Two Great Ones Lost – Bill Morgan – A Legend In The Classic Boat Community And Dan Sutherland Former Past-President of Wine Country ACBS on Saturday, Pass Away.


Today we heard the sad news that a true legend in the classic wood boat world passed away. Bill Morgan died around noon today.

Charles Mistele send us this note…

We lost another legend that help start the Wood Boat Preservation Movement when wooden boats were being piled up and set on fire to just get rid of them. I have known Bill since the early 70’s and my Dad knew him since the late 50’s.

Chuck Mistele

Dan Sutherland, image courtesy Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

We also just got this news in regarding Dan Sutherland former President of the Wine Country ACBS and boatyard program manager at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, for almost five years, died of apparent heart failure Saturday at the age of 47.

“Danny was a true craftsman, skilled in so many ways but more than that, he was a great friend to us all. Danny was nationally known as a boat builder, but also as one of the best judges of antique and classic boats in the country. Having built more than 50 Rushtons, Danny was probably the world’s greatest expert on the boats of the famous designer and builder, JH Rushton.
Our prayers and thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”  Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum facebook page.

7 replies
  1. matt
    matt says:

    Sorry to all those that commented on this story last night, when we updated the story we lost all the comments.

  2. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    I had the pleasure and privilege of knowing both men. My dad and I got a personal tour of the Hacker Boat Co. from Bill back in the 80’s. That was an amazing experience that had a great impact on us. Bill was always friendly and ready to chat at all the shows.

    A couple of my boats are stored about 100 yards from Dans shop on Keuka lake. He was an easy going guy who seemed to know everything about most boats and was like a magician with wood. Our hobby needed him and he will be missed. It should be noted that Dan was a third generation boat builder at Sutherland Boat and Coach.

  3. Jimmuh
    Jimmuh says:

    Years ago I called Bill Morgan to show the Hackers to a client from San Diego, in early January…..”You what?”…this isn’t California you know. Call me in May.” But he put a triple cockpit in the water for us after clearing the ice from the slipway, and took us over to his boathouse to see the racers. I have a great pic of my 280-pound client trying to stuff himself on the floor to avoid the icy wind and blowing snow. Thankfully, the client did buy the boat!

    RIP to both Mr. Morgan and Mr. Sutherland.

  4. Tom Gruenauer
    Tom Gruenauer says:

    Dan was truly one of “the good guys”! I’ll never forget when Dan said to me “my shop is yours”, It was the first day of my family vacation when I had a MAJOR problem with my boat. Three kids on the shore and no boat. Dan let me use his shop and equipment and in 24 hours the boat was back in the water. He refused any kind of payment. Dan’s quiet leadership and commitment to this hobby will surely be missed.

  5. Phil B
    Phil B says:

    I was very saddened to hear of M. Morgan’s passing.

    I too had the pleasure of touring the Hacker Boat Co with Bill a few years back. The tour was filled with great boat building advice, anecdotes and racing stories… Bill was very generous to me. That afternoon, Bill offered to take my wife and I for a ride in his 30′ runabout. As we left the dock both my wife looked each other as if we were going for a boat ride with Mario Andretti at the helm. When he handed over the controls, I was very careful with his beautiful boat but Bill kept saying faster, faster! What a thrill! Bill will be missed by all.

  6. Harry Wilson
    Harry Wilson says:

    Bill Morgan’s interests and reach extended beyond American borders. It was Bill who found a derelict Miss Canada III, restored and repowered her with a Merlin, and even went so far as to bring her “back home” to Muskoka in the early 1980s. Bill handed over the controls to the original crew, Harold & Lorna Wilson, for a day that few who were there would ever forget. True to his character, and with Bill cheering him on, Harold took the III out for a couple of 100 mph fly-bys, threading his way at speed through the armada of spectator boats, all this at the tender age of 73.

    The passing of Bill Morgan marks the loss of a significant player and builder in the preservation of our wooden boat heritage.

  7. Douglas Van Patten III
    Douglas Van Patten III says:

    I will miss Bill Morgan. He was always very nice to me, and to my father. Once, in December. he took me for a boat ride across Lake George, from his shop in Silver Bay to his house across the lake. His house, as I recall, was on a desolate point of land, the only evidence of civilization in view, and the inside of the house was unfurnished, except for a picture above the mantle of “Something Else” at speed. He was a man who knew what his priorities were, and I am going to miss him.

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