Robert G McNeil
Robert G. McNeil, PhD, 77, passed away peacefully on Islesboro in July of 2021. Born in Los Angeles, CA, son of Leone and Robert J McNeil, he graduated from Los Angeles High School before continuing on to UC Irvine where he graduated with doctoral degrees in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Physics. His passions for investment and science led him to a long career in biomedical venture capital. He co-founded Sanderling Ventures, where he led the growth and development of several companies that advanced important medical technologies.

Bob grew up sailing with his family, beginning with many memorable trips to Catalina, then later racing boats of all kinds. He developed a passion for racing, and raced boats big (Zephryus IV and V) and small (505s and Starboats). Notable sailing achievements include: winning the 505 North American Championships in the mid 60's, being a finalist in the 1984 Starboat Olympic Trials, sailing multiple transpacific and transatlantic races, and breaking records in the Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro and Montego Bay races. Later in life, his love of history led him to the world of classic boat restoration, where he found joy in collaborating with talented teams to bring beautiful yachts back to life.

Devoted to his family and loved ones, he enjoyed bringing everyone together though hosting elaborate holiday dinners, sharing in sailing adventures, and woodworking with his children, nieces, and nephews. This love of community led him to Islesboro, where he was able to focus on woodworking, family racing in classic wooden boats, and hosting dinners with friends.

He is survived by his three daughters, two siblings, many nieces and nephews (and beyond), and a community of friends and colleagues in California, Maine, and around the world.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations In Memory of Bob McNeil to Big Tree Boating (P.O. Box 273, Islesboro, ME 04848), or the Islesboro Island Trust (P.O. Box 182, Islesboro, ME 04848), both organizations he was fiercely passionate about throughout his later years.
Published by New York Times from Jul. 28 to Jul. 29, 2021.
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Sponsored by Katherine McNeil.
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12 Entries
I just heard about Bob and am so sorry -- my deep condolences to you. I knew him through writing about and photographing classic boats -- Joyant figured in my Classic Sail calendar and I write articles in Classic Boat about both Joyant and Cangarda. I sailed on Joyant when Bob brought her to the Mediterranean and stayed on Cangarda for the Maine regattas one year, and visited in Isleboro (promising not to take photos or talk about it which was fine with me). I was astounded at his woodworking abilities. He really did save the boats he looked after -- and restored them so sympathetically. I hope he will be remembered for that. All best wishes to you, and I will remember Bob as so many of us will. Kathy Mansfield
Kathy Mansfield
September 17, 2021
I keep all of you in my heart. Love
Lucia Wyborny
August 25, 2021
So very sorry for the family's loss. Bob's enthusiasm for historic vessels and the passion he dedicated to them was pure and genuine. From presentations at the NYYC model room to cruising Cangarda on the St. Lawrence River, his excitement for history was infectious, and he will be missed.
Rebecca Hopfinger, Antique Boat Museum
August 16, 2021
Bob was such a unique individual and inspirational leader in so many diverse ways. He was kind to share his wit and wisdom, and to even offer the helm over to novices like me. He will be missed but remembered.
Matthew Schulte
August 10, 2021
DalCor Pharma Leadership Team
August 5, 2021
Bob will be missed so badly in the sailing community. He made a huge difference.
John McNeill
August 3, 2021
Paul W Dimmick
August 2, 2021
Paul W Dimmick
August 2, 2021
Paul W Dimmick
August 2, 2021
Paul W Dimmick
August 2, 2021
It was an honor to race with Bob on Joyant and to be a guest aboard Cangarda. He always made the perfect cup of coffee in the morning !
Paul W Dimmick
August 2, 2021
We are truly sorry for your loss. Bob was a great sailor and a significant friend to the maritime heritage community.
Steve White, Mystic, CT
July 28, 2021
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