward of the rudder, or pieces of shock cord that stretch across the open maw- but neither is entirely proof against a jam for as we all know on a sailboat, if anything possibly can go wrong, it will! So I have invented an absolutely jam-proof solution to the problem. Since many other designs have the combination of a balanced rudder and veed hull, I offer my solution for your benefit. It will be fitted to all PAINE 14s and PAINE 15s and YORK 18s and any similar yachts I might be asked to design in the future.

What I did was to swing the rudder off-center to its maximum possible turning angle. Then I extended the top of the rudder up until it just cleared the hull at this angle. Of course then when you articulate the rudder toward the centerline there is a hull in the way. This I carved away into a section of the surface of a cone, such that the top of the rudder just “sweeps” the concave cone with a paper-width of clearance- far too little for anything to force its way into the gap.

It works great. The amount of turbulence created by the little discontinuity is trivial. And no more embarrassing and potentially dangerous rudder jams!

This shows the rudder on centerline.

This shows the rudder on centerline.

Swung all the way to one side, showing the absence of any gap.

Swung all the way to one side, showing the absence of any gap.

Showing it swung the other way. No way anything larger than a fishing line can get into the gap!

Showing it swung the other way. No way anything larger than a fishing line can get into the gap!

LOA 14′ 0″
LWL 11′ 2″
BEAM 5′ 3″
DRAFT 2′ 3″
SAIL AREA 99 sq ft


This is the loveliest sailboat you could ever own. It’s hand-built, piece by piece, so only the most cogent sailors can justify owning one. But if you can, it will delight you until your final breath! What the world needs now is certainly not more boats- there’s plenty of clapped-out junk out there-  but manifestly far better ones that truly enhance their owners’ lives. You can’t give away old fiberglass boats today, and with good reason. But despite the recent economic crisis, the few emergent classic sailing designs of obvious and lasting merit are the unique bright spot in boating that makes sense today- the only thing that is selling and rightly so- and the PAINE 14 and its larger sister the PAINE 15  are the most beautiful examples of this emerging phenomenon. We believe the times are right for small, classy, easy to get going and transport, investment quality mini-yachts that unlike virtually anything currently available in fiberglass, will be loved for its entire lifetime by its owner and left to his kids and by them to their kids. With reasonable maintenance, they’re built to last that long.

The most beautiful yacht you could ever own.

The most beautiful yacht you could ever own.   Note photos show optional extras

The boating field today is experiencing a wholesale “flight to quality” and flight from consumer-crap. Do we still really believe that a molded fiberglass hull glued to a molded fiberglass deck, with ugly extruded aluminum spars, no varnished wood, and not an ounce of lead to keep it upright, cheap as that may be to produce, is a yacht? A cogent few of today’s water-lovers are choosing to spend their leisure time in something of intrinsic quality, beauty and unquestionable value. The PAINE 14 and its larger sister the PAINE 15 provide the sensible alternatives that truly enhance the lives of those privileged enough to afford time spent aboard her, and their classic design will endure long enough to become a family heirloom.



Shallow draft, heavily lead-ballasted, with moderate wetted surface and a NACA-foil laminar flow keel, the PAINE 14 is delightfully fast and easy to handle, store, or trailer to a new destination every summer weekend, or await your whim on her crane.


In a single phrase, the PAINE 14 is “A TRUE MINI-YACHT.”  The yacht is light enough to be easily trailed behind a moderate sized automobile—no truck or SUV or surge brakes are required. The first one, named REDWING, was built in New Zealand to fit perfectly on the deck of her owner’s 72-foot Paine designed motoryacht.  The second one built- AMELIA, now resides on the deck of a 140-foot motoryacht. But the boat will also be the perfect yacht for a Floridian with a boat-lift and a few feet of water at low tide. A custom-fitted galvanized trailer with integral tongue-extender makes launching and retrieving a snap. The carbon fiber mast requires no stays and is simply swung up into a custom bronze retainer fitting in a matter of seconds. Unlike a Laser, or any other unballasted dinghy, she is impossible to capsize, and easy to sail mile after mile without athletic ability. You sit “in” her, not “on” her, and there is no need for “hiking out”—you sit on bench seats with properly angled seatbacks (coamings) at just the right height. In enough wind, of course, she could be swamped but has forward and aft flotation tanks to keep her afloat. And in the off-season she fits right into your garage where you can perform the yearly maintenance yourself at near negligible expense, and proudly show her off to your dinner-guests. Or if you lack the time or skills to maintain her yourself, the boatyard fees to keep her in Bristol condition will be so trivial as to make you laugh at the folly of owning anything much bigger.


Just how safe is a PAINE 14? To find out we conducted an intentional swamping to show you. Would she turn turtle, or go to the bottom? Chuck tried to swamp her by standing on the gunwale and leaning out as far as he could, hanging onto the mast. At 190 pounds and rocking the boat violently, the coaming tops could not be gotten close to underwater. Only by bailing the ocean in could he finally swamp her. She floated with the lowest point of the coaming 10 inches above the surrounding water, and was very stable. You could sit in the boat all day long like this and she would not sink. Though like Chuck, you might eventually decide to bail her out, raise the mainsail, and sail away.

Will she sink?

Will she sink?

Fully swamped.

Fully swamped.

You can watch a video of the intentional swamping by clicking here:

Amelia sinking

The performance of the PAINE 14 is, as one might expect from her numbers, downright stimulating. The helm is nicely balanced in both light airs and heavy. Its acceleration in a puff is amazing―in less than a boat length it accelerates to hull speed. With the full jib and a reefed main, it can handle 20 knots of wind. And in stronger winds, she can be sailed under complete control without the jib- an extremely rare capability amongst today’s fleet of small boats. This is also helpful in picking up a mooring or coming alongside a dock or your larger yacht. You can roll up the jib first, clearing the foredeck and its mooring cleat of the nasty slapping jib-boom, and get safely cinched up with a clear field of view.

Those who have read Chuck Paine’s books on yacht design will recall that one of his bugaboos in the latter years of his career was self-rescue.  If you fall overboard from even a yacht of low freeboard like this, it is impossible to get back aboard. You can imagine the potential consequences. So Chuck made the decision that no future design of his would lack this important capability. The PAINE 14 is fitted with a simple step on the trailing edge of the rudder. You never know it’s there until you need it. But if you ever do, you’ll thank its designer a thousand times over.


The beautifully crafted rudder with its integral rescue step.

The beautifully crafted rudder with its integral rescue step.


We believe the ethic of filling multiple houses, then rented storage containers with unloved and unused material objects, with all of the environmental damage and unserviceable debt that this might entail, is in precipitous decline. The wiser among us will build their future lives around ONE PERFECT POSSESSION. For those who revel in exploring remote locales without the noise and expense of internal combustion, it’s time accept the reality of the 21st century, rid yourself of that unused leviathan you can no longer afford nor find crew to operate, and join the renaissance in easily usable sailboats of eternal beauty. Though far from cheap, you can commission a PAINE 14 for what you pay in a few years’ maintenance and storage fees for your unloved and unused thirty-something foot white elephant, and you’ll actually USE your PAINE 14, as will your progeny!

The yachts are available only in hand-built epoxy consolidated cold-molded wood. In any case the yachts will be beautifully hand- finished with a great deal of painted trim or varnished hardwood to look as beautiful of those from the past century. The first example, “Redwing”, cost her owner more than $100,000 to build in 2007. But she had a technically challenging and supremely expensive removable keel to fit more comfortably on his motoryacht. My new company built one in 2011 for considerably less, and sold it in December of 2017, also for home aboard a large motoryacht. French & Webb custom boatbuilders in Belfast, Maine, now have the rights to build a sistership for you, at a price of between $53,000 and $70,000 depending upon specification. A custom-designed galvanized trailer with integral tongue extender will enable the yacht to be easily launched on reasonably angled ramps. Its price is US$ 3750.00 plus shipping to your destination from Raleigh, SC.

Todd French and his crew would gladly enhance your life and that of your progeny by building another for you. D0n’t hesitate- our federal reserve are seemingly compelled to increase inflation and the price will surely increase as a result- better to own and enjoy a lovely sailing yacht today than have your wealth confiscated tomorrow.

Take her sailing in your PAINE 14 and you'll make her smile.

Take her sailing in your PAINE 14 and you’ll make her smile.


no need for hiking in your Paine 14... just showing off.

No need for hiking in your PAINE 14… just showing off.


BestBoats2014-winner copyThe editors of SAIL Magazine know excellence when they see it. The PAINE 14 was chosen “Best Boats of 2014” in the daysailor category. FRENCH & WEBB of Belfast, Maine, builds the boats domestically, of WEST System cold- molded wood. Or if you live abroad you may hire your local boatyard to build one for you.

Click here to see what SAIL Magazine had to say:

Further information may be obtained from:


CHUCKPAINE.COM LLC  P.O. Box 114, Tenants Harbor, Maine  04860-0114

Phone: (207) 372-8147


For the benefit primarily of offshore aspirants (French & Webb are the exclusive builders in the USA) we offer the building rights and very detailed plans and loftings. Study plans are available at a cost of $25.00 quickly emailed to you in pdf format, and full printed plans including a full-size mylar hull lofting and the right to build for US$ 2000.00 if building abroad.

We suggest that amateurs not attempt to build this very special boat… there are many parts and hard-won skills involved and this yacht is anything but easy to build!  The plans are intended to enable legitimate admirers to have theirs built by a local professional boatbuilder. The materials alone to build this boat in compliance with the plans will cost you over US$ 25,000!

This design is featured in both of my recent books; MY YACHT DESIGNS and the Lessons they taught me, and THE BOATS I’VE LOVED- 20 Classic Sailboat Designs by Chuck Paine. Both are beautiful, full colored, first class books which give you lots more information on this design, and can be purchased on this website.

Click here to read more about the Paine 14

A full set of study plans is available for $25 emailed to you in PDF format.

PDF Plans: $25- no shipping, sent via email