In a design era dominated by Sparkman and Stephens, Bill Tripp was a serious competitor.
Starting out with the famous Phillip Rhodes, after serving in World War II he actually worked for S&S before starting his own firm in 1952. He subsequently pioneered the design transition to fiberglass in the 60s.
A few early, very successful designs put him on the map, most notably 'Touche' and the Block Island 40, which was very similar to his later, but similarly successful, Hinckley Bermuda 40.
The 38 foot 1960 Pearson Invicta featured what became his signature flush deck and "gun turret" doghouse. In 1964 the Invicta yawl "Burgoo" became the smallest yacht ever to win the Bermuda Race, at the same time becoming the first fiberglass yacht ever to win a major ocean race. She had finished second two years before in 1962.
His custom designs did well too, the most famous of which was probably Ondine, built in aluminum in 1959.
The major fiberglass production builders in the 60s included Cal, Coronado, Columbia, C&C, Morgan and Pearson. Bill Tripp became the primary designer for Columbia. His first design for them in 1965--the Columbia 50--was also arguably the most attractive and notable. It had a flush deck and small doghouse like the Invicta, but additionally featured a fin keel and spade rudder, no doubt motivated by the enormously successful William Lapworth designed Cal 40, which had started production in 1963.
Without question one of the world's great yacht designers, at the age of 51 (1971) he died in an automobile accident, hit by a drunk driver. The family tradition in yacht design continues today with his son, William Tripp, III.