Deceased , Modern





Alfred F. Loomis was a renowned yachtsman, writer, and ocean racing historian. He wrote extensively, including a monthly column, Under the Lee of the Longboat, which featured potential candidates for membership of his fictional organization, The Lee Rail Vikings. He was also the author of many books, including the classic “Ocean Racing and Ranging the Maine Coast”. He made three Trans-Atlantic passages in sailing vessels and established an offshore racing record that remains unmatched. He was a member of many yacht clubs, including the Cruising Club of America, Trans-Pacific, Royal Ocean Racing, and the Ocean Cruising clubs.

Loomis was born on August 23, 1890, and raised in Connecticut and New Jersey. He received a public school education, concluding with two terms at a New York military academy. In 1912, he embarked on a five-month motorboat trip to Florida with a friend, after which he accepted the associate editorship of Motor Boating magazine. In 1917, he enlisted in the naval reserve and served as an editor of the service paper in Newport, R.I. and later went to the war zone on one of the smallest class of naval vessels, the S. C.’s. He roamed the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas until 1919 and was navigator of the winning chaser in a race from Bermuda that  shattered all motor boat records for that course. After resigning his commission, Loomis became a freelance writer. He cruised single-handed from New York to Eastport, Maine, compiling information for a boatman’s pathfinder that appeared serially in the magazine Country Life. He then embarked with two shipmates in the 28-foot yawl Hippocampus, bound for Panama, which chronicles the various vicissitudes of that voyage. He owned a 32-footer called HOTSPUR, which he made many memorable cruises in company with his wife, whom his many reader know affectionately as “P.L.” His rich and distinguished career and his contribution to the sport he loved so well is incalculable. Everything he wrote was identifiable by his incisive wit, dry humor, and “his tactful acidity.”

(Extracted from a resume written by Alfred F. Loomis, ca. 1922.)

[searchandfilter id="7549"]

Preserving America’s Sailing Legacy

Engaging Sailing’s Next Generation

Stay Connected to the National Sailing Hall of Fame