Sailing and design icon Ted Hood remembered

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Frederick E. “Ted” Hood — a legend in the America’s Cup, sailing, boatbuilding and design — died Friday at the age of 86.

“We regret to inform you that the Eastern Yacht Club and the town of Marblehead has lost a favorite son with the passing of Frederick E. ‘Ted’ Hood,” reads a remembrance on the club’s website. “From humble beginnings in a makeshift weaving facility in an old building behind Maddie's Sail Loft, Ted and his father Stedman, ‘the professor,’ revolutionized the manufacture of sailcloth, growing his Marblehead sailmaking business into a global powerhouse.”

For nearly 20 years, Hood was a dominant force in sailing as a sailmaker, naval architect and yachtsman.

A January 1961 profile of Hood in Sports Illustrated provides some insight into his early accomplishments:

At 33, Ted Hood is one of the top half-dozen sailors in the country. He is one of the two or three top sailmakers. Recently he began designing sailing hulls — with immediate success. If Roger Maris manufactured the bats he used, sold them to all the very best players and successfully managed the Giants, he would hold a comparable position in baseball.

Hood is survived by his wife of 58 years, Susan Blake Hood; his four children and their spouses; and eight grandchildren.

A private burial is planned with a celebration of Hood’s life to be held later this summer in Newport, R.I..

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