Builder Ted Irwin dies

Mar 11, 2015 by Guest Writer

Yacht designer and builder Ted Irwin died in early February after battling blood cancer. He was 74.

Mr. Irwin began building boats as a child in the Tampa Bay area. He eventually designed a “moth”, with which he won the North American and the world championships in its class.

As a young man, he landed a job as a draftsman, illustrator and part-time builder with Charlie Morgan before stepping out on his own. He rented a small Quonset hut on St. Petersburg Beach where he built his first commercial sailboat. It took six months to build his first 31 footer, S/Y Voodoo, which launched his career by logging an impressive racing record.

Voodoo raced for two years in the Florida Ocean Racing Association, 1964 to 1966, and swept all honors. Mr. Irwin, sailing Voodoo, won 24 out of 28 races during that period. Some of his other famous racing yachts include: Black Magic, La Pantera, Razzle Dazzle and R2D2.

He started Irwin Yacht & Marine Corp. and in 1966, and built his last boat in 1990.

At the time. Irwin had built more cruising sailboats over 50 feet than any other boat builder in the world with more than 6,000.

 

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