Harry Robert Sindle passed as dawn broke on Wilson Creek off the Ware River in Gloucester, April 24, 2020. It was the day before his 67th wedding anniversary to his wife Janet. He was surrounded by his family in his last 12 hours, and passed with his wife and daughter by his side. He was 90 years old.
Born Oct. 14, 1929 in Little Falls, New Jersey, to Harold Lyman Sindle and Ruth Post Sindle, he began to sail at the age of 10, learning alongside his dad on the Jersey Shore. In the 1950s and ’60s he was a nationally known sailor, winning major titles in the Lightning, Thistle, Comet, Flying Dutchman, and others. In the Flying Dutchman Class, he was the United States gold-medal winner in the Pan American Games (1959) and was on the 1960 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team in Rome.
In 1963, wanting to move his growing family to a country setting, he left a small sailboat manufacturing company he co-owned (Siddons and Sindle) in Toms River, New Jersey, to come to Gloucester to work as a sales rep for local sailing legend and designer of the Mobjack, Roger Moorman. The family originally lived on Ware Point in Gloucester. The company moved to the old skating rink on Route 17 in White Marsh, was purchased by Browning Arms, and named Newport Boats. He was made manager of that company and for a while helped manage both the Gloucester and California plants. Throughout the ups and downs and company name changes in the sailing business, he continued to design and manufacture small sailboats, culminating with managing Gloucester Yachts in a plant he built in Ware Neck (Gloucester) until it was sold in 1986. Some of the designs he is known for are the Newport models named Holiday, Blue Crab, Flipper, Skipjack, Kite, N17, and Surprise. He also designed the Lockley/Newport (later named Gloucester) 19, 20, 23, 27. Other boats that he produced included the fiberglass version of the Hampton One Design, Albacore, Lightning, and the Chrysler (later named Gloucester) Buccaneer and Mutineer. He was Virginia’s first Laser sailboat dealer.
Harry was an alumnus of Rutgers University (Mechanical Engineering) and a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was one of the founding members of the Ware River Yacht Club and served a couple of terms as Commodore. For many years he was a guest racing expert for Steve Colgate’s Offshore sailing schools in Florida and Puerto Rico. He also worked as a representative of New York Life.
Harry was predeceased by his parents, and son, Richard. He is survived by his sister, Gwen Mirrielees (Tampa, Florida); his wife, Janet; three children, Brad, Robert (Nancy), Susan; 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
For the last nine years, he was bedridden with Parkinson’s. His wishes to remain in their home on Wilson Creek were honored by his family and made possible by his wife as main caregiver. It is impossible to list everyone the family would like to thank, but we feel a special thank you needs to be given to Dr. Peter Zullo, Joan Hooper (deceased), and Cindy Laughinghouse.
A memorial will be held sometime after COVID-19 at the Ware River Yacht Club. Today, surely, he is spending “Another Day in Paradise.”
The family requests that any gifts in memoriam be made to the Gloucester Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 1417, Gloucester, Va. 23061 or the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society, P.O. Box 385, Gloucester, Va. 23061.
Services under the direction of Hogg Funeral Home.