The Fleet


A total of 50 Vineyard Haven Fifteens were built between 1934 and 1970, first by the Martha’s Vineyard Shipbuilding Company and then by its successor, the Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard. Boats 1-37 had all-wood construction. Boats 38-50 had fiberglass hulls with fiberglass-covered interior bulkheads and decks, as well as wooden masts, booms, cockpits, and trim.

The basic Vineyard Haven Fifteen design has a self-draining “racing cockpit” that is sealed off from the below-deck spaces of the boat; crew members sit on the deck, with their feet in the cockpit. Six boats (34, 39, 40, 42, 43, and 45) were completed with an “open” or “cruising” cockpit that is wider, deeper, includes two facing, bench-style seats mounted below deck level, and has a slotted floor opening directly into the bilge. Cruising-cockpit Fifteens are considered less seaworthy than traditional racing-cockpit Fifteens, since they can be swamped and even sunk by heavy seas that break over the deck.

Ten boats (13-22) were sent to Michigan immediately after completion in the late 1930s, and raced as a fleet at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club on Lake St. Clair.

VH 1 to VH 12VH 13 to VH 22VH 23 to VH 37VH 38 to VH 50