Industry mourns sailing innovator Terence Hanna


Terence Hanna, an entrepreneur and a sailing industry innovator with multiple patents, died three weeks shy of his 100th birthday in Brunswick, Maine.


“Terence Patrick Hanna, 99, of the Sunnybrook Village, died Sunday, June 29, 2014, at his home. There will be no public services,” read the simple notice in The Times Record newspaper.

Hanna was involved in numerous sailing industry innovations, including the first bi-metallic aluminum and titanium masts and reinforced plastic film sails that he created in his Hanna Sails loft in 1969.

He filed for a patent of his metal sail batten in April 1958.

His sailing career began in England before he moved to the United States in 1939 to become vice president of sail design at Ratsey Sailmakers. In 1959 he moved to Newport Beach, Calif., with his family, and founded Hanna Sails and the Sparcraft Corporation.

At Sparcraft he designed the first composite-type mast using a lightweight titanium top section for the 1964 America’s Cup winner, Constellation.

Hanna retired to New England in 1979. He is survived by his daughter, Christy Pulsifer, and son, Bill Hanna, who is vice president of Forespar Corp.

Hanna maintained an active interest in the sailing industry throughout his retirement.