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August 4, 2010

Naval architect Jack Gilbert dies at 80

Naval architecture has lost another iconic figure. John ("Jack") William Gilbert, founder and President of John W. Gilbert Associates, Inc., Hingham, Mass., died on July 26. Mr. Gilbert was 80 years old. He had been working at his firm up until this spring when his health prevented it.

Mr. Gilbert was born in Silver Creek, N.Y., on November 1, 1929, and was a resident of North Scituate, MA, for more than 48 years. He graduated with a B.S.Nam. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1955.

He founded John W. Gilbert Associates, Inc., in 1964. The firm has had a long and successful business in ship design, overseeing the construction of over 400 vessels ranging from fishing, research, passenger vessels and vehicle ferries, excursion ships, tugboats, fireboats, river towboats, to other commercial vessels.

Mr. Gilbert pioneered original research from his model tests, developed computer programs and simulations for his design and stability of vessels. The recipient of numerous awards he gave lectures worldwide on topics relatedto naval architecture and marine engineering, fishing industry and diversification, vessel regulations, and ferry transportation to name a few.

Mr. Gilbert designed many of the New Bedford and Gloucester fishing vessels, and a number of local ferries, such as the Nantucket ferries, the Eagle and Great Point, the Provincetown ferries: The Provincetown I and Provincetown II, and the Block Island ferries: Nelseco, Anna C., Carol Jean and the Block Island.

Predeceased by his beloved wife, Nancyann (Smith), he was the son of the late Buck and Margaret Gilbert and the loving father of his six children, John and his wife Robin Gilbert of Hull, Mass., Anne Gilbert of Cohasset, Mass., Byron and his wife Karen Gilbert of Flemington, N.J., Peter and his wife Stephanie Gilbert of Newport Beach, Calif., Priscilla and her husband Patrick Lang of Sherwood, Oregon, Catherine and her husband Charlie Raynes of Rye, N.H.; and his seven grandchildren: Evan, Bradley, Nolan, and Ellis Gilbert, Skylar Raynes, Elizabeth Gilbert Zheng, and Kyra Lang. He is the brother of the late Jean Koch and June Allen, and is survived his younger sister Judy Foley.


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