Tom Braisted – Sales and Service Manager
Tom started working for HOOD Sailmakers on September 3, 1996, after HOOD moved their headquarters from Portsmouth to Middletown. Tom is HOOD’S Service Manager, builds sails from start to finish and also sells new sails for the company. He has a true love for the water and even calls it home! Tom lives on his Beneteau First 35 in Newport Harbor.
Joe Cooper- Sail Consultant
Originally from Sydney, Australia, Joe Cooper grew up learning to sail and race on his father’s boats. Success in the 1974 Sydney-Hobart Race led to an invitation to Newport to sail on the 1977 America’s Cup challenger Gretel 2. He returned to Newport in 1980, this time racing on Australia. Following the America’s Cup and two Congressional Cups, he stayed in the U.S. sailing on I.O.R. boats thru the 1980’s. Joe first joined HOOD in 1986 as a Sails Consultant and was with the company through 1991. In the ‘90s Joe went on to work in France on the J-Class Endeavor. After spending time as a skipper or mate for various boats and several short-handed trans-oceanic passages, he returned to HOOD in Rhode Island in 2001, where he led the sales team until 2010. In the past three years, Joe has been pursuing his sailing, coaching, writing and lecturing career. In that time he has been instrumental in promoting short-handed sailing and establishing the double-handed class in the annual Block Island Race on Long Island Sound. With such a wide and varied level of experience, Joe is exceptionally adept at understanding HOOD’S client’s needs. So it was in early 2014 that he returned to HOOD Sailmakers to consult for the new ownership team and help HOOD move ahead for the next 50 years.
Dora Marshall – Production, Patch Department
Dora, who grew up in Portsmouth, started working for HOOD Sailmakers April 23, 1990. She is responsible for building patch layers, batten pockets, insignias, numbers and bags for all sails built by HOOD. In addition to helping out with other projects that need completing, Dora has run HOOD’S patch department for 23 years.
Dawn Mello – Office Manager
Dawn started working for HOOD Sailmakers on May 13, 1991. Dawn was born and raised on Aquidneck Island, and grew up on a farm in Portsmouth. Dawn began working in the Accounts Receivable department, and over the years, she became Assistant to the President. Currently, Dawn manages the office for HOOD in addition to helping out wherever needed in design, layout and production.
Patrizia Rogers – Production
Patrizia started working for HOOD Sailmakers on July 25, 2003. She is originally from Germany and moved to the U.S. 17 years ago. Patrizia runs the laser, which cuts all the panels for the sails. After cutting the panels, she seam sticks them together and stitches the sails to get them ready for the first layout.
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.”