Even though there are many easier ways to earn a living, all that I ever wanted to do is design boats” – Lyle C. Hess

Lyle Hess was a yacht designer best known for designing the bluewater cruising boats of Lin and Larry Pardey and the Bristol Channel Cutter, built by Sam L. Morse Company. He was a fan of traditional wooden craft, particularly the small yachts of his boyhood, and cut his teeth designing and building wooden boats. The shrinking wooden boat market forced him out of the business in the 1950s, but the burgeoning fiberglass revolution opened the door to his return as a yacht designer in the 1960s. He was a master of creating handsome, spirited, ocean-going small boats and when asked in an interview many years ago what the common quality in his designs was, he thoughtfully replied:

I feel that any boat that points her bow out to sea should be designed so that the crew need not worry about a safe return

Lyle Hess passed away in July 2002 at the age of 90.

Links, References and Further Reading

» Lyle C. Hess: A Profile by Chuck Malseed, Cruising World Feb 1977
» Dream-Boat Man: The Safe and Able World of Lyle Hess by Morry Edwards
» Obituary Lyle Hess dies at 90 by Twain Braden

Designs by Lyle C. Hess

West-ward Ho (28′)
Lady Elizabeth (40′)
Renegade of Newport (25′), 1950
Seraffyn (24′ 7″), 1964
Taliesin (29′ 6″), 1977
Balboa 20
Balbao 26
Balboa 27
Ensenada 20
Bristol Channel Cutter 28, 1975
Falmouth Cutter 22, 1978
Fatty Knees Dinghy
Nor’Sea 27, 1977
Nor’Sea 37
Montgomery 12
Montgomery 17
Montgomery 23