Morris Yachts founder loses battle with cancer

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Morris Yachts founder Thomas Morris died Sunday at his home in Southwest Harbor, Maine. He had been diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2007.

Born in Philadelphia in 1940, Morris developed a passion for sailing on the family’s A Class sloop. After an early career in business, he moved to Maine, where he set up shop finishing fiberglass Friendship sloops. In 1972, he opened Morris Yachts in a shop he built behind the family house. Production of the Frances 26 began in 1974.

When his son Cuyler became company president in 2001, Morris was able to spend more time sailing. In his new role as ambassador-at-large, he sailed his first trans-Atlantic, aboard a Morris 46.

“For those of us at Morris Yachts, Tom leaves behind a legacy of the love of sailing, boatbuilding and working hard for the simplicity of a job well done. He would take no greater pleasure than to know that the work he began so many years ago will continue in his absence,” said general manager Will Ratcliff.

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