Eight Bells: Warren Luhrs
The sailing community remembers Hunter and Silverton co-founder Warren Luhrs as humble and hands-on.
Hunter Marine Corp. founder Warren Luhrs died Sept. 18 in Pennsylvania, Marlow-Hunter president John Peterson confirmed to Trade Only Today.
Luhrs began in the boatbuilding business with his father, Henry, and brother, John, at Henry Luhrs Sea Skiffs before the brothers went on to found Silverton in 1969 in Toms River, N.J.
An avid sailor, Luhrs had the idea of applying production-line efficiencies to the sailing industry, according to Norton Yacht Sales. As a result, the first Hunter sailboat was launched in 1973. It was the Hunter 25, designed by John Cherubini.
Luhrs became involved in singlehanded ocean racing and set many records aboard his 60-foot sloop Thursday’s Child and Hunter’s Child. These floating test beds became the basis for many of the innovations that appeared in Hunter production models, including B&R rigs, arches and water ballast.
It was on February 12, 1989 when Luhrs brought Thursday’s Child, under the Golden Gate Bridge and into history, marking the end of an 80-day 20-hour voyage from New York around Cape Horn. The time beat by 8 days 12 hours the clipper ship Flying Cloud’s 1854 passage at the height of the Gold Rush. Flying Cloud’s time of 89 days 8 hours had stood in the record book for 135 years.