The Man from Marblehead

CW contributing editor Ralph Naranjo takes a second look at a legendary figure in the New England maritime circles. A feature from our October 2007 issue

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Ted Hood wears a characteristically intense expression as he guides Robin from the leeward helm position.Ralph Naranjo

Few have had as enduring an impact on so many aspects of yachting as Ted Hood. He's skippered all manner of craft, from a rowboat he converted to a sloop at the age of 12 to the 1974 America's Cup winner, Courageous. He's brought innovations to sailmaking, sailcloth, spar building, and the design of racing and cruising sailboats. Recently, he's left his signature on power cats and expedition trawlers, so it's no surprise to find him now drawing on this broad expertise to redefine the motorsailer.

Many in the marine industry have benefited from his tutelage. It's even said in New England that "some sailors went to Harvard, some went to Hood." One thing all who matriculated through Ted's various enterprises share is a deep respect for the man from Marblehead, known for thinking, not talking, about every aspect of boating.

For more on Ted Hood's story, visit the Cruising World website ( and check out his recently published autobiography, Through Hand and Eye.