Sailor set solo world record

Los Angeles Times - - Obituaries - Dodge Mor­gan

Dodge Mor­gan, 78, the first Amer­i­can to sail solo around the globe with­out stop­ping — and in record time — died of com­pli­ca­tions from can­cer Sept. 14 at Brigham and Women’s Hos­pi­tal in Bos­ton.

Mor­gan set a world record in 1986 when he com­pleted the solo sail in his 60foot Amer­i­can Prom­ise in 150 days, 1 hour and 6 min­utes, beat­ing Bri­tish sailor Chay Blyth, who took 292 days to ac­com­plish the same feat in 1971.

Ted Hood, who de­signed Mor­gan’s boat, said the Amer­i­can Prom­ise was a rugged sail­boat with two of ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing a spare generator and a spare rud­der, and was de­signed for stur­di­ness, not speed.

“Ev­ery­one said there’s no way that boat is go­ing to get around the world in record speed, but it did,” said Hood, a 1974 Amer­ica’s Cup win­ner.

Born in 1932 in Malden, Mass., Mor­gan worked at his un­cle’s boat­yard when he was a boy and later be­came part of the sail­ing scene in Mar­ble­head, Mass.

By the time he ful­filled his dream of sail­ing around the world, Mor­gan had served in the Air Force, earned a com­mu­ni­ca­tions de­gree from Bos­ton Uni­ver­sity and be­come a suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man. He made a for­tune by build­ing a radar de­tec­tor com­pany called Con­trolonics. The firm later changed its name to Whistler, af­ter the whistling sound made by its ear­lier ma­rine radar sys­tems.

Mor­gan even­tu­ally took his love of sail­ing to Maine, where he spent his later years.

Ron­ald W. Wal­ters

Mor­gan broke a record that had been set 15 years ear­lier by Bri­tish sailor

Chay Blyth.

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