A Message from HOOD Sailmakers CEO Rob MacMillan

Dear Friend and Customer of HOOD Sailmakers:

Today, I am writing to let you know we have completed an agreement with Quantum Sails with Quantum acquiring the sailmaking rights and manufacturing assets of HOOD Sailmakers. By nature of this agreement, HOOD sails will continue to be made available in the markets we serve and HOOD customers will have increased access to the customer service and support offered by the Quantum Sails network. The HOOD loft in Middletown, RI will become the home base for Quantum’s sales and service operations in New England.. HERE

Quantum Sails Reaches Agreement with HOOD Sailmakers

Traverse City, MI—Quantum Sails today announced that it has completed an agreement with Hood Sailmakers in Newport, RI to acquire the company’s sailmaking rights and manufacturing assets. The acquisition, which includes occupancy of Hood’s world headquarters in RI, will increase Quantum’s global sailmaking capacity and provide a new home base for Quantum’s sales and service operations in the northeastern region of the US. HERE

HOOD Around the World – Argentina

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. Read the full interview with Jorge HERE.

Earlier this month, we were delighted to host Sail Newport’s Shipwrecked – Into the Blue party on May 13th! We are proud to support Sail Newport/s mission to offer and make sailing available to the community. Thanks to everyone who came out to make the event a success!


HOOD Around the World – Japan

In this newsletter, we continue our HOOD Around the World series with a feature on HOOD Japan and HOOD Argentina: Since his early days in the sailmaking business, Toshio Toya’s dedication and leadership has paved the way for HOOD as a leading sailmaker in Japan. We had the opportunity to speak with Tosh and we are pleased to share his story on how HOOD Japan has evolved. 

Read the full interview with Tosh Toya HERE.

In addition, we are delighted to offer our congratulations to HOOD Argentina client, Fjord VI, for winning the ORC division of the Buenos Aires – Rio de Janeiro Offshore Race.
Fjord VI, a 43 foot German Frers Design sloop, is outfitted with sails designed by HOOD Germany and produced by HOOD Sailmakers Argentina. The mainsail is made of 9.4oz Vektron, sails #1-3 are warp drive triradial, sail #4 is crosscut Marblehead Dacron and the spinnakers are Elite Nylon Tristar. After losing their mast off the coast of southern Brazil in the last edition of the race, the Fjord VI team set a modest goal for 2017: to complete the race without shuddering crippling damage. The team put their inventory of HOOD sails to the test, and after battling through 40 knot breeze and huge waves in the Atlantic, Fjord VI came out victorious at the top of the ORC fleet! 

Read the Sailors Weekly interview of Jorge Jauregui, captain and navigator onboard Fjord VI, to get the rundown on the race HERE.


HOOD Around the World – Australia

As we continue our HOOD Around the World series, we are pleased to highlight the tradition of sailmaking at HOOD Sails Australia. In the 1960’s Joe Pearce helped Australia become the site of the first loft outside of the United States to work with Ted Hood as a HOOD Sail Loft. As contemporary sailmakers, Joe and Ted met prior to the 1962 America’s Cup, a time when HOOD Sails were beginning to be used more prominently on the 12-Meter defenders. In forming HOOD Australia, Joe Pearce was now able to make HOOD Sails for offshore boats and Australia’s challengers to the America’s Cup could also begin to use HOOD Sails. The association between Ted and Joe helped launch HOOD Sailmakers internationally, as other lofts were soon emerging on multiple continents. 

Unfortunately, Joe Pearce passed away at a young age, and, in 1970, Chris Bouzaid helped secure the future of HOOD Australia when he took over managing the loft. In 1975, Chris Bouzaid became the new President of the HOOD Group Inc. USA, and the company was eventually sold to Ian Broad and Ian Lindsay. Presently, Broad and Lindsay still own HOOD Australia, with the addition of Ben DeCoster becoming part owner in the last 3 years.

Throughout its history, HOOD Sails Australia has led the way in Australia for sailors seeking the highest value sails, whether the need be for cruising or competing in some of the sport’s most recognized events. With a commitment to unmatched quality and service, Broad, Lindsay and DeCoster have carried on the tradition of HOOD being the most trusted name in sailmaking.

Read the Q&A with Ian Broad HERE.



HOOD Around the World – San Francisco

In the spirit of the holiday season that is now upon us, we are celebrating the HOOD family around the world! With nine lofts spanning five continents, the HOOD reach is truly global. Over the next few months, we’ll share Q&A’s with the loft managers and will dive into what makes each loft unique. We hope you enjoy this opportunity to learn about HOOD around the world!

Our first feature is on Robin Sodaro. Robin runs the HOOD loft in Sausalito, CA with his wife, Vicki. Robin has been with HOOD since 1975, which makes him one of the longest reigning HOOD sailmakers in the history of the company!

Read the Q&A with Robin Sodaro HERE.


This Fall, Join HOOD Sailmakers in Supporting Warrior Sailing Program

We are delighted to announce that during the months of October and November, HOOD Sailmakers will be donating a portion of all proceeds from service work and new sail purchases to the Warrior Sailing Program. In addition to supporting this excellent organization, you’ll also be able to take advantage of our best pricing of the year.

“Be Professional, Have Fun and Give Back are values that HOOD is proud to share with The Warrior Sailing Program. The Warrior Sailing Program is dedicated to maritime education for wounded, ill and injured service members of the U.S. military. Warrior Sailing’s dedication to give back to men and women who have sacrificed so much on our behalf is commendable. The commitment made by Warrior Sailing to engage service members in an unmatched maritime education provides tremendous value to our sport and industry. HOOD is honored to support Warrior Sailing and we invite you to join us.”  -Dave MacMillan, HOOD Sailmakers COO

We are excited about this partnership with HOOD sails to help us achieve our mission,” says Jen French, Co-Founder of the Warrior Sailing Program. “This is another great example of how the sailing community can work together to expand the sport of sailing to disabled veterans who have served us.

To have your new sail or service work directly benefit the Warrior Sailing Program, mention this newsletter when calling Joe Cooper at 401-849-9400 or email him HERE to request a quote or make an appointment.


HOOD Sailmakers Announces Dave MacMillan has been named as Chief Operating Officer

HOOD Sailmakers is delighted to announce Dave MacMillan as the Chief Operating Officer. Dave joined the HOOD team on August 1st and will be responsible for the day to day operations of HOOD’s United States presence. 

Combined with his passion for sailing, Dave’s quest is for HOOD to serve as the leading sailmaker for those sailors seeking an unmatched commitment to performance and durability. Dave believes these principles are the foundation for HOOD, knowing our sailors will venture on the water with confidence in sails that will go the distance. 

Prior to HOOD, Dave worked with the Bulfinch Group for nearly a decade helping the firm grow into a leader in the financial services industry. During this time, Dave earned national and international recognition for his outstanding work in field leadership, training and development. Prior to Bulfinch, Dave worked in academics as a teacher and coach, and has also served as the Program Director and President for the Greenwich Bay Sailing Association. In addition to his lengthy tenure in coaching sailing, Dave actively competes aboard a range of sailboats at IRC, One-Design and Team Racing events. 

Dave graduated from Wesleyan University in 2003, where he played football and remains involved in coaching.  He also holds an M.B.A. from Northeastern University. Dave lives in East Greenwich, R.I. with his wife Liz and daughters Isabel & Caroline. 

Dave can be reached at or 401-849-9400 


HOOD Announces Sponsorship of Nantucket Race Week & the Opera House Cup

July 22, 2016 HOOD Sailmakers, designers and manufactures of high-quality, long lasting, durable sails, has announced its status as the exclusive sail sponsor for Nantucket Race Week and Opera House Cup Regatta.

Nantucket Race Week and the Opera House Cup feature some of the best classic yacht racing in New England from August 13-21st! 

  • HOOD Sailmakers will be on site providing its unparalleled service and sail repair services for all teams competing throughout the week.
  • In addition, HOOD is proud to be donating a portion of the proceeds from any new sails purchased by competitors in Nantucket Race Week or the Opera House Cup to Nantucket Community Sailing.
  • If you’re planning to be at Nantucket Race Week, please stop by and say hello, we’d love to meet you and chat with you about your current and future sail needs. 

Dave MacMillan of HOOD Sailmakers: “HOOD is proud to support Nantucket Race Week and the local community. We see Nantucket Race Week as a unique regatta offering an unmatched experience for sailors seeking fun, competitive racing. Furthermore, the commitments made by both the Nantucket Yacht Club and Great Harbor Yacht Club to preserve the health of Nantucket’s marine environment, along with their efforts to provide an ongoing education in sailing through Nantucket Community Sailing are principles at the core of Hood’s philosophy. We are thrilled to partner with the Nantucket community and support this wonderful week of sailing” 


HOOD Announces Sponsorship of Newport Yacht Club’s Bermuda 1-2, Solo-Twin and Offshore 160

March 18, 2016 HOOD Sailmakers, designers and manufactures of high-quality, long lasting, durable sails, has announced its status as an official partner of the 2016 Offshore 160 and Solo-Twin and the 2017 Bermuda One-Two and Solo-Twin, which together make up some of the top offshore races in New England for short-handed sailors.

The Offshore 160 starts July 15, 2016 and is a 160 nautical mile course for single-handed sailors departing and returning to Newport. The Solo/Twin race starts July 29, 2016, is 65-120 nautical miles and open to single or double-handed sailors.

The 21st biennial Bermuda One-Two will depart June 2, 2017. The first leg is a 635-nautical mile solo race from Newport to Bermuda followed by a double-handed return leg departing June 15, 2017.

Rob MacMillan, President of HOOD Sailmakers: “We’re proud to be a part of the Bermuda 1-2, Solo-Twin and Offshore 160. Durable, long-lasting sails are critical to the sailors who compete in these three events and that aligns perfectly with our own brand, which was founded on the principles of quality, value and durability.“

September 2015 News

The leaves are starting to change color in New England, but the loft is in full swing preparing sails for the warmer parts of the globe!

HOODboatshowThe Newport International Boat Show is one of New England’s premiere fall events with thousands of boating enthusiasts passing through the Show. This year, Japanese HOOD loft owner, Toshio Toya, traveled quite a distance to be with us at our booth. It was terrific to have him onsite and to learn about all things HOOD Japan.  Sail Expert, Joe Cooper, was also at the show, and he gave two presentations on Sailcloth and Full-Length Battens.  Plus, Rhode Island’s own Oliver Hazard Perry was dockside, where the public got to check out her HOOD sails!


HOOD Japan loft owner, Toshio Toya chats about sailmaking and sailing in Japan

Toshio Toya, HOOD Japan

Toshio Toya, HOOD Japan

How did you become a sailmaker? 

Until I graduated from Meiji University in March, 1969, I was sailing almost full-time.  Once I graduated, I would go sailing every weekend, which is when I realized that I could make money in sailmaking.  At that time in Japan, there were only four sailmakers, but the quality of those sails were not up to par as those of HOOD Sailmakers from Marblehead, MA, USA.  This was when I became interested in bringing a better sailmaking technology to Japan.  I wrote a letter to Ted Hood, asking him if I would be able to learn the techniques of his sailmaking.  In April 1971, Chris Bouzaid began training me in HOOD sailmaking.  I spent over a year in New Zealand, learning Bouzaid’s skills, then I returned to Japan to start the Japan branch of HOOD New Zealand.  By 1974, sales were rapidly increasing and I created HOOD Japan.

Why do you think your customers come to HOOD?

I think my customers come to HOOD because the sail quality is long-lasting and made of strong materials.

Do most people belong to Yacht Clubs and sail club boats or is there a lot of private ownership of yachts in Japan?

Most people who work in Tokyo join Yacht Clubs and sail the club owned boats.  The Seto Inland Sea is a great spot for leisure sailing and most people who sail there own their own yachts.

Are the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race well-known in Japan?

Sailing is not considered a major sport in Japan.  America’s Cup is well known with all sailors, but the general public does not follow it as much as other parts of the world.  The Volvo Ocean Race is a race that is a tough race for any sailor, however ocean racing is not that popular in Japan.


HOOD Argentina Performs at 2015 Spring Championship! 

Jabeque finished 2nd in the ORC Club B division with HOOD Genoas and Mainsail

Jabeque finished 2nd in the ORC Club B division with HOOD Genoas and Mainsail

Argentina is enjoying some terrific spring weather with the most important spring event on the calendar, the Spring Championship Regatta organized by the Yacht Club Argentino & Club Nautico San Isidro taking place a few weeks back. Over the two weekend event, there were five races with over 70 boats in the PHRF, ORC and CIM Classes. Congratulations to the HOOD customers who had several top place finishes at the regatta!




How being a HOOD Customer benefits you around the world!

Ian Broad of HOOD Australia shared this terrific story of how HOOD can keep you sailing no matter where in the world you may find yourself!


“A customer arrived in Darwin on August 25th with a blown out spinnaker after sailing across the Pacific. He requested a quote and asked if we could contact HOOD England for the specifications. This was done, and we received the information the next day. Time was of the essence as the boat was to leave on September 10th. I designed the sail, while away on vacation, and put it into production to have it ready for dispatch to Perth on September 7th for one of the crew to take to Broome to leave Australia. All this happened while the owner was out of internet range, moving the boat from one town to another. A good example of what can be done when the sails are designed and manufactured in the same loft.”


August 2015 News

Nashua wins Nantucket Race Week with HOOD Sails!

Nashua2One of the more anticipated events on the annual sailing calendar is Nantucket Race Week.  With the island at its summer height, it fills up even more with 70+, boats who were ready to race in one of the more iconic Race Weeks on the US Sailing calendar.  The newly built
W46, Nashua, made her debut in the 2015 Race Week and she didn’t disappoint. The team won all four races in the Spin 2 division!  They also won the Wednesday night PHRF Series in Nantucket with their HOOD inventory. Congrats to the entire team of Nashua!


Sailing with Long Time HOOD Customer, Don Miller

In 1972, Don Miller started sailing to take his mind off of his business.  He’s been coming to HOOD for his sails for the better part of 17 years, so we caught up with him to find out what he loves about sailing and why he chooses HOOD. 

At what age did you start sailing?

I started sailing in 1972, looking for an activity that would take my mind off the mental rigors of starting a small business, so it’s been 43 years.  

Why do you love sailing?

Sailing has provided me with a wonderful avocation which offers a level of interest and excitement I do not find elsewhere.  I am able to have satisfaction from a short day sail or a multi-day offshore journey.  When I’m sailing, my focus is on sailing and not on the many other cares of daily life. 


Describe your perfect day sailing?

My perfect day of sailing would be closing a multi-day trip to the Virgin Islands as the lights from shore begin to appear over the horizon on an early morning watch, after which making landfall on one of the islands.

When did you buy your first sailboat? 

When I started sailing, I bought my first sailboat, an AMF Force 5, a knock off of the Laser. A good boat to learn on and I had nowhere to go but up!  

What type of boat are you sailing now? 

Today, I sail a Nordic 44, which I have owned for over 16 years.

When did you first buy a set of HOOD sails?

Prior to the Nordic I owned an Albin 42 which had HOOD Sails.  The headsail for the Albin required re-cutting to make a roller furling genoa, which is how I met [Joe] Cooper, who handled the job.  After purchasing the Nordic in 1998, I purchased a complete set of HOOD Sails in 2001. At first a main, 135% roller furling, stays’l and spinnaker; then later a 105% jib and a storm jib which completes the inDon2ventory.

Do you remember why you decided to go with HOOD sails?

My decision to go with HOOD was based on quality and workmanship, as well as my relationship with Cooper.  He was very instrumental in helping me to understand the details that go into HOOD Sails.  

You’ve kept coming back to HOOD over the years, what is it about HOOD sails that keeps you returning?

My sails make it back to HOOD regularly for repairs and inspection.  I can’t imagine better service or owning a better product.  My mainsail is used about 30 days a year and it is approximately 14 years old.  It’s still in great shape, a statement to the quality of the original and the quality of the maintenance and repair work.  I continue to come to Hood for the quality of work, but also for advice and camaraderie.


Oliver Hazard Perry Sets Sail! 



It was terrific to see Rhode Island’s newest and only tall ship set sail on July 16, 2015!  It was an especially great day for all of us here at HOOD as we were able to see the 20 sails we built last winter in action. Congratulations to the OHP crew and for more info click HERE




June 2015 News

Yacht Building with Outbound Yachts’ Phil Lambert

Since 1998, Outbound Yachts has been building offshore boats that not only perform, but are comfortable as well! In addition to this very successful line of boats, builder Phil Lambert has been recommending and using HOOD Sails since his very first build. With hull number 61 about to make a splash, we sat down with Phil to find out more about the Outbound philosophy and why Phil chooses HOOD.

What prompted you to build the Outbound 46?
After too many wet, slow, and uncomfortable deliveries on “great boats,” the opportunity appeared to start a new boat in China.

What makes the OB 46 unique?
It is the perfect balance of the displacement required for couples cruising, it has stowage, tankage holding: 190g fuel and 200g of water, with a performance underbody, and ergonomic comfort.  They are popular because of their uniqueness and beautifully crafted interior.

Where are the Outbounds being sailed and by whom?
The Outbounds sail from the US to the South Pacific, Caribbean and even Transatlantic. Mostly these boats are sailed by couples who have opted for an offshore cruising lifestyle.

What makes HOOD Sails your go to for your new boats?
The HOOD Vektron cloth offers great performance due to its lighter weight but is also very durable. Durability means a lot to my customers. However, most importantly, the customer service at HOOD is unbeatable.

Sea Education Association’s brigantine’s sail produced at HOOD’s Rhode Island Loft

The HOOD loft in Middletown is busy building the Main Stays’l for Robert C. Seamans, a 134-foot long, steel sailing brigantine for the Sea Education Association (SEA).

sea1The ship is named for the Secretary of the Air Force and NASA Deputy Administrator, Robert Channing Seamans, who is also the former Chairman and Trustee of SEA’s board.

The Robert C. Seaman is currently located in Honolulu, Hawaii, doing a Summer voyage of the Hawaiian Islands.  SEA is an educational institution offering students an interdisciplinary curriculum, on shore and at sea aboard tall ships.  The HOOD team has worked hard over the last few weeks to finish the Main Stays’l for the Seaman for their voyages this summer.

Take a look at some of the detail work that has gone into the sails in the images below. The tack and head of the sail is covered with 12oz saddle skirting leather to protect the luff rope stitching from chafing. The clew webbings are also covered with the same leather.  This is one of many details that HOOD Sailmakers focus on everyday.


Now offering sail consultation in Germany

We are pleased to announce the addition of Jorge Ferrero as a HOOD Sailmakers Agent based in Germany! Jorge’s father owns the HOOD Argentina Loft, which Jorge has been a part of for years. Jorge has also raced his boat Yabeque! to many victories in Argentina including the 2013 Argentinan ORCi.

Shortly after that win, Jorge moved with his family to Germany and is now set up and available to quote sail orders. You can reach him at or +49 157 804 82795

Not in Germany? That’s ok – we have lofts and agents around the globe to get you the trusted quality of HOOD sails! For a listing of our lofts and agents, please click HERE


Ker 46 Patrice Powered by HOOD Sails wins IRC Division 1 in 2014 Sydney to Hobart Race!

ker 46We’re extremely proud of our HOOD Australia loft for putting together the winning sail package for Tony Kirby’s Ker 46 Patrice in the 2014 Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Not only did the team win IRC Division 1 they also placed 9th OVERALL!

The team won IRC division 1 by over 2 hours and beat many larger grand prix racing yachts over the line. The newest rival for Patrice was the Carkeek 47 Indian, Tony and his crew not only managed to beat Indian across the line but also by over 3 ½ hours on corrected time, which resulted in 9th overall for Patrice and 38th overall for Indian, a huge gap of 29 places.

In a year where conditions favoured the smaller boats in the fleet, Patrice’s 9th overall on IRC is remarkable considering the next boat in her division finished 28th overall.

Patrice experienced a wide range of testing conditions, from smashing to windward, to drifting in the light, and some exciting top speeds hard running in the dark of night, an elated Tony Kirby commented that the only thing he broke was his mobile phone.

Below is a detailed race report by Jason Rowed, trimmer on Patrice:

After a less than perfect lead up to the Hobart Race the Patrice team assembled just one week before the great race to relaunch Patrice with a new bulb fitted, not by choice but by necessity.

ker 46 2With just a little more than a month to go to the start of the great race, during a lead up race Patrice connected with a submerged rock at speed and extensively damaged the lead bulb. With the boat and crew safely back in Sydney, the McConaghy team could inspect the damage; surprisingly and fortunately it was contained to the bulb, all the composite hull and keel fin structure were found to be in remarkably good order. Planned preparation for the Hobart race was now in tatters. Fortunately, the McConaghy team in Sydney and China moved into gear immediately and were able to cast a new lead bulb, have it machined, freighted and fitted to the yacht, with a few days to spare. Great effort all round.

So much to do in so little time, new IRC measurements, rig back in and tuned, safety equipment checks and sign off. Then it was out onto the harbour to go through the new sails from HOOD Sails Australia. The sail development has come from the last 12 months of R & D both in offshore and regatta mode. The new sails consisted of a Mainsail with a larger square top, Light, Medium & Heavy jibs all full size plus a new Spinnaker Staysail, Drifter plus a new A2 and finally the Hobart necessity of an A6 for those fun times of smoking downwind in 35+knots. I have to say a big thanks to the owner Tony Kirby as it’s not often you start such an important race with basically a brand new optimized set of sails – Thanks TK awesome effort in boat preparation.

Once the sails were checked and signed off it was then time for some quick reefing and heavy weather setup practice then back to the dock to work on the ever increasing job list. Do they ever get any shorter I think not.

One week out from boxing day the weather forecast and routing info started coming through the email to the team, with a varied level of interest from those of us that had time we could start seeing some consistency between the weather models and by the time Boxing day arrived we were pretty happy with what we saw. We thought “at least it not light and bumpy on the wind as that’s not our best point of sail”.

Come race day we had a South Easter at the start of around 15-20knots, it was looking like a tight reach to the heads and we were the smallest boat on the first start line so we needed options. Full main and A6 was the choice, with a focus on staying clean we started towards the boat end and pretty much ran straight to the heads, and let me say we go there in great shape. Many larger boats were now behind us and we quickly settled into a rhythm on the wind heading to the sea mark before we headed south.

We were comfortable with the full main and heavy jib on, keeping close relatives on boats around us including One Sails racing (Farr 55), Balance (TP 52) and Cougar (TP 52). Both of the later only passing us after approximately an hour after the start, happy days for us. With the breeze slowly clocking left we watch a few competitors get enticed to tack early and start heading south. We hung on for a while until we were convinced the shift was getting consistent and the wind speed increased a little as well. Our small group was ourselves and the two TP52’s Cougar and Balance who both had a reef and I’m their guessing heavy jibs on.

ker 46 3We knew the first 12 hours were going to be super crucial, all hands on deck trying to get some form of comfort sitting on the rail with 20 to 25 knots blowing in your face and not to mention the continuous spray just to remind you were you are. The wind clocked further left and Patrice was loving it, her high righting moment and form stability had us launching down the coast. I’d hate to be an engineer that’s for sure as our angle to the waves was just about head on so we had no option but a straight course and yep we had plenty of air at times. “Try putting your gear on below while she launches of the back of a swell and crashes to the bottom, that was a challenge”.

Through the night with an increase of more pressure we changed to our full size #4 jib which balanced the boat nicely, slightly cracked on the sail and making great VMG towards the finish but……. It was super uncomfortable as we smashed through the waves doing 10+knots – “well I suppose it is a Hobart race after all”

By first light the wind speed had moderated and the comfort level had improved dramatically, thank god for that I say. All eyes are focussed on any sails we can see around us. Good news is we have still got some larger faster boats behind us, Pretty Fly III, Scarlett Runner, Terra Firma and the new Carkeek 47 Indian as well just to name a few. It’s a long race so we push on and keep updating the strategy for the bigger picture. Our position always had us hedging to the west of the main fleet but still close enough to stay in touch, all based on weather info downloaded and studied. From morning to around 1pm on the 27th we had super light conditions and used the new drifter for a few hours, changed to the zero and eventually to the A2. Fair to say the larger faster higher rating boats behind us caught a little and we now found ourselves with quiet a good size of boats around us to monitor and second guess at times. By late afternoon we are making good speed down towards the NSW Victorian Border. With promises of a solid breeze continuing in the forecasts we keep monitoring our weather and still hedged to the west along with Scarlett Runner who is hedging even further than us (Paid off well for them to). The afternoon and evening was pretty gently in Hobart terms. 10 to 20 knots variable and reasonable smooth sea state, player comfort level has raised considerable up to 8/10. “Is this a Hobart race I ask myself, standing with my feet sun burnt”?

With another light air morning spent in Bass strait we were still happy with our position within the fleet, we thought we had our time on most but stayed focussed on the bigger picture still, the wind was playing havoc with us not building like we thought and it wasn’t until very late in the afternoon on the 28th close to St Helens on the Tassie coast that the forecast we had been waiting for starting showing signs of life. 10knots became 15knots which then built to 20knots until we had 30-35knots doing some white knuckle adrenalin yachting which is what we live for. A2 to A4 to A6 and then back to the A3 then in the early evening back to the A6. Oh and yeah plenty of weed out there and we spent 30mins with weed lines trying to clear a large piece but unfortunately couldn’t get it of the keel. Chute off head to wind and back down until the weed is spotted drifting away. Dam so frustrating when you know your loosing valuable minutes. The pressure was in and we were exploring new regions with Patrice as we hadn’t sailed in 30+knots downwind, we did know she was fast and wet downwind so just went with her and let the boat do its thing. Full main and A3 was a very nice combination between 30-35 knots but once the puffs started averaging above 35 knots we didn’t need all the sail area so we went back to the A6. During this time in the middle of the night doing speeds of between 15 and 25 knots Twirler was driving and I was trimming the chute right beside him, then all of a sudden he starts freaking out “I’ve lost steerage, something’s wrong, I can’t steer its really heavy” we manage to run deep and check the rudder and work out something is on it as there is a lot of turbulence coming out behind the boat. Decision is made, chute down and another back down has to be made, actually took two back downs to clear the rudder of what turned out to be a shark. Dam more miles lost and all in 35 knots in the pitch black with boats in the close proximately as well. I find out later out navigator had the smarts to inform boats close by (thank goodness for AIS) we had steerage problems and to be aware of that as we were all doing 20+knots on converging courses) later Pretty Fly III a canting keel Cookson 50 was awarded redress for avoiding the area……….

Once we re-hoisted the A6 and continue on we decide to put a reef in the mainsail to assist the bow staying a little higher, we now have the wind hitting strengths of 38knots and that’s just when I can see the instruments as there is so much water coming through. The sky is pitch black as there is no moon and seriously it is like sailing in a mineshaft, I remember twirler saying “just close your eyes it’s the same”. Wind speed 35+knots boat speed sitting around 20 knots and topping out at 32knots and the sea state was not massive but some very steep swells which as they say “sent us down the mineshaft”. Some fantastic driving from our guys and we had no tip ins (roundups) and were in control all the time. The boat was in the grove and we were coming into the 50 footers just ahead of us. (Watching on tracker and AIS).

ker 46 4As we approached Tasman Island we were back in front of much higher rating boats like Indian (carkeek 47) & Pretty Fly III (Cookson 50) and fast approaching Victoire (Cookson 50). The wind was up and down quite a lot, one minute it was 35knots the next down to 10knots. So easy to get caught out in these conditions. We could see Victoire slowing ahead and decided to give Cape Raoul a wide berth and choose a robust sail to get a through. Get the code Zero ready was the call and up it went. We slip past Victoire and now sailing away from the boats around us as they are caught in to close to Cape Raoul. Now it is Patrice, Victoire, Pretty Fly III and Indian all together and on our way to Iron Pot. Zero is furled and Heavy Jib full main is the configuration. We hold off the three faster (two canting Keelers) boats all the way to Iron Pot. On the beat up the Derwent the two Cookson’s sneak by but we hold off the well sailed Indian and beat her across the line.

Fantastic race and a great team sailing a great boat, Patrice won her division IRC 1 by over 2 hrs which was very impressive.

Well done TK for putting together such an awesome campaign, and well done to all the crew:

  • Tony Kirby
  • Darren “Twirler” Jones
  • Ian “Barney” Walker
  • Peter “Messo” Messenger
  • Jason Rowed
  • Julian Salter
  • Steve Gajic
  • Mark Brown
  • Justin Mulkearnes
  • Gail Harland
  • Richard Grimes
  • Matt Johns
  • Ben Davis


A Message from HOOD Sailmakers’ CEO Rob MacMillan

 We’re 3/4 of the way through the summer, but one of my favorite events is this week: The Opera House Cup. The Opera House Cup in conjunction with Nantucket Race Week is a beautiful collection of racing and sailing history.

rob33 years ago, the Opera House Cup became the first all wooden, single-hulled classic boat regatta. The Cup showcases a spectrum of design from early 1900s cruising boats to modern Spirit of Tradition boats. While being serious about the racing, most of the competitors are there to share and experience the enjoyment of sailing. The Opera House Cup is a very difficult event to win given the tides and variable winds in Nantucket Sound, but we’re proud that there have been numerous HOOD Sailmakers equipped winners over the years. I’ll be on the lookout for the top HOOD performers this week, and if you’re out on Nantucket, come and say hello at the Opera House Cup Awards Party.


Lastly, as we look toward the fall and in the spirit of welcoming sailors back into the HOOD family, we are offering 15% off any new sail order placed between September 1 and October 15th. We look forward to working with you and helping you get the best quality, durability and value for your sails.

Cheers, Rob


HOOD Producing Rhode Island’s Tall Ship, the Oliver Hazard Perry’s Sails

Rhode Island’s own Tall Ship, the Oliver Hazard Perry’s sails are being produced in Rhode Island at the HOOD Sailmakers Middletown Loft!

tall ship 1The HOOD loft in Middletown is busy building the 20 sail inventory for Rhode Island’s own tall ship, a 196-foot long, three-masted sailing vessel. The ship, named for Newport’s War of 1812 naval hero Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, is joining the select fleet of Class-A size Tall Ships hosted by the nations of the world.

Of the 20 sail inventory, 15 sails are complete and the HOOD team is working hard to finish the final five by this spring. Due to be on the water sailing this summer, the Oliver Hazard Perry will be based in Newport, owned and operated in trust for the people of Rhode Island by Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI).tall ship 2

HOOD Sailmaker, Coy Bethune has been leading the team building the Oliver Hazard Perry’s sails and said, “Working on Rhode Island’s tall ship has been an honor and a very different project than the more current version of what you think of as sails. The Oliver Hazard Perry’s sails are big and heavy; the layout of each one is unique. It’s hard work, but rewarding and I look forward to seeing the finished product on Narragansett Bay.”


HOOD Hosts April RIMTA Meeting

On Monday, April 7th HOOD Sailmakers hosted the April Rhode Island Marine Trade Association member meeting. RIMTA members gathered at the loft for drinks, appetizers and networking, followed by a program of several speakers.

meetingHOOD owner, Rob MacMillan, opened the program by commenting on RIMTA and it’s position within the industry, “In my mind this [Narragansett] Bay and Rhode Island is the epicenter of marine business, which I am proud to be a part of.”

Speakers for the evening included Joe Walsh, RIMTA’s esteemed lobbyist from Government Strategies, who spoke on the legislative landscape and leaders to watch in the race for Governor. Guests also heard from Joe Migliore from the Department of Envionmental Management and RIMTA’s new Marina Chair, Brandon Kidd from Pirate’s Cove.


Welcome to the New HOOD Sailmakers

Welcome to the new HOOD Sailmakers! In the last 10 months we’ve come under new ownership and have been busy preparing for the next 60 years. One thing hasn’t changed though, HOOD is still your most trusted name in sailmaking.

The New Face Behind HOOD Sailmakers

A Rhode Island native, Rob MacMillan, 38, grew up sailing and racing on the waters of Narragansett Bay. 15 years ago he developed a passion for sailmaking while racing semi-professionally on everything from dinghys to super yachts. Often during this time Rob found himself assisting with sail repair and maintenance. Wanting to develop a fuller understanding of the sailmaking process, Rob started working with Shore Sails in Newport, which ultimately led to him co-operating and co-owning the loft. In less than ten years, Rob helped transform Shore Sails into Quantum Newport, which is the largest grossing loft in Newport today.

In June of 2013, Rob purchased HOOD Sailmakers with the intent of continuing the strong and proud tradition of quality sailmaking.

When asked about how he sees HOOD Sailmakers, Rob said, “Ted Hood created a brand based on the simple principles of performance and durability. HOOD is the name synonymous with quality sailmaking and I look forward to re-establishing the brand as the most trusted in sailmaking. Around the globe, HOOD Sailmakers will be there for sailors and boats large and small and I look forward to working with our customers in this new generation.”

The Loft

HOOD Sailmakers Corporate Headquarters in Middletown, Rhode Island moved into roughly 23,000 square feet of combined office and production space from Portsmouth, RI in 1995. Without stopping production, the Rhode Island Loft promptly began manufacturing sails in their 19,000 square foot space in 1996.

The facility contains both the space and equipment to build sails from start to finish. HOOD’s talented team of sailmakers has access to its own laser cutter, and 15 sewing machines ranging from short to long arm. The Rhode Island Sail Loft is capable of cutting and sewing all panels in house ranging from light weight to heavy duty allowing them versatility from small jobs to mega yacht.

With a combined 100 years of experience in sailmaking, all at HOOD, the Rhode Island HOOD Team is one of the best in the business.

We welcome you to stop by the Middletown Loft and say hello. We’d love to show you the largest loft floor in New England. It’s an exciting time here at HOOD and we look forward to sharing the process with you!


HOOD Powered Southern Excellence II 12th in Line Honors in the 2013 Sydney-Hobart Race

Congratulations to HOOD powered Southern Excellence II in their strong performance in the 2013 Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race. 12th across the line in a 94 boat fleet in what is one of the world’s most beloved offshore ocean races. Starting on the 26th of December annually, the race takes competitors 600+ miles from Sydney, Australia to Hobart, Tasmania on what is consistently a very challenging course.

The former Volvo 70 boat, Ichi Ban, was purchased in March 2013 by Andrew Wenham and renamed Southern Excellence II. The team went on to win line honours in the protracted Gosford Lord Howe Island race in a time of 63hrs, 45mins 22secs; one of the longest in the race’s recent history after being marred by light and fluky winds. In similar conditions in this year’s Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, Southern Excellence II finished fifth on line and fifth in IRC Division 0 and then took line honours in the Blue Water Pointscore’s Bird Island Race in October.

Wenham has upgraded a number of systems on the boat to improve her IRC rating and to suit his requirements. His crew, including eldest son David, is bolstered by the likes of HOOD Australia sailmaker Ian Broad. With Wenham’s former Southern Excellence, a Volvo 60, the team crossed the line in 15th place for sixth overall in PHS.

Originally built for and competed in the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race, this yacht reaped some great results for former owner Matt Allen, including second on line in 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart and third in 2007 and 2008.


HOOD Loft Argentina Owner, Jorge Ferrero wins 2013 Argetinean ORCi Championship

Jorge Ferrero and his father Pedro, owners of the HOOD Loft in Argentina, took home first place in the 2013 Argentinean ORC Championship which took place in Buenos Aries this past November.

Yacht Club Argentino hosted the Championship and after two consecutive weekends of racing, and seven races Ferrero’s Jabeque bested Julian Somodi’s Mumm 36 MAD MAX in a tie-break to earn their first place overall victory. Congratulations to the entire HOOD Argentina Jabeque Team!