Legendary designer Olin Stephens dies at 100

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Prominent naval architect Olin J. Stephens II, who designed more than 2,200 cruising and racing yachts, died Saturday in Hanover, N.H. He was 100.

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Stephens designed lines of yachts as diverse as Dorade, a 52-foot yawl that prompted a ticker-tape parade in New York after winning the 1931 Trans-Atlantic Race, and Ranger, a 135-foot J-Class sloop he designed with Starling Burgess for the 1937 America’s Cup races.

He was also instrumental in designing five other successful America’s Cup defenders: the 12 Meters Columbia in 1958; Constellation, 1964; Intrepid, 1967; Courageous, 1974; and Freedom, 1980.

During World War II, he was involved in designing amphibious landing craft and minesweepers for the armed forces.

Stephens turned to the broader concerns of yachting safety only after his official retirement in 1978 from Sparkman & Stephens, the New York naval architecture firm he founded in 1929 with the yacht broker Drake Sparkman.

Stephens was inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame at the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, R.I., in 1993.

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