Alfred Rapier – Inducted 2011
Born October 12, 1929 in Grenada, Al was introduced to sailing as a school boy and was soon involved in boat building by helping to build a 10 footer which was the class being raced in Grenada at the time.
During the war at around the age of 14 he built his own boat and was forced to make do with other available lighter, thinner wood planking to what was normally used. With his boat he won many races, later going on to build a bigger 18 footer he designed himself.
After graduating from London University in Civil Engineering and spending some time working in Maracaibo, he came to Trinidad and joined the team building the Hilton and then finally settling in Texaco.
During this period, he designed and built his own 30-foot boat “Maxixe”. The one place he could store the boat was at TYC so he joined their ranks and took part in races.
Owing to the strange handicap rule in place at the time where most of the measurements were taken inside the boat, he tried and succeeded in formulating a simpler system that allowed the easy measurement and calculation of a handicap for boats in the water and thus was born what is presently the CSA rule.
Eventually the rule was accepted across the Caribbean and he was for many years the Chief Measurer responsible for keeping the rule up to date as boat design changed radically over the years to lighter flat bottomed planning hulls. He later introduced the version that better equated the performance of a wider range of boats, called the “Dynamic” or “Rocking” rule believed to be the most accurate water measurement method.
When TTSA acquired our present location, he did extensive work designing and building the jetties. Later on, along with Rawle Barrow, they laid out the mooring field which required considerable planning to ensure the barge laying the chains did the job correctly so that the proper spacing and alignment was achieved.
He was also at this time a member of the Management Committee but resigned due to his travelling commitments.