Designer Series launches in Bristol

The first Designer Series – a new type of boating rendezvous that gives boat owners, the marine industry and the public a chance to celebrate the sport’s designers – will launch in Bristol in late July. The three-day event will be headquartered at the Herreshoff Marine Museum July 21-23. The event will celebrate the genius of Ted Hood by showcasing a fleet of his designs and hosting on-the-water and land-based events.

A traditional boat rendezvous is a chance for boat owners and their crews to gather, socialize and celebrate the common ground of owning similar boats. The Designer Series puts a new twist on that formula by creating an event that is inclusive to all, including owners of Ted Hood designs and their crews; marine industry members whose careers touched Hood’s successful business ventures; and members of the public who enjoy summer socializing around beautiful yachts.

"Everyone who shares in the love of yachting should be at the inaugural Designer Series,” said Andy Tyska, president of Bristol Marine and the creator of the series’ concept.

Tyska got his start in the marine industry by working at Hood’s company after getting his degree in naval architecture.

The inaugurl Designer Series weekend begins with an open-boat party on the docks on Friday evening. Saturday’s events include a race around Prudence Island for sailboats and a Log Race for powerboats, followed by an evening clam bake featuring the local band Sugarbabies. Sunday will feature a Boat Parade along the harbor front. Attendees who are not bringing their own boat have the option of booking a crew spot on the Hood-designed 12-meter Nefertiti and attending all social events.

Ted Hood was a sailmaker, rigger, yacht designer, and a skilled yachtsman who skippered the 12-meter Courageous to a win in the 1974 America’s Cup. A Massachusetts native, he founded Hood Sailmakers in Marblehead; in the mid-1980s he moved his business to Rhode Island and transformed a stretch of Portsmouth coastline once occupied by the Navy into one of the largest yacht service, design and building operations on the East Coast.

Hood changed the sailmaking business when he created a process for building his own Dacron cloth, and his sails were used by every America’s Cup winner from 1958 to 1977. When he passed away in 2013, he left behind a fleet of some 1,500 boats built from his designs from America’s Cup 12-meters, to the 60-foot American Promise in which Dodge Morgan set an around-the-world solo record, to sail and power designs that define quality and high performance. According to his family, Hood was marking design drawings up until his final days.

A fleet of Hood designs are expected to attend the inaugural Designer Series, including the 12-meter Nefertiti, Hood’s first America’s Cup design; Little Harbor sail and power boats; and the original Robin, the first of Hood’s string of winning sailboats that captured trophies and the sailing world¹s attention, beginning in the late 1950s.

The 2018 Designer Series will focus on a different iconic designer, so this July’s event is a key opportunity for owners of Ted Hood boats, industry associates and the public to celebrate Hood¹s life and work.

An integral part of the Designer Series is giving back to the boating industry by helping to cultivate the Ted Hoods of the future. The event will raise monies for a scholarship fund to be used at a marine-trades or design school.

Owners of Ted Hood designs are encouraged to contact Event Coordinator Carol Beecher ( / 360-927-8555), who is handling concierge services for attendees looking to arrange berthing and hotel accommodations. A 10 percent discount on purchasing a Weekend Package is available until June 1. Crew spots on Nefetiti are limited; individuals interested in sailing onboard the 12-meter are encouraged to register immediately.

For more information and a registration link, visit or call 401-253-2200.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *