History of The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company with Bill Lynn

The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company (HMCo.) was founded in 1878 and operated until 1945.  It was founded by brothers John Brown Herreshoff and his younger but better-known brother Nathaniel Greene Herreshoff, the “Wizard of Bristol”.  HMCo. designed and built over 2,400 boats, both power and sail, including the mega-yacht RELIANCE, the largest boat to ever sail in the America’s Cup.  RELIANCE, built for the 1903 America’s Cup races, was a package of superlatives relating to its advanced structural and materials engineering, the number of crew required to sail it, its incredibly short build time and it’s sheer size.

In its heyday, HMCo. was a global leader in industrial design, engineering, naval architecture, disruptive innovation and post-Industrial Revolution New England manufacturing.  Many of the techniques and processes pioneered by HMCo. are still used today, and the rise and fall of HMCo. still holds many compelling lessons for today’s business leaders.


Bill Lynn serves as President and Executive Director of the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, RI.  A lifelong sailor and classic yachting enthusiast with a background in marketing and communications, Bill is leading the transformation of the Herreshoff Marine Museum from a relatively undiscovered treasure to the vibrant, inspirational cultural and educational institution that he, the HMM staff and the HMM Board of Directors believe it has the potential to be.

Bill also serves as Managing Director of the Classic Yacht Owners Association, an organization founded to help promote classic yacht ownership, encourage fair and friendly competition among owners and to add value to the classic yacht ownership experience.  CYOA administers the CRF rating rule and is the organizer of the Classic Yachts Challenge Series.


The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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