Jack Chippendale, a master wooden boat builder, died on February 24th at the age of 87. Over his seventy year career, he is said to have built more than 4,000 boats, including boats which won 30 world and national sailing championships. He was appointed MBE in 2010.
His particular skill was constructing dinghies – small, cheap boats whose popularity took off in the straitened post-war years. Always keen to ensure that the largest number of people should benefit from sailing, Chippendale pioneered methods of breaking down designs into yet cheaper kit form, allowing those on very tight budgets to construct the dinghies themselves.
Like many builders, Chippendale spent little time in boats himself: “People who love boats don’t make good boatbuilders,” he said. “The job of boatbuilder should not be an indulgence — it should be treated seriously.”
Thanks to Alaric Bond for passing the news along.