Reknown yacht designer passes away

HANOVER, N.H. – Olin J. Stephens II, described by The New York Times as “one of the most prominent naval architects of the last century, a designer who created more than 2,200 cruising and racing yachts over decades of innovation in sailing,” died this weekend at the age of 100.

Stephens was behind a number of America's Cup winners during a career that witnessed numerous advancements in yacht design, The Times noted in an article Sunday. He also designed the Dorade, a 52-foot yawl that won 1931 Trans-Atlantic Race and was honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York.

In 1929, Stephens founded the New York naval architecture firm Sparkman & Stephens with yacht broker Drake Sparkman. Six decades later, in 1993, he was inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame at the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, R.I.

Stephens was still active into his 90s, helping refine modern sailboat handicapping systems, according to The Times.

He is survived by his sons, Olin J. Stephens III, of Newfane, Vt., and Samuel R. Stephens, of Keene, N.H.; a sister, Marite Sheridan of California, Md.; and a grandson, Olin J. Stephens IV of Stratton, Vt. Florence Reynolds, his wife of more than 50 years, died earlier.

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