Chris Howes worked with Robbie Doyle at Hood Sailmakers back in the ‘80s, following him to Doyle Sailmakers in the spring of 1990. This makes Chris the longest-tenured Doyle employee besides Robbie. What a ride it’s been. Right from the beginning, it was the ‘David and Goliath’ story with Doyle making the big sailmakers nervous with its innovation and engineering prowess that continues today.
Chris has always been good at finding markets that other sailmakers tended to ignore. Howes brought the tall ship market to Doyle Sails six months after he joined and is still selling this type of sail today. Never afraid to venture into the unknown, Robbie and Chris quickly became the go-to sailmaker for innovative projects. Safe to say it was like the wild west back in the 90s with the boats getting bigger and the sailmaking stakes higher with each new build.
Along with his wife, Peggy, Chris has raised two very talented young adults who share the love of the outdoors whether it be sailing or hiking or any of several other outdoor activities. Chris’ talents outside of sailing vary widely and include model boat building, wooden boat restoration and most recently he has put together a band (The Chris Howes Project) who are playing local gigs.
At this point in his career, Chris’s leisure sailing is in the Marblehead Town Class where he has won the Season Championships for the past five years as well as the Nationals twice and the Marblehead NOODs. After all these years Chris still loves sailing. Sailing his Townie at 60 feels the same as sailing his Laser when he was 12.
THIS IS 40 // Doyle Sails is proud to be ahead of the fleet after 40 years of sailmaking, with the innovation in Structured Luff technology and Stratis developing continually. This year we are highlighting events, people and projects which have led us to the forefront of sailmaking throughout the world, telling stories to inspire the youth and bring memories of races gone by to our long-standing customers.