Chris Wentz grew up in a boating family that spent summers at the Jersey shore. He helped his father build two boats by the time he was ten. His racing career started in Lasers and E Scows on Barnegat Bay. In 1975 he graduated from Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY) and went to work in a sail loft on City Island, NY. After seven years on “The Island” he worked for two years at the yacht design firm MacLear and Harris opposite the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan. M and H specialized in designing large and very unique yachts for power and sail. While there he worked on groundbreaking projects including a high performance canting keel, wood composite cruising yacht and what was at that time the largest aluminum sailing vessel ever classified by Lloyds, a 98' brigantine sailing auxilliary
While at M and H, Wentz observed how important the forethought of the design process is when combining the various disciplines employed in creating an outstanding yacht. After the exposure to the uncoordinated process he’d seen elsewhere in the marine sphere, it was a revelation. So, in 1984, when Wentz opened Sailspar Design, Inc. it was with the idea that the design process is the essential foundation of a good product. Given the great revolution in sailmaking materials that was getting underway, this design experience turned out to be invaluable.
Racing is the cornerstone of all that we do a Z Sails but Wentz also enjoys cruising, both offshore and inshore, kayaking, cycling and hiking.