Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT /


Eight Bells: Herbert Hild, Life Member

Human Interest - Author: Storm Trysail Club - December 26, 2016

Herbert A. Hild, winning yachtsman, sailmaker and family man, dies at 88. He passed away peacefully at his home in Rye, NY on December 11, 2016. 

Herb was born on August 10, 1928 in City Island, NY, where he grew up in the vibrant yachting community, and later established Hild Sails and Island Nautical. The 'HH' logo was the hallmark in many one-design and offshore racing events on Long Island Sound and beyond. Herb's business was founded out of his great love for the water and his expert sailing accomplishments.

Herb was a lifetime member of the Star Class Association and actively raced his Star Boat, Desiree, over a span of 20 years. His sailing highlights included winning the Atlantic Coast Championships twice, in '53 and '63; competing in the Olympic trials, where he qualified as an alternate in 1948; and crewing on the winning Star at the 1963 Bacardi Cup. Numerous other regatta's were won in Star Boats and later in his beloved Tartan 44 and 37, both named Endurance. 

Herb was a member of the American Yacht Club, where he served as Commodore from 1981-82, the Cruising Club of America, the New York Yacht Club, and the Storm Trysail Club. 

Herb is survived by his wife of 64 years, Helen; his daughters Heidi Hild Sommers, Hope Alison Hild and Heather Hild Atwater, his son-in laws David P. Sommers and Nathaniel B. Atwater Jr.; and four grandchildren: Kimberly A. Sommers, Karalyn P. Sommers, Nathaniel B. Atwater lll and Herbert Alan Atwater. He was pre-deceased by his brother Howard M. Hild.

A successful businessman, he was often heard to say, "the harder I work, the luckier I get".

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Herb Hild to either: City Island Nautical Museum, PO Box 82, City Island, New York 10464 or to the Trustees of Columbia University, In honor of Dr. Leonard Stern, Nephrologist of Herbert A Hild, Attention Executive Director of Development, 630 West 168th Street, P&S 2-421, New York, NY 10032