Prodigious Boatbuilder Peter Duff Dies

Edey & Duff founder helped build classics such as the Stone Horse. "At Sea" from our September 4, 2008, CW Reckonings

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The late Peter Duff (above) and business partner Mait Edey built their first cruising sailboat in Duff's living room and backyard herb garden.Courtesy Ian Duff

Word was received this week that sailor and boatbuilder Peter Duff, co-founder of Edey & Duff of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, died from complications of Parkinson's disease on August 30. For many years, starting in 1968, he and his partner, Mait Edey, were known for building such classics as the Stone Horse, Doughdish, Dovekie, and Shearwater.

Peter was born in 1936 and graduated from Tufts University in 1958 with a degree in nuclear physics. He worked for a number of companies, including Texas Instruments Metals and Controls, Fisher Engineering, Standard-Thomson, and Edson Marine, before turning to fulltime boatbuilding.

Duff and Edey built their first cruising sailboat, the Sam Crocker-designed Stone Horse, in Duff's living room and backyard herb garden. Edey & Duff was sold in 1987, but it carries on the co-founders' philosophy of building one boat at a time, using the best materials, the finest craftsmanship, and paying close attention to detail.

Duff is survived by his wife, Margaret; their son, Ian, and his wife, Kathryn; their daughter, Jane Gleason, and her husband, Bob; and their five grandchildren.

Duff has donated his body to Harvard Medical School to help advance research in Parkinson's disease. A memorial service will be held this fall. In lieu of flowers or other remembrances, please consider making a donation in Duff's name to the American Parkinson Disease Association (135 Parkinson Avenue, Staten Island, NY, 10305; 718-981-8001, www.apdaparkinson.org).