Eight Bells: George S. Hendrie Jr.

George S. Hendrie, Skipper of the BULL. Photo from the Carl Bernard Collection. (This photo is likely George S. Hendrie Sr.)

The opening line of an obituary often sets the tone for a life well-lived, and when it begins with the mention of sailing on the famous stern-steerer FERDINAND THE BULL, you know you’re about to dive into the story of a true sailing legend. George S. Hendrie Jr., an avid iceboater hailing from the Detroit, Michigan, area, passed away on January 1, 2024, at the remarkable age of 96.
Fair winds and following seas, George.

 George S. Hendrie Jr., 96, died Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. He was a loving husband and father.

George was president of Color Custom Compounding prior to selling the company in 1984. He also was an avid sailor and iceboater. At age 16, he was the trimmer for his father aboard Ferdinand the Bull, when they won the Stuart Cup in 1943. The Stuart Cup was considered the world championship of iceboating in the unlimited class in that era. George and his father repeated as Stuart Cup victors aboard Ferdinand the Bull in 1944.

His involvement in sailing on Ferdinand the Bull ended in January 1945, when he joined the U.S. Navy to fight in World War II. Upon his return from the war, he continued racing iceboats. He was a past commodore of the Detroit News Ice Yacht Club and Detroit Ice Yacht Club in the late 1940s and early 1950s. On or around 1961, he won the national championship for the Arrow class of iceboats. Continue reading.

Letter to Carl Bernard from George S. Hendrie Sr.