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by Mike John - Lake Macquarie, NSW - Australia

I was looking at a boat called simply the 12' Dinghy and stumbled across a man called Goeller. (The boat is also known as the Goeller Dinghy and the 12' Outboard Motor Dinghy.) I then wondered about the man and wondered if he was any good. That is when it got interesting.

12' Dinghy

In Fifty Wooden Boats: A Catalog of Building Plans, Volume 1, the 12' Dinghy is featured. L. Francis Herreshoff "felt that Frederick Goeller was one of the best draftsmen he knew" (Fifty Wooden Boats, pp. 20-21). He worked for Herreshoff. High praise indeed and that got me wondering about the man.

Recently, there was a discussion online about a designer/builder hall of fame and I thought well I would like to research Goeller and start the hall of fame rolling. If I wasn't prepared to make the effort and write how could I expect others to. So I rolled up my sleeves and showed the way forward...

Goeller had talent both as a designer and draftsperson. He was actually employed by The Rudder prior to WWI.  Apparently, his original drawings did not survive but we do have his published plans and there are many in The Rudder. The Sea Bird original design is at the Daniel S. Gregory Ships Plans Collection Library at Mystic Seaport (from Return of the Seabird).

There's time now to have a look at some of his designs (designs pre 1923 are in the public domain it seems and remember there were no computers back then to produce drawings):

Type Name The Rudder
catboat, 14' Sea Mew Nov 16:513
catboat, 15' Sea Gull Feb 11:88
catboat, 15' [no name] Oct 10:199
catboat, 22'5" [no name] Dec 12:278
catboat, 26' [no name] Sep 32:37
Post 1922
cruiser, 28' Porpoise May 16:235
cruiser, 28' Porpoise Jun 16:287
cruiser, 28' Porpoise Jul 16:330
cruiser, 28' Porpoise Aug 16:375
cruiser, 30' [no name] Dec 06:709
cruiser, 35' Autan Nov 14:515
cruiser, 35' Flying Fish Feb 13:81
cruiser, 35' Flying Fish Mar 13:239
cruiser, 35' Flying Fish Apr 13:290
cruiser, 48' [no name] Apr 27:56
Post 1922
cruiser, 55' [no name] Dec 15:535
cruiser, 68' Toorac Aug 29:49
Post 1922
dinghy, 9' Pollywog Mar 12:141
launch, 20' Blue Fish Aug 12:68
launch, 21' [no name] Apr 15:207
launch, 25' Tuna Nov 11:214
launch, 25' Tuna Dec 11:272
one-design cat, 16' Sea Duck Nov 15:498
one-design cat, 16' Sea Duck Dec 15:531
one-design sloop Indian Harbor Jul 14:357
one-design sloop, 14' Sea Mew Nov 17:714
one-design sloop, 24' Yankee Jan 38:76
Post 1922
one-design, 25' Wianno Apr 15:208
one-design sloop, 25' [no name] Apr 17:308
patrol boat, 42' [no name] Apr 17:275
patrol boat, 50' [no name] Jan 16:32
sailing dinghy, 12' [no name] May 15:243
sailing dinghy, 12' [no name] Jun 15:291
schooner, 34' Seagoer Aug 13:481
schooner, 50' [no name] Aug 08:99
service launch, 28' Whale Apr 11:313
skiff, 12' Catbird Jan 17:30
sloop, 15' Junco Nov 14:518
sloop, 15' Junco Dec 14:556
sloop, 60' [no name] Jul 13:444
yawl, 28' Hippocampus Feb 16:66
yawl, 3-masted Seagoer Jun 13:396
yawl, 3-masted Seagoer Jul 13:441
yawl, 45' [no name] Jun 15:295


If you have more information on Goeller please contact us.

Why not shoot Chuck an article on your favorite designer and we'll add it to the hall of fame.





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