Sport: Knock on Wood

Wood was out and aluminum was in. That was the new gospel circulating in the rarefied world of 12-meter yachting after the last America's Cup races in 1970. No matter that aluminum-hull boats had never competed in yachting's most prestigious international competition. Designers were convinced that the lightweight metal vessels would be speedier and cheaper to build. Olin Stephens, the world's foremost yacht designer, who conceived three of the last five Cup winners, created Courageous.

Maverick Designer Britton Chance also worked with aluminum in producing Mariner, a vessel with radical new lines.

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