Robert Manry

Robert Manry (June 2, 1918 – February 21, 1971) was a copy editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer who in 1965 sailed from Falmouth, Massachusetts, to Falmouth, Cornwall, England,[1] in a tiny 13.5-foot (4.1 m) sailboat (an Old Town "Whitecap" built by the Old Town Canoe Co. of Old Town, Maine, which he had extensively modified for the voyage) named Tinkerbelle. Beginning on June 1, 1965, and ending on August 17, the voyage lasted 78 days.

Robert and Virginia Manry aboard Curlew
Robert Manry
Robert Manry on his small sailboat named Tinkerbelle
Robert Manry and Tinkerbelle on the cover of his 1967 book
BornJune 2, 1918
DiedFebruary 21, 1971(1971-02-21) (aged 52)
OccupationCopy editor
Known forSailing single-handed across the Atlantic Ocean in a tiny sailboat
Robert and Virginia Manry aboard Curlew
Curlew in 2017
Tinkerbelle at the Western Reserve Historical Museum in 2017

At the time, Tinkerbelle was the shortest but not the smallest boat to make a non-stop trip across the Atlantic Ocean (till today the smallest is Lindemann's folding kayak). Manry later wrote about the voyage and its preparation in his book Tinkerbelle, in which the sailor expressed shock and surprise at the huge crowds and armada of small boats that greeted his arrival in Cornwall.

After completing his voyage on Tinkerbelle, Robert purchased Curlew, a 1967 Tartan 27 Yawl. He then set out with his wife, son, daughter, German shepherd, and cat on a cruise from Cleveland, Ohio through the Great Lakes, down, the Mississippi river, through the Gulf to the Bahamas, up the east coast of the US and ultimately back to Cleveland.[2]

Manry died February 21, 1971, from a heart attack in Union City, Pennsylvania.

A small park in Willowick, Ohio—the town where he lived before his journey—is named after him. Tinkerbelle is on display at The Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio.


  • Manry, Robert. Tinkerbelle. New York: Harper & Row, 1967.
  • Manry, Robert. Tinkerbelle. London: Collins, 1967.


  1. ^ Cornwall on film from 1942-1965 15 June 2010, accessed 21 November 2020
  2. ^ "Robert Manry Project - VOYAGES - Cruise of the Curlew, around eastern U.S., 1967 - 1968 | The Robert Manry Project". Retrieved 2017-10-29.

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