Thomas Wenstadt, technical manager of Groupe Beneteau, Cadillac and the holder of several design patents, will retire Friday.
Beneteau said Wenstadt played an influential role in the successful growth of the builder’s Four Winns brand and holds several design patents, as well as a utility patent for the exclusive Four Winns Stable Vee hull, which the company said is still very much in use today.
Inspired to provide a safe and comfortable boat for families, Wenstadt worked with designing hull bottoms that provided lateral stability statically and dynamically, Beneteau said. Shortly thereafter, he added stepped After Pods to the Stable Vee hull design, which further enhanced hull stability in addition to greatly decreasing boat plane times.
Yielding crisp, yet controllable turning characteristics, along with enhancing boat stability, Wenstadt and the Stable Vee were awarded with the Popular Mechanics Design in 1992.
Alongside six patents at Outboard Marine Corp., Wenstadt also holds two patents with Mercury Marine, one of which, patented in 1977 — the MerCruiser Auto Trim — has been the forerunner of today’s Mercury Marine Active Trim and Volvo Penta Powertrim Assist.
The company said Wenstadt provided expertise in the establishment of structural integrity testing, material testing procedures and bearing the role of a lamination engineer for the Four Winns, Scarab Jet, Glastron and Wellcraft lines while providing essential insight in the launch of the Scarab Jet boat lineup in 2013.
Wenstadt began his career at Mercury Marine as an engineer from 1976-80 and at OMC from 1980-84. After a stay at Teledyne Continental, where he worked with and built airplane engines, Wenstadt began his long tenure with Four Winns in 1988.