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Richard C. Cole dies, developed cathedral hull

A memorial service was held Feb. 14 in Miami Beach for naval architect Richard C. Cole, the man credited with development of the cathedral hull, among other innovations.

Cole, who was 94, died Jan. 20 at Mercy Hospital in Miami after a brief illness. He was a victim of cancer.

Cole was born in London and began designing wooden outboard cruisers in South Africa shortly after World War II. He moved to Miami in the 1950s.

Cole began designing for Woody Woodson of Thunderbird Boats in Miami at the start of the fiberglass era. It was there he conceived the cathedral hull, for which he received a U.S. patent in 1958. He later designed the Airslot hull for Wellcraft Marine and the Gullwing hull for Evinrude. He is credited with developing the first production walkaround in 1974. Among the companies he did design work for were Coronet Boats, Woodson, Donzi, Regal, Galaxy and Nova.

Cole received the Ole Evinrude Award in 1973 for his contributions to the boating industry.

He is survived by a son, Michael R. Cole, a lieutenant in the Miami Springs Police Department.