- Cyrus Hamlin, 98, passed away peacefully on March 17, 2017, after a brief decline.
He was born July 14, 1918, to Charlotte (Verlage) and Marston Lovell Hamlin in Orange, New Jersey. Cy developed a life-long love affair with marine matters, nurtured by his father's love of sailing and Cy's experience in the BSA Sea Scouts program.
A self-taught naval architect, Cy was employed as a draftsman in New York until 1939 when he moved to Southwest Harbor where he was employed by Hinckley Yachts and Southwest Boat Corporation designing pleasure and commercial vessels. He also supervised the construction of early yawls for the US Naval Academy.
During World War II, Cy was a US Army cartographer serving in the Philippines. Following the war, Cy was awarded a graduate fellowship at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. He met his wife, Jean Barklie, at the Institute and they returned to Southwest Harbor in 1949 to work and start a family.
After a brief return to Hinckley Co. and Mount Desert Yacht Yard, Cy struck out on his own. Over the next four decades, Cy designed a large number of vessels and was a noted marine consultant. He was also employed by the World Bank traveling to several developing countries designing vessels that, while incorporating modern features, were sensitive to native concerns and abilities. He visited Yemen, Somalia, the Maldives, and India, among other travels.
Among his most notable designs were the Amphicon and Controversy classes designed in collaboration with Farnum Butler of Mount Desert Yacht Yard, the pulling boats used by Hurricane Island Outward Bound, and the Hudson River Sloop, "Clearwater", which gained prominence during the growing environmental movement in the 1960s. He spent much time with the folk singer Pete Seeger who spearheaded the Hudson River Sloop Society. They remained good friends until Seeger's death.
Cy contributed to the development of the Yacht Design Program at the Landing Boat School in Arundel and taught naval architecture from its inception. He also wrote "Preliminary Design of Yachts and Ships," a textbook still in use today.
Following the death of his wife, Jean, Cy married Mary Jane Piaget in 1992. Cy was looking for a builder for his own sailboat when they met. They spent many great years in the "M.L. Hamlin" sailing the Maine coast. They traveled extensively. Their favorite ship was the "Star Flyer". She was a 370' schooner with 170 passengers. They took two five-week cruises - Sardinia to St. Martin and Athens, Greece, to Phuket, Thailand.
Cy loved to write about everything - people, world affairs, famous people, fisheries. He was very happy sitting on the sofa with his yellow pad and pen. He had an interesting opinion about everything.
He is survived by his wife Mary Jane Hamlin; three children, Mary Mayo and her husband Peter of Bowdoinham, James Hamlin of Arundel and Jane Hamlin of Cornish, NH; two grandchildren, Elizabeth Mayo and Christopher H. Mayo; and three great grandchildren, Harper Lee, Cullen and Finnegan. He also leaves four step children, Tom Piaget of Gladstone, Michigan, Nicki Piaget of Cumberland, Christine Piaget of Cape Elizabeth and Wendy Paradis of Falmouth.
Cy will be remembered as a tall handsome guy wearing a perky red cap who entered his home with his special words, "Who ha, I'm home."
A Celebration of his Life will be held at DiMillo's on the Water, 25 Long Wharf, Portland, on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, from 4-6 p.m. Arrangements are under the direction of the Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home of Portland. To view Cy's memorial page, or to share online condolences, visit www.ConroyTullyWalker.com.
In lieu of flowers please consider a contribution to The Landing Boat School, 286 River Road, Arundel, Maine 04046 or the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), 350 Commercial Street, Portland, Maine 04101.
Published on  March 22, 2017