Gloucester - Mark Lindsay, 75, died unexpectedly on September 6, 2019, at his home on the Mill River in Gloucester. Mark was always happiest "messing about in boats". Childhood summers spent sailing and seeing wooden boats being built in coastal Connecticut inspired a lifelong passion. At 14, his father helped him build his first boat from a kit, the Sailfish in which Mark began to win races on Cape Cod. After a false start in college, he spent a year doing the dirty work making fiberglass racecar bodies at the boatyard in Marblehead where America's Cup yachts were outfitted. He applied his love for drawing to the study of architecture and structural engineering at Penn and MIT, where he trained just as much at the Sailing Pavilion.
Not one for corporate life, Mark left grad school to work in Joe Duplin's boatbuilding shop, then joined a crew to sail across the Atlantic, ending up in the Caribbean. He worked as a yacht designer for Dick Carter in the Tower in Nahant, while racing in the 505 fleet in Marblehead. In 1975, he opened his own shop in Manchester, building the Fireball dinghy which Joan Ellis skippered to the world championship, the first woman to do so.
From Gloucester, Mark's shop produced boats for sailors worldwide, ranging in size from double-handed dinghies to ocean-racing keelboats. The shop supplied parts for successful America's Cup campaigns and launched the boat which won the Bermuda Race in 1992 with Mark and designer Carl Schumacher among those on board. What Mark loved most in his work was the chance to collaborate and form lasting relationships with coworkers and customers alike.
In 1996 he founded Boston BoatWorks in East Boston with Scott Smith and Geoff Berger, building custom racing and cruising sailboats, and then production motor yachts, growing the company to 140 employees in Charlestown.
Mark volunteered his time starting a boatbuilding program at the Shore school in Beverly; serving on the board of the Essex Shipbuilding Museum and at Courageous Sailing in Charlestown; and at the Appalachian Mountain Club's Three Mile Island camp, for which he hoped to create a green electric boat.
Encouraged by his wife Marty to follow his passion, he began taking watercolor classes with Joel Janowitz, and as Mark said, "hundreds of paintings later, I've discovered a whole new excitement in being alive." At the time of his passing he was planning to retire to spend more time painting and sailing his beloved wooden boat.
Mark was predeceased by his parents Donald and Dorothy (Breck) Lindsay. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Marty Morgan Lindsay; his two children, Ian of Gloucester, and Tamsin, of Beaverton, Oregon; his sister Shaylor Lindsay and her partner, Greg Lenhart, of Lexington; nephew Ethan Magno of Cambridge; sister-in-law Linda Coan of Ipswich; niece Lisa Abitbol and her husband Christian Pierce, and their son Kai, of Lexington; sister-in-law Veronica Morgan of Gloucester; brother-in law, William Morgan of Cornelia, GA; aunt Yvonne Lindsay of Middleboro; cousin, Jill Palenstijn of Plympton, MA; and cousin Evelyn Breck Morgen of Haddam, CT.
He will be greatly missed by all who worked, played, sailed and danced with him.
A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, September 21, from 12 to 3 p.m.at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport. Contributions in his memory may be made to Courageous Sailing, Charlestown, www.courageoussailing.org Arrangements are by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St. Gloucester. Online condolences may be given at: www.greelyfuneralhome.com.
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