Cyrus Hamlin
A Much Too Brief Biography

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Cyrus Hamlin

This is your author's favorite picture of Mr. Hamlin. It is taken from the dust jacket of his wonderful book Preliminary Design of Boats and Ships. This book is published by Cornell Maritime Press of Centreville, Maryland and should be in the library of anyone interested in yacht design or just in understanding  boats and ships more fully.

Mr. Hamlin has been designing actively for around 60 years. He has designed everything from fascinating small pocket cruising sailboats all the way up to the 75' Hudson River sloop Clearwater promoted by Pete Seeger to clean up the Hudson River. Your author was at the Clearwater's launching and well remembers what a wonderful sight she was going down the ways.

Mr. Hamlin has lived in Maine most of his life. He has been quoted as saying "I decided upon a naval architect's career at the age of nine, when a chum observed that whoever designed the expensive yachts in the harbor must make a lot of money. I have spent the rest of my life trying to prove the truth of his statement." Despite this statement he is well known for having designed numerous boats that, while in no way compromising appearance, durability, and performance, nevertheless proved to be more straightforward to build and maintain and thus have been more affordable for many people.

We and many people we know have had many wonderful times on boats drawn up by Mr. Hamlin. When one totals up the hours of human happiness that have been created with the help of Mr. Hamlin's work his life is surely one of the most worthwhile you can imagine. Doubtless his reward in Heaven will be great. As an old sailor himself St. Peter must be waiting with much anticipation for a chance to have a genuine Hamlin custom design done up just for him.

Mr. Hamlin introduced modern glued strip construction to all of us. Such was it's success that one now associates the method, and Mr. Hamlin's designs in particular, with the highest quality in modern wood construction.

Beginning in 1973 Mr. Hamlin has worked with the United Nations, the InterAmerican Development Bank, the World Bank, and the fisheries departments of many countries to improve the world's fishing vessels. He has worked in over a dozen countries and on every continent except Antarctica.

Mr. Hamlin is also well known for teaching at the Landing School of Boatbuilding and Design. If this course had been available, and taught by Mr. Hamlin, when your author was learning to design I would have hitch hiked there and begged to be allowed to sweep floors, paint buildings or something if only I could learn from him.

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