Hunter Marine Corp. founder Warren Luhrs died Sept. 18 in Pennsylvania, Marlow-Hunter president John Peterson confirmed to Soundings.
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 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.
Following a Chapter 11 restructuring, Hunter Marine Corp., as well as selected assets of Mainship Corp. and Luhrs Corp., were sold to David Marlow of Marlow Yachts in August 2012.
Silverton Marine Corp. was purchased by Egg Harbor Yachts owner Ira Trocki the same month.
— Reagan Haynes