The Crazy Ones

Innovators are pioneers willing to take risks, accept all challenges and make a change for the better.

Many individuals and groups have made incredible contributions to the sport of yachting over the years, from both boatbuilding and technology standpoints. In fact, there are too many of them to cover in an article, a single issue or even a volume of text. Our team at Yachting is inaugurating this annual Innovation issue to look at where we started, what's current and what's coming. This year we celebrate five innovators who have made a real difference in the sport we love. Who are your favorites?

Jack Hargrave

A picture of a 70-foot steel yacht called Seven Seas appears to show a rather dramatic yacht launching, but it also says a lot about yacht designer Jack Hargrave. It was the first vessel longer than 30 feet for which he created a full set of drawings. It seemed the futures of the boat and the designer were linked. To read more on Jack Hargrave, click here.

Volvo Penta

What’s in a name? If you’re the 107-year-old Swedish brand Volvo Penta, it’s ­everything. This well-regarded engine manufacturer built its first motor back in 1907 (coincidentally, the same year this magazine launched) when it was called Sköfde Gjuteri och Mekaniska Verkstad. The engine was called the Penta B1, and the name Penta came from the fact that five people were present during the engine’s initial design meetings. Within two years, the company produced its first 20 motors and has been on the leading edge of propulsion technology ever since. To read more about Volvo Penta, click here.

Dick Bertram

There are those who can create and those who have vision for the creation. Dick Bertram possessed both of those qualities. To read more about Dick Bertram, click here.

Ray Hunt

There are great powerboat designers, and there are great sailboat designers. Then there is Ray Hunt, a rare individual who was able to transcend both disciplines. To read more about Ray Hunt, click here.

Shep McKenney

Sometimes when the stars align, maritime magic happens. Sometimes twice. Such is the case with Shep McKenney. He once co-owned Hinckley Yachts and brought boaters the famed Picnic Boat and the first-ever joystick helm setup. His current company, Seakeeper, produces one-of-a-kind gyrostabilizers for yachts. To read more about Shep Mckenney, click here.