Ted Hood is perhaps best known worldwide as the man who founded Hood Sail makers, which during the 1960's and 1970's was the world's largest sail maker. He is also very well known as a successful racing skipper, as the founder of Little Harbor Yachts, and as an innovative marine inventor and yacht designer.
While his sail making business grew, Hood also built and skippered a successful series of keel and centerboard racing boats under names Robin, Robin Too and even Robin Too II. Hood captured first in the Newport-Bermuda Race in 1968; he sailed to another victory in the 1971 Marblehead-Halifax Race, (10 years after his 1961 Halifax win); with Robin Too II. Robin One Ton won the 1974 SORC (Southern Ocean Racing Circuit). As skipper of Courageous he then went on to win the 1974 America's Cup, sailing away from Australia's Southern Cross, 4-0.
As an inventor, Hood was the first sail maker to weave his own Dacron cloth. He is also credited with early designs for grooved head stays, jib roller furling, as well as the Stoway mast and the Stoboom. In the mid 1980's, Hood sold his sail making operation to concentrate on his design and boatbuilding interests. What had been a side business turned into Hood's main business as he started building and marketing his Little Harbor line of sailboats. These yachts were built in Japan, 1959-1960 and in Holland at Franz Maas, 1960-1978, then to Taiwan; first at yards that Hood had relationships with, and later at his own yard located in the most northern tip of Taiwan. By the end of the 1980's, Little Harbor had become known as one of the highest quality yachts one could own. About 200 of his Little Harbor custom yachts, from 35 to 135 feet, are sailing today, starting at Franz Maas in Holland in 1961-1973 and from Taiwan 1980-1996, and many other countries; Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Holland, Sweden, France, New Zealand, Poland, Turkey, and China; large custom sailing yachts from 90 to 135 feet.
In 1987 Hood began building power boats in Portsmouth having purchased the assets of the Black Watch company. This was Hood's first venture into powerboat building. Mr. Hood moved aggressively into the powerboat market with his line of Little Harbor "Whisperjet" water-jet powered yachts. In 1999, the opportunity came available to sell the company to the investor group that a year earlier had purchased The Hinckley Company.
Today, Ted Hood continues to work on his own new projects, including design of power Catamarans a range of 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 112, and 125 foot Expedition Heavy Offshore yachts, a newly re-designed line of Expedition Motor Sailors (which are capable of cruising at trawler speeds under sail or power), and 52, 62 and 72 foot Coastal Trawler, capable of doing up to 18 knots. Ted Hood saw a need for a state-of-the-art, long-range cruising yacht, owner operated with all the amenities and comfort of home. .
These are custom yachts designed with many options available, including diesel-electric drive, for the cruising areas of the world; East coast, Baltic, Pacific Northwest, Baja, Caribbean, French Polynesia, or the Mediterranean. She will be constructed to the owner’s specifications and interests, whether it is entertaining, exploring, SCUBA, or living and cruising with family.
Mr. Hood continues to design and innovate daily, running his Ted Hood Yacht Designs office out of the Little Harbor complex in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.