Sharing his Father’s Passion

Published on August 29th, 2017

Ted Hood, Jr.

Ted Hood, Jr., managing director of Wellington Yacht Partners, shares with Sail America what it was like to have Hall of Famer Ted Hood, Sr. as a dad, and how that influenced his professional involvement in the sport.

What was life like in the Hood household, you must have some great memories sailing as a family, any you care to share?

Growing up in my family, life was constantly evolving around boats. My father being the industry icon that he was, was doing everything at the same time; building boats, designing, sail making, racing boats.

Probably the most time we spent together, which was special, was racing together. He would recruit my brothers and I as crew, we were quite young, my first ocean race was when I was 10 years old in 1969. He was always joking that he designed and built his own boats but he also made his own crew.

Having him as a father was a wonderful experience, we had a lot of quality time with him doing some really adventure type stuff, particularly when we became teenagers, old enough to do more things with him, like the long-distance races.

I really had the chance to get to know him as a sailor and a businessman because I also worked with him later for much of my career. I was extremely lucky to have grown up in that environment. Living on the water in Marblehead, since I was a toddler, I was always on boats.

With your understanding of boat design and engineering, what features would you like to see on boats in the future?

For sailboats, having grown up around my father’s designs, he had a particular style of boat that was more traditional in appearance, more unique in that it was a shallow draft, heavier boat with a centerboard, I very much like that design philosophy. I think it makes a lot for sense for many people, it’s more sea kindly and the boat performs well upwind, which has often been proven with a lot of his race boats.

But as far as the trend today, it is for racier looking, displacement, wide beam boats that are modeled more around the Volvo and Grand Prix race boats. More and more designers are heading their cruising boats in that direction and I am not sure that is the right way to go, based on what you are trying to do with the boat, which is cruising.

I am sort of trying to look more towards the modern mainstream, and the traditional look of a boat still appeals to a lot of even the younger clients that we have now. They are still attracted to some of the retro style boats as long as they can sail reasonably well.

The reasons being because they look nicer, they are more comfortable, the cockpit layouts and living spaces are more practical for pure cruising boat. But if you want to race a boat and have a racer cruiser design then that is another story; you want a boat that has a lot of those modern design attributes to be competitive.

Complete interview… click here.

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