Mark Williams Soverel, 52, of Palm City, died peacefully in his home on January 3, 2002.
Mark was an accomplished yacht designer and fierce racing skipper of oceangoing sailboats. He also, in his second career, developed several residential communities, always in a manner to respect and preserve our state's natural beauty and resources.
A great lover of nature, avid sportsman, loving husband to Judy (J.B.) and ever devoted to and proud of his son Bret. He also leaves his brother and fishing companion Peter W. Soverel, Captain, USN (Retired) of Edmonds, Washington; his sister and confidante Anne Soverel Swan of Jupiter; his brother Douglas H. Soverel of North Palm Beach; loving family members Camille, Scott, Wendy, John, Carol, Nate, Meg, Amy, Greg, Marion, Amy, Chris, Tom, Barbara, Jack, Mitzi, Sam and Emily. Family was Number One to Mark. Special buddies Bret, Pete, Camille, Mike, Steve, Geoff, and David were always "ready to fish hard".
We will continue to benefit from his lifelong courage and strength. Private services held aboard the yacht Jembor to be announced. Our heartfelt thanks to Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to DEP Save Our Everglades Trust Fund, PO Box 3070, Tallahassee, FL 32315. It will benefit us all. Mark lived a full life. Thank you, Mark!
He will be missed but his legacy will surely carry on!
Mark Soverel grew up in the boating "trenches." Building, sailing, designing, boats since 1959. Experiencing the entire spectrum of how his designs and structures responded in the workds most competitive regattas.
The Result: Soverel has been in the "money" in every one of his major campaigns. - Yacht Racing & Cruising, December 1984
Mark Soverel passed away last Thursday at his home near Stuart, Florida. He was 52. Soverel had been diagnosed with cancer last year. Many will remember Mark as a real "sailor's sailor". He designed the boats, went into the shop and built it, assembled an all-star crew, and won regatta's driving. Grand Prix regattas such as the SORC, MORC Internationals, Admirals Cup, More than a handful of current "pro's" either worked with Mark, sailed with Mark, or were involved with his projects. Moody Blue, Locura, Volition, Virginia Leigh, Grey Mist, Blue Angel, JB Express and many, many others.
All of his designs were innovative and pushed the edge of both measurement rules and engineering principals known at the time. The Soverel 33 was about as light and fast a boat that could be built at the time. One particularly nasty Lipton Cup in the S-39 we broke the rudder off 1' below the hull and without blinking, Mark had us sail the last 20 miles upwind in 25 knots steering with the sails in order to try and preserve our series standing over the other new one-tonners.
As a sailor, Mark's skills were world-class level. Pedro Isler once called him "the best downwind driver" he'd ever met. Most of his design work was as a result of his extraordinary "feel" for how a boat moved through water. When the Soverel 33 was conceived, the design consisted of notepad sketches, a few beers, and a bunch of guys sawing up the Soverel 30 plug laying behind the shop. A hole was dug in the ground outside and keels were poured. Some fairing, a mast tube from Kenyon and a bit more beer resulted in the first boat. Far from being one-dimensional, Mark was a successful real estate developer, fisherman, surfer, diver, powerboat designer, and cruiser. His sailing abilities alone could have propelled him to the top echelons of the grand-prix circuit. Mark simply enjoyed sailing and was always an inspiration. He truly left his mark on the sport and the world and his legacy will carry on. - Tom Lihan, Scuttlebutt No. 979, 7 Jan. 2002
Mark Soverel was an amazing sailor & designer. Volition means "of the will" and a good name for the 39 he designed, built and drove to victory in the Palm Beach race a few years back. We sailed away from the other boats in our class B start and finished off Palm Beach right behind the 50's in Class A to win overall. Loosing him at such a young age is a tragedy. - G. Edward Kriese, Scuttlebutt No. 980, 8 Jan. 2002
The sailing community lost a visionary designer in January when Mark Soverel passed away.
Soverel, who died of cancer at the age of 52 on Jan. 3, is most famous for his three popular production sloops, the Soverel 26, 30, and 33. The lightweight 33, of which 90 were built, was known for its speed in light and moderate conditions. The prototypes for the 26 and the 30 each won International MORC titles in the late 1970s. Soverel designed a slew of custom racers, including the 43-foot Locura, on which he raced in the 1983 Admiral's Cup. The Florida native was also a superior helmsman. - Sailing World, Vol. XL, No. 02, March 2002