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His expertise was in the field of planing hulls; small craft that skim the water. It was during the American prohibition of alcohol that Professor Lord gained attention when wealthy private clients the Mafia commissioned him to do high-speed load carrying boats to run rum from Cuba. His designs were so fast that federal and state law enforcement could not catch them. Prohibition ended but Lord was not forgotten. WWII broke out and the US Navy needed fast load-carrying hulls that could accelerate, maneuver quickly, and maintain speed in various sea conditions.
Lord was commissioned as a naval officer and sent to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was given unlimited resources to accomplish his mission of designing fast, seaworthy planing hulls for the Navy. Lord began with simple forms known to plane like existing Hawaiian surfboards. Using a local boat shop in Hawaii he created a number of model plates to test various sizes and forms to determine the best aspect ratio for planing.
The book was often seen in Bob Simmons possession, and he shared it with some of his surfing friends. They are essentially neat, tidy, and carefully constructed versions of the paipo boards that Hawaiian surfers have been riding for generations. Recently, the powers of these simple planing totems have been revealed by a group of young surfers in San Diego.
Naval architecture of planing hulls
Naval Architecture of Planing Hulls