Capt. Luther H. Blount Dies at age 90
October 10, 2006 - Warren, Ri
Luther H. Blount, 90, of Warren, RI, died Sunday, September 24 at Rhode Island Hospital surrounded by his loving family. Founder of Blount Marine Corporation, Bay Queen Cruises and American Canadian Caribbean Line, Blount is famed as one of Rhode Island’s greatest entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
An engineer by trade, Blount is best known as a shipbuilder and cruise operator. His Warren shipyard, currently operating under the name Blount Boats Inc., has created over 300 hulls including famous NY Harbor Circle Line ferries and his industry-changing stern trawler, the Narragansett.
Known in the travel industry as the “father of small ship cruising,” he designed, built and operated a fleet of US Flag overnight expedition-style ships for over 41 years, currently operating as American Canadian Caribbean Line Inc. The line is renowned for cruising off-the-beaten path North American waterways to areas traditionally only accessible by private yacht. His Bay Queen Cruises operates several dinner boats on Narragansett Bay and has become a Rhode Island institution.
His keen interest in design led to many successful inventions including patents for thread design, adjustable pitch propellers, water conserving marine toilet, and more. He is celebrated for his remarkable retractable pilot house and bow ramp ship designs. One of his most notable inventions was a steaming process to open clams that revolutionized the clam processing industry. His most recent invention, the Blount Water Walker, a flotation aid for fly fishing, allowed him to continue the thrill of solo wilderness fishing as an octogenarian.
He was a father of five children, grandfather of fourteen, and great-grandfather of two.