Sailor set solo world record
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.
Morgan broke a record that had been set 15 years earlier by British sailor