North Sails LOFT NEWS
WHO WE ARE: PERRY LEWIS
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What got you into sailing?
My dad is a nuclear physicist who also loved fooling around in boats, and designed & built his 1st 33-footer. When I was six years old, he bought a 1947 wooden S&S 40. My family vacations all through grade school and into high school were to jump in and take off for several weeks. Most afternoons after we anchored, I’d sail the Dyer Dink around the harbor. I got my first taste of racing when I was in college.
What boats/classes do you sail?
I have been very lucky to be associated with great teams in grand prix classes like the 1D 48s, Mumm 30 & 36 and Farr 40s – where the talent levels & learning opportunities were highest.
What got you into the marine industry?
I graduated from University of Chicago with a degree in mathematics and with no idea what I was going to do with it. Within two weeks-by accident actually- I stumbled into a job of “captain” (boat boy) for Don Wildman’s converted Americas Cup 12m Heritage. For the next three years, one race boat job led to the next.
How long have you been working in the industry?
Most of the boats I worked with are clients of North Sails, including Heritage, who the famous America’s Cup veteran John Marshall came to take care of. On the last, 3/4-tonner Chocolate Chips, Gerry Gavin joined us from the Pewaukee, Wisconsin loft for the 1978 Worlds – and afterwards asked if I had thought about sailmaking. I gave it a try at the ripe age of 25 and never left!