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A New Life for the Herreshoff Ketch ‘Arua’

There’s nothing like the beauty of wood. We recently discovered that PICYA Staff Commodore Winston Bumpus had teamed up with friends to acquire the beautiful 30-ft mahogany ketch Arua. We were curious, so we asked Winston for some more background on the boat.

Herreshoff Ketch Arua
The comfortable, inviting cockpit of Arua.
© 2023 Winston Bumpus

He sent a few photos and replied, “The boat is a modified L. Francis Herreshoff 28 design ketch that is just under 30-ft. It was built in 1962 by Far East Yachts in Japan. The hull and interior are mahogany made with quality Japanese joinery. As I understand, it was first purchased by someone in Southern California. Afterward it spent 30 years in Sausalito with a family who regularly sailed together and she eventually became more of a weekend getaway for them in Sausalito. They then did a major renovation on the boat around 2010 before putting it on the market shortly after.

Herreshoff Ketch Arua

The warmth of wood.”It was purchased in 2010, by a great guy and racer from the Sequoia Yacht Club who brought it to the Port of Redwood City Municipal Marina. He had the Atomic 4 replaced with a new Yanmar diesel in 2012 and raced the boat. He had a painting business, so maintaining the brightwork was something he knew how to do. He has now retired and needed someone to take it on that not only could appreciate it, but could maintain it.”

Covers keep the varnish protected.
Arua has been well cared for through the years.
© 2023 Winston Bumpus

“So I put together a partnership of two dear friends and myself. One of [them] is a retired woodworker, who worked on wooden ships at Mystic Seaport and also helped build the scale model used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie among other things. The other lives part-time on the West Coast and part-time in Martha’s Vineyard. He previously had a Herreshoff 12 1/2 and has spent summers at the Wooden Boat School in Maine.”

Herreshoff Arua
Archive shot of Arua. She’ll be back on the Bay soon.
© 2023 Arua

“So we are excited to take this beauty on and know there is varnish in our future. We look forward to taking it out on the water soon.”

There’s something about the warmth of wood that grabs a sailor’s soul. It’s always a pleasure to see a beautiful boat in the hands of sailors with the skill and appreciation for its heritage.



  1. Chuck Hawley 1 year ago

    This brings back so many memories. My parents bought a modified H-28, hull #90, built by Far East around 1968 in Sausalito from Bauman Brothers and Dick Miller Yacht Sales. It was 100% a sistership of Arua, and we named her Suivez Moi, or Follow Me, which was apparently on the Hawley coat of arms. We sailed her on the Bay for a year or so, before delivering her to Santa Cruz when I was about 15 years old. For my high school graduation present, my dad let me sail her to Santa Cruz Island and back with four other graduating seniors. The trip took three or four weeks, and had a profound effect of my love for the ocean. Suivez Moi took very good care of her crew, and looked terrific while doing so.

  2. Mark Wheeles 1 year ago

    My childhood friend, Ian Bruce, and I partnered in purchasing a Kings Cruiser. It is a 28′ sloop built in Sweden with mahogany planks on oak frames. The hull must have had dozens of coats of white paint. Ultimately, we resorted to very carefully using a propane torch to burn off all that paint. We made the hull bright. All season long people sailed close to us to get a closer look at our boat, even power boaters !

  3. milly Biller 1 year ago

    I love H 28s, and – even though she really isn’t one- she closely resembles one. I worked on them a lot too. Go Winston !!!!! Have fun with her- she is a beauty !!!!

  4. Jeffrey Owen 11 months ago

    Hello, we just bought a H-28. It is wood and was made in 1978 by Julian Davies in Boston. Dr. Davies was at Harvard and built the boat. For the past 12 years the boat has been on the hard in a covered shed in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. We found her in June, 2023, purchased her, and now want to restore her.
    We have hired a marine architect and the boat yard, Yacht Works, have the talent and skills to do the restoration. We purchased the plans from Mystic Maritime Museum, but now we need the scantlings. Does anyone have access to them?

    Jeff Owen

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