Alfred E. Luders Jr., Yacht designer, yachtsman and president of the the former Luders Marine Construction in Stamford, Connecticut, died January 3, 1999. Mr. Luders designed every Sea Sprite except the '23, which was designed by Carl Alberg.
Mr. Luders was a world class skipper in the 1930's in the six meter racing class. Among the many famous yachts Mr. Luders designed was the sloop American Eagle, built for the America's Cup competition. It was later owned by Ted Turner, the media tycoon.
Mr. Luders' father founded Luders Marine Construction which produced more than 100 vessels for the United States during WWII. The company built minesweepers, patrol craft and submarine chasers.
After his father's death, Mr. Luders continued to run the shipyard, building the America's Cup boat Weatherly in 1958 to the design of Philip Rhodes. Weatherly was not a successful campaigner in that series, but after a redesign by Mr. Luders, she successfully defended the cup in 1964 with Bus Mossbacker at the helm.
Mr. Luders designed , and his shipyard built, many others yachts for owners such as King Olaf V of Norway, actor Yul Brenner, Nelson Rockefeller and the Pulitzer family.
The company closed in 1968 after changing technology and Fiberglass construction did not appeal to Mr. Luders. The last racing yachts designed and built by him were the 5.5 meter sloops, a class used in Olympic and international competition.