The passing of Ken Hankinson

A forum for contacting other builders of Ken Hankinson designs. These designs are now a part of the Glen-L family.

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Gayle Brantuk
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:02 pm
Location: San Clemente, CA

The passing of Ken Hankinson

Post by Gayle Brantuk »

It is with tremendous sadness that we share the news that Ken Hankinson, Naval Architect, has passed away April 25, 2018. Ken was a designer here at Glen-L for over 22 years and was a close friend of my father and our family. His memory will continue in the many beautiful boats he has designed and that you all are building. Fair winds and following seas...

Ken's son Eric wrote a post on Facebook about his dad April 26:

It is with great sadness that I announce that my father, Ken Hankinson, died yesterday, peacefully in his sleep. He spent his last few days under the care of the (very thoughtfully-designed and extremely well-run) North Idaho Hospice house with my mom, sister, brother-in-law and myself at his bedside... ...listening to his favorite music including Metheny and Brubeck and overhearing stories we told about him.

My father lead an amazing life. At age 12, he submitted his first boat design to the Westlawn School of Yacht Design. They wrote him a thoughtful reply and told him he needed a couple years of high school first before they would allow him to enroll. Despite this setback, there was no discouragement whatsoever and my father became a career naval architect designing dozens of pleasure boats and yachts, first working side-by-side with his mentor Glen L. Witt in Bellflower, CA and then on his own. He authored a number of books on boat construction techniques and was an early adopter of foam-core and carbon fiber boat construction (way back in the 80’s!). While going to school at LA City College and CSU Long Beach, he designed commercial storefronts and houses in Long Beach and Orange Park Acres (still standing). And, he designed and built his lakefront house in North Idaho where he and my mom have lived over the last 23 years.

At age 24, My father met and dated my mother before being shipped off to Germany as part of his Navy service during the Vietnam war. That might have been the end of things, but unbeknownst to him, his overly-persistent DNA had other plans... After the initial surprise, my dad quickly plunged into marriage and fatherhood with his usual intensity and enthusiasm. He loved playing and roughhousing with me and also my boys when they were young.

My dad had an amazing mind. So much of what I learned on philosophy, politics, finances, relationships, and the love of sport-cars came from him. And that is why it was so sad when the dementia starting setting in over the last few years.... However, that process was cut short by cancer. As sad as that is, at the end, he still knew who we all were, could have some level of conversation, and most importantly could still occasionally retort with a witty comment or pun. It could have been so much worse...

So I will choose to remember my father as he would want to be remembered: in his prime. I have included some photos, films, and video from those halcyon years accordingly.

I love you dad

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Bill Edmundson
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Location: Birmingham, AL, USA

Re: The passing of Ken Hankinson

Post by Bill Edmundson »

I am sad as these men are passing away. They gave home boat builders so much. I can't thank them enough.

Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
Tahoe 19 Build

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Re: The passing of Ken Hankinson

Post by Roberta »

Very sad news. They both gave us so much. This great hobby was largely due to their efforts.

Roberta :(
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

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billy c
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Location: NH

Re: The passing of Ken Hankinson

Post by billy c »

Sad to hear about Ken. He drew beautiful lines that will live on thru Glen-L forever.
People always come over to see the Belle Isle and I proudly tell them about Hankinson. I spoke to him a few times when I purchased the plans from him and then as I was building the Belle Isle. It was one if not the last plans he drew and Ken said I was the first to build from this design.
(insert Witty phrase here)
Billy's Belle Isle website

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Re: The passing of Ken Hankinson

Post by specialk »

So sad to read this...I wish I had words of wisdom to write. ..
I can only thank him for designing one of the best boat I have ever rode in and built...
This hobby has lost some great men in the last few years..!
Kelly...1st Boat...Flats Flyer
2nd Boat.....?

Brad Tucker
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Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:20 am
Location: Washington, GA

Re: The passing of Ken Hankinson

Post by Brad Tucker »

It's sad to see people like him and Mr Witt leave this world. They have left such a wonderful legacy which I hope will continue via their families and people like us who luckily crossed paths indirectly due to their family who have chosen to carry their legacy onward. Prayers for the family, and thanks for keeping the art alive. Awesome man with mad skills!

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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:33 pm
Location: solihull UK

Re: The passing of Ken Hankinson

Post by falconer100 »

Such a sad time, I am building one of his Barrelbacks, This is a huge loss to the boat building world.

RIP Ken.

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Re: The passing of Ken Hankinson

Post by chugalug »

thoughts and prayers for you and the family.
Working on regular-sized Bo-Jest

"If it's not crooked,It's not mine

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Re: The passing of Ken Hankinson

Post by mrintense »

Although this is a sad time for his family and for us, it is also a great time to remember the legacy that Ken and Glen left behind. The world of wooden boat building is going through a sort of resurgence from what I can see and this is in no small part to the work of Ken and Glen back in their days.

Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise

Clipper Boating

Butch Barto
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Location: Crestview,FL

Re: The passing of Ken Hankinson

Post by Butch Barto »

Our Condolences to the Family of Ken Hankinson . As the builder of one of his designs, the Tahoe 24, I tell people all the time what a great design the Tahoe is. Our Tahoe handles and performs as well as any modern computer designed boat ever wished to. If anyone wants to build a great boat you cant go wrong with a Hankinson plan.

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