We continue our HOOD Around the World series by learning more about our HOOD Argentina loft.
Pedro Ferrero has run the HOOD Argentina loft since its inception in 1973. Pedro is a talented sailor and sailmaker (his sailing career includes five Olympic campaigns, two Pan American games and numerous world and national championships). Today, he continues to run the HOOD Argentina loft with the same integrity and innovation he has for the past 40+ years. We caught up with his son, Jorge Ferrero, who runs the HOOD German loft and Argentina loft with his father.
How & when did your father become associated with HOOD?
My father, Pedro “Toto” Ferrero, grew up sailing and began to build his own sails for his dinghies when he found that the available sails were not good enough for racing. He gained attention after having success in many regattas with his own sails, and his sails came to be the first choice for racing sailors in Argentina. Pedro worked as a sailmaker in the US for a few years and worked with Ted Hood in Marblehead. But he missed his country, so in 1973, he decided to return to Argentina where he founded HOOD Argentina with the help of naval architect German Frers.
How did you get involved in sailmaking?
I also grew up sailing and spent a lot of time during my childhood in the sail loft. On school holidays I earned some money helping out at the loft.
During my Engineering Studies at the Buenos Aires University I started working for Ford Motor Company. After 4 years and a degree, I realized that the automotive world was far away from my passions and expectations for the future. At that time Argentina was in an economic crisis so it worked out to be a good time to go help Pedro and the staff at HOOD Sailmakers Argentina to organize the loft and its operations.
After 17 years and now working from Germany, I’m still proud to be part of HOOD Sailmakers Argentina!
Tell us about your clients and your area, what happens at your loft?
The majority of our clients are cruising boats in the 30’ range. We mainly produce Dacron and Nylon sails for these clients. We also produce one design sails for the popular classes here (Optimist, Laser, Europa, Pampero, Grumete, etc), and racing sails for the PHRF, IRC and ORC Rating formulas as well as Classic Sails. We are able to make or repair bigger sails in our loft for 60’+ Boats, Tall Ships, Maxis or Super yachts. Most of these clients are local but some are foreign customers that make a stop in Buenos Aires during their trips around the world.
Why do you think clients choose HOOD sails?
After more than 40 years in the local sailmaking scene, the HOOD brand is recognized for long lasting quality sails made from sailors, who understand the customers’ needs. Many of our clients have been with us since the beginning.
How have you seen sailmaking change through the years?
A lot has changed over the years, making sailmaking more sophisticated and, as a result, the sails produced are more efficient, with better finishing and details. The sailcloth industry also changed a lot with addition of new fibers and better laminating and weaving methods. The custom membranes for performance racing and cruising sails are a great alternative with a competitive price and many different producers.
What was one of your favorite projects to work on?
The most interesting projects for me were the unusual ones.
During two editions of the Global Challenge, the 70′ boats made a stop in Buenos Aires and we were asked to manage the repair services with HOOD’s President Tim Woodhouse and Service Manager Tom Braisted. There were about 12 boats with many heavy sails that needed to be repaired during the short stop. It was nice to work together with Tom, Tim and the crews to have everything ready on time for the next leg.
Another nice project was servicing sails in Ushuaia from super yachts rounding Cape Horn. For these projects, we needed to take some machines and equipment down to Ushuaia by plane and organize a make-shift loft to complete the work. I can remember two of those projects off the top of my head: the service of 140′ Hetairos’ Vektron Mainsail (350Kg) and also 110′ Charlatan’s heavy Vektron furling sails.
What do you love about the HOOD brand?
The HOOD brand is regarded worldwide for making quality, durable sails, and we are happy to have the same reputation locally in Argentina and Germany. We make our best efforts to produce the best possible sails for our customers so that they are happy with them and keep coming to us for their future needs.
We appreciate the interest and support from HOOD’s US headquarters on what’s happening locally at our loft, and their support in technical and administrative issues as well as the communication between the different international lofts. Since I can remember we run all our main communication with HOOD Headquarters through Dawn Mello, who is always ready to listen our requests, projects and problems and always supports and gives us the best solutions.