Olin J. Strephens II

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, ut Olin Stephens died on the 13th of this month, aged precisely 100 years and five months.

Although there are other candidates for the title of the ‘greatest yacht designer’ (Nathaniel Herreshoff, Starling Burgess, Edward Burgess, Froude, Watson, perhaps), making such comparisons is to cavil. Over a period of about 40 years he was indubitably the dominant power in yacht design throughout the world.

His products included Dorade, Storny Weather, Zeearend, Bolero, Finisterre, Roundabout & Clarionette (the terrible twins), Rainbow, Inca, Columbia, Constellation, Intrepid, Courageous, Tenacious, Firebrand, Prospect of Whitby, Goose, Vim, all the early Swans, Clarion, Hestia, Saudade, Saga … The list goes on and on.

Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olin_Stephens and bow your head in respect.


The yachting world has indeed lost an icon of an era… Olin Stephens was as you said A, the driving force behind an entire generation of yacht design – Herman Frers began his career as a draftsman for the S&S firm, as did many others.

He shall be missed, but his legacy lives on in the lines of the yachts he created.

Heres wishing him fair breezes and gentle seas.