December 29, 2015

Waltman M. Walters 1926 - 2015

Walt Walters died this December at the age of 89.  Born in Rochester, Minnesota, Waltman M. Walters studied aeronautical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, switched to mechanical engineering, and then got married and moved to Florida. His first job was as draftsman at Scottie Craft just as the company was shifting from wood to fiberglass construction. Next was Squall King, and then a partnership with Carl Moesly building the American Marc line for Arthur Vining Davis, head of Alcoa.  Following Dick Bertram’s historic victory in the 1960 Miami to Nassau Race, in a Ray Hunt designed deep-V named Moppie, Bertram formed Bertram Yachts and hired Walters as production engineer for the Bertram 31. Not long after, Walters and Jim Wynne teamed to design and race offshore powerboats. Their first, the 16 feet Wyn Mill, was sufficiently successful to draw the attention of Don Aronow, who commissioned Walters and Wynne to design the Formula 233, which was in continuous production for 19 years, until 1983, and is one of the most-copied hulls ever built. In the following years Walters designed for Donzi, Chris-Craft, Luhrs, Starcraft, Fino, Monza, Botved, Kiekhaefer, Aquasport a landmark 22/6.7m popularized the center-console open-fisherman type), the upmarket Magnum and many more. He even designed a few sailboats for Bill Soverel.