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A double paddle pirogue

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A low speed camp cruiser

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Mack McKinney Designs

Mack McKinney still remembers his first wooden sailboat ride on Lake Ontario at the ripe old age of 5, aboard a boat reported to have been designed and built by the same folks who designed and built the original Bluenose schooner. The following year his family purchased an aging Blue Jay, designed by Olin Stephens, in an age when about half of the boats encountered were still made of wood. By the time he was eight, he was keeping bilges pumped, overseeing mast stepping, and generally helping care for the several wooden boats moored near where his families’ new 25’ sailboat was kept, in Wilson, N.Y. It was that year that he entered the Junior Sailing Program at the local yacht club, where he would learn basics, hone skills, and later be recruited to teach sailing lessons. He continues to be infected with the wooden boat bug to this day!

In the meantime, he was also getting into big trouble at school drawing boats of his own design when the authorities, who clearly could not think outside the box, thought he ought to be doing other, more important things. As his families’ boats grew, Mack’s passion and understanding of what makes a good boat did as well, along with his interpretation of “more important things!” He enjoyed a remarkably successful career racing large keelboats in the days of the IOR rule, and one-design Solings until the mandate for college scuttled his plans to be a sailing bum. Learning engineering working for Civil Engineers after college, he has also spent much of his professional career as a Pastor, all the while still drawing boats and teaching himself yacht design in order to satisfy that “itch.” Mack has also worked building custom furniture, and is an antique woodworking tool enthusiast and educator. In the past, he wrote and published a successful hand tool woodworking blog and podcast. He continues to hone his craft through the MacNaughton Yacht Design School, and still is drawing boats when others feel he should be doing something else. Mack has two children, and he lives with his wife Liz in Center Point, Texas.