Deceased , Modern



1951 - 2002

Carl Schumacher is the designer of over 50 production and custom sailboat designs. The production boats included the popular Express line (27, 34, 37), the Alerion-Express line (20, 28, 38), and the Capo 30 (which later became the Olson 911-S) and 26.

Four of his designs have won Sailing World’s Boat of the Year awards, most recently the Synergy 1000, which won ‘Sport Boat’ honors in 1999. Among Carl’s best-known custom designs are Summertime Dream, Wall Street Duck, National Biscuit, Heart of Gold, Swiftsure II, Recidivist, Surprise, and Q.

The following is excerpted from Sailing World Magazine, after Carl Schumacher passed away:

Carl Schumacher, 1951-2002, Racing Designer, Competitor, and, for Sailing World, a Frequent Boat of the Year Judge

By John Burnham And Peter D’anjou, Posted February 7, 2002

The sailing world lost a talented naval architect and gentle, competitive sailor when Carl Schumacher died of a heart attack on February 5, 2002, at home in Alameda, California. He was 52 and is survived by his wife, Marilyn, daughter, Sutter, and son, Evan.

Schumacher grew up in Newport Beach, California, sailing Sabots before moving to Northern California during his teen years. He apprenticed as a designer with Gary Mull – and later collaborated with him and others as part of the Golden Gate Challenge design team that produced National Sailing Hallf of Famer Tom Blackaller’s radical forward-rudder 12-meter in 1987.

Schumacher hung out his own shingle in Alameda 25 years ago and produced 50 performance-oriented designs, which individually and as a group had a far-reaching influence on sailboat design and sailboat racing. His production designs included the Express 27, 34, and 37, the Olson 911S, Capo 26, Synergy 1000, and Alerion Express 20, 28, and 38. Winning custom Schumacher designs included Quarter Ton champion Summertime Dream, 38-footer Wall Street Duck, the fast 50-foot racer/cruiser Heart of Gold, and IMS racers such as the 54-foot Swiftsure II and the 39-foot Recidivist.

Schumacher loved to race, whether to Hawaii in a lightweight flyer or around San Francisco Bay in his Mercury. When combined with his knowledge about boat design and construction – both in the custom and production arenas – Schumacher’s strong sailing skills made him a well-rounded judge and boat tester for Sailing World. Last fall [2001], while pushing a small catamaran as hard as he could, he inadvertently pitch-poled it and came up grinning.

Schumacher served for eight years (non-consecutive) as a judge for Sailing World’s Boat of the Year awards and typically was the quiet voice that brought focus to any discussion that needed it. In years he didn’t judge, he often had designs entered in the competition, and several times his boats emerged as winners.

Those of us who got to sail and work with Carl Schumacher are feeling a great and untimely loss. His passion for the sport and insight into what makes a sailboat good or not will be missed, as will his contributions to Sailing World. But even more so, we’ll miss his keen intellect, his gentle, competitive nature, and the way he always listened, giving you his undivided attention.

Accomplishments and Honors

  • Four-time Sailing World Boat of the Year Award recipient
  • Eight-time member of Sailing World’s Boat of the Year Judging Panel (during years in which he did not win the award)

Boats Designed by Carl Schumacher

Summertime Dream         1979

Choate 30                          1981

Pyramid 660                      1982

Pyramid 30                        1982

Sonoma 30                        1982

Capo 26                             1982

Express 27                         1982

Capo 30                             1984

Express 37                         1984

Olson 911 S                       1985

Express 34                         1986

Olson 911 S (Ericson)        1987

Oyster 48 Lightwave         1987

Express 37-2                      1987

Oyster 395 Lightwave       1988

Alerion Express 28             1990

Alerion Express 20             1996

Alerion Express 38            1997

Synergy 1000                    1999

Outbound 44/46               2001

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