Robert Wilson (Rob) Ball: 1943 – 2022

Rob Ball

Sept 26, 2022

We were saddened to hear of the recent death of noted C&C Yachts designer Rob Ball. Rob succumbed to injuries suffered in a recent fall on September 9th at the age of 79 at his home in New Bedford, Mass.

It can be safely said that no yacht designer in the long history of the sport had more designs to his credit than Rob Ball. Rob took over design responsibility at C&C in 1973 when George Cuthbertson assumed the responsibilities of the Presidency of a rapidly growing C&C Yachts that had been founded a mere four years previously. Rob stayed with the company through several iterations right up to 1996 when the assets of C&C were purchased by Tartan Marine in the US and the company ceased to be a Canadian entity.

Rob was responsible for creating the lines plans of the hulls of every C&C produced over those 23 years, which included some of the most iconic sailboat designs of the last century, ranging from windsurfers to 67’ world girdling schooners. The list is too long to recount in detail, but included the C&C 33 and 34, the new C&C 27s, 29s, 30s, 35s and the immensely successful C&C 40s and 41s, as well as the Landfall line of cruising sailboats and designs for outside builders such a Baltic Yachts. His custom designs included Dynamo, Amazing Grace, Silver Shadow, Charisma, Marauder, Evergreen, Archangel, and many more. The entire 1983 Canadian Admirals Cup team consisted of C&C designs, and the C&C 40 dominated racing on Long Island Sound in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. After leaving C&C, or more accurately C&C leaving Rob, he moved to the US to design for Concordia, and then started a long career as chief engineer for Edson International in New Bedford.

EvergreenBall’s design, Evergreen, winner Canada’s Cup 1978, RHYC

Rob is survived by his wife of many years Pat, his sisters Mary Dodd (John) and Barb Watson, his three children Bria Knowles (Michael), Dayton Ball (Lauren), and Kira L’Heureux (Dalton), and four grandchildren Emmett, Oliver, Keenan, and Arlo.

Anyone who owns a C&C designed after 1973 owes a dept of gratitude to Rob Ball. There will be many glasses raised in tribute to that unsurpassed design legacy that will outlive Rob for years to come.

– Rob Mazza

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