Working for the bulk of his career in the marine industry, Technical Manager Thomas Wenstadt of Groupe Beneteau, Cadillac—Four Winns, Scarab Jet, Glastron, and Wellcraft—is set for retirement on January 6.
Playing an influential part in the successful growth of Groupe Beneteau’s Four Winns, Wenstadt holds several design patents, as well as a utility patent for the exclusive Four Winns Stable Vee hull that’s still in use today. Inspired from the desire to provide a boat that is comfortable and safe to entire families, Wenstadt worked with designing hull bottoms that provided lateral stability statically and dynamically.
Shortly thereafter, Wenstadt added stepped After Pods to the Stable Vee hull design which further enhanced hull stability in addition to greatly decreasing boat plane times. Yielding crisp, yet controllable turning characteristics along with enhancing boat stability, Wenstadt and the Stable Vee were awarded with the Popular Mechanic’s Design in 1992. Alongside six patents at OMC, Wenstadt also holds two patents with Mercury Marine. One of those, the MerCruiser Auto Trim, patented in 1977, has been the forerunner in today’s Mercury Marine Active Trim and Volvo Penta PTA (Powertrim Assist).
In addition, Wenstadt has also played a great factor in other areas at Groupe Beneteau, Cadillac by providing expertise in the establishment of structural integrity testing, material testing procedures, and bearing the role of a lamination engineer for the Four Winns, Scarab Jet, Glastron and Wellcraft lines, while providing essential insight in the launch of the Scarab Jet boat line-up in 2013.
Throughout his entire career, Wenstadt has been instrumental in the continued improvement of multiple aspects within the marine and boat industry through his supportive demeanor and expertise. Graduating from the Michigan Technological University in 1975, Wenstadt left school with a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering that emphasized in internal combustion engines and hydrodynamics. Going straight to work in the marine industry, Tom began his career at Mercury Marine as an engineer from 1976 to 1980 and OMC from 1980 to 1984. Following his stay at Teledyne Continental, where he worked with and built airplane engines, Wenstadt began his tenure with Four Winns boats in 1988. Through is beloved interest in the marine industry, Tom also published a book in 2007. His book, Freighters of Manitowoc, chronicles the building of freight carrying vessels in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
As for the future, Wenstadt has decided to stay within the marine business as a Museum and Vessel Tour Guide and research assistant at Door County Maritime Museum and Wisconsin Maritime Museum.