Ted Hood’s Original “Robin” will be at this year’s Designer Series Rendezvous

The original Robin is the boat credited with launching Ted Hood’s yacht design career.

Hood’s concept of shallow-draft, wide-beam, deep centerboard hull proved to be a winner–and during the boat’s first season in 1959, Robin and Hood turned a lot of heads after winning almost every race that season. Additional benefits of the design were an excellent load-carrying ability and a comfortable, easy motion in heavy seas.

During its tenure, Hood Designs developed this early yacht-design concept in over a hundred boats built for pure cruising sailors seeking both comfort and performance.

At the time of Robin’s debut, Hood was a young man in his early 30s and known only as a sailmaker from Marblehead. But after Robin’s strong performance, as his son Bob Hood says, “People started to wonder who this guy from Marblehead was.”

The boat cemented Hood’s talent as a helmsman with a unique approach to yacht design. Soon Hood’s talents were tapped by America’s Cup syndicates and he subsequently designed the 12-Meter Nefertiti, which came close to defending the 1962 America’s Cup.

Robin was sold to new owners after its early victories on the water, which left Hood the opportunity to design a new Robin. All totaled, he designed some 30 boats named Robin during his career–all different designs and strong performers that sold to new owners.

The family lost track of the original Robin, until a friend alerted them that the boat was languishing and in rough shape in Maryland. The family brought the boat to Rhode Island and gave it a total refit.

Pictured here is Hood in 2011, helming the boat that started it all. The public can see this historic sloop at the 2017 Designer Series.


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