Robert K. Johnson

Bob Johnson received his Master’s Degree (SM) in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Course XIII) in 1967 attending on a National Science Foundation Traineeship. He received his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida (BME) graduating with high honors in 1965. Upon graduation from MIT, Mr. Johnson began work with the McDonnell Douglas Corporation in Culver City, California in the Vibration, Shock and Acoustics department designing and analyzing various missile system structures. Exposure to the Southern California surfing market led to Mr. Johnson’s departure from the missile and space industry in 1969 to begin development of a new range of molded surfboards constructed of lightweight aerospace composite materials. These were sold under the trade name of “Hollow Wave” and manufactured by the Wave Corporation of Ventura, California. In 1974, Mr. Johnson returned to Florida to enter the sailboat industry as a designer for Irwin Yacht and Marine Corporation in Clearwater. Responsibility soon expanded to encompass management of production of all Irwin sailboat products ranging from 23 to 52 feet. This was followed in a few years by a similar position with a then new sailboat company, Endeavour Yacht Corporation, also in Clearwater. In 1979 Mr. Johnson left to form his own business, Island Packet Yachts. Island Packet Yachts has grown to become one of America’s leading sailing yacht builders, winning several national awards for product excellence. The entire product line and related information is available for inspection on the Sailnet website, He can also be reached at Island Packet Yachts, 1979 Wild Acres Road, Largo, Florida 33771, Tel: (813)535-6431 , or by fax at (813)530-5806. Mr. Johnson is President, CEO and owner of Island Packet Yachts and plays an active industry role as a Director of several marine industry associations. He is also the US sailing industry member of an international ISO technical task force creating new standards for the world’s recreational marine industry. Mr. Johnson is also a long standing member of SNAME and an Educational Council member representing MIT for local student applicants.


32 Sailboats designed by Robert K. Johnson

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