Marblehead earned its title as Yachting Capital Of The World through significant accomplishments. Like so many other aspects of Yachting from design to racing, Marblehead Yachtsmen again made their mark by developing their own anti-fouling bottom paint. This paint garnered the endorsements of the most prominent yachtsmen' of the time and became the envy of the yachting world.
So called "Marblehead Green", was developed by Sterns-McKay Mfg. of Marblehead. Founded in the late 1800's STEARNS & MaKAY were billed as "Naval Architects and Yacht Builders" and hailed the commanding title of " THE Marblehead Yacht Yards". At that time they were focused on the design and construction of fine yachts and launches, of which they built many.
After the turn of the century, STEARNS & MaKAY began to develop their own marine paint to address a significant challenge for all yachtsmen of the time, preventing marine growth on the bottoms of yachts.
First introduced around 1910, Marblehead Green had a life span of some 30-40 years. While it was a fine anti-foulant, it was another quality that significantly led to its notoriety - and that was its COLOR.
While it was offered in a few colors, it was its sea-glass-ish green that struck a chord with naval architects. John Alden, W. Starling Burgess, and Roderick Stevens amongst others endorsed Marblehead Green and began to specify it on yacht design commissions. The color was so bright underwater you could admire the lines of a yacht; nothing could be more pleasing to a naval architect!
At the age of 83, Naval architect, Lester Rosenblatt is one of few to maintain the tradition. To this day, the first nine inches below the water line on his yacht ROSA sports Marblehead Green - the color. When asked why everyone was so crazy about Marblehead Green he said: "It was all about the contrast, it's so bright it makes your yacht beautiful."
By the late 1930's, the coveted paint was distributed nation-wide and in Bermuda through first class dealers and Yacht Yards.
In the late 1940's the paint saw the end of its life as copper-based paints emerged. These paints were reliable anti-foulants, but more importantly, were a lot kinder to the environment. Attempts have been made to duplicate the color of Marblehead Green, but most abandoned by the realization that copper powder is dark and just doesn't like to go light.
Today, the spirit of Marblehead Green sails on in a line of quality clothing and canvas products available exclusively at F.L.WOODS of Marblehead.