Who begat who ... in the designer world

Bristol-Cruiser

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In the 'What is this beauty' thread there was mention of Frers working at S&S at one point. This got me thinking about the linkages of sailboat designers, i.e. who learned their craft with one (or more) designers before going out on their own and making their own reputation and perhaps begatting their own new generation of designers. Seems like there would be a book to be written by a knowledgeable person - (not a large market but fairly wealthy so a coffee table book with lots of pictures and designs.
 

12 metre

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S&S and Carter begat practically everyone back then.

They were extremely promiscuous.

Even Peterson worked for Carter - for a day or so.
In North America anyway.
IIRC Peterson, Perry, and Tanton worked with Carter at or about the same time.

But there were a lot of English, French, and NZ designers who were pretty much unknown on this side of the pond at the time.

And then below there was the Kiwi Fab Four of the 70's (for lack of a better term) of Holland, Davidson, Farr, and Whiting. I think they all followed different paths and I'm not sure if any had formal training in yacht design.

Davidson was an accountant for many years. Farr I think began designing skiffs. Whitings father was a well known sailor and boatbuilder. Holland apprenticed with a boatbuilder where he designed and built his first boat.

Fun Fact, all four made their mark in IOR in the Quarter Ton Class - Eygthene (Holland), 45 Deg South (Farr), Magic Bus (Whiting), and Fun (Davidson).

Four-designers-1024x762.jpg
 
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SloopJonB

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In North America anyway.
IIRC Peterson, Perry, and Tanton worked with Carter at or about the same time.

But there were a lot of English, French, and NZ designers who were pretty much unknown on this side of the pond at the time.

And then below there was the Kiwi Fab Four of the 70's (for lack of a better term) of Holland, Davidson, Farr, and Whiting. I think they all followed different paths and I'm not sure if any had formal training in yacht design.

Davidson was an accountant for many years. Farr I think began designing skiffs. Whitings father was a well known sailor and boatbuilder. Holland apprenticed with a boatbuilder where he designed and built his first boat.

Fun Fact, all four made their mark in IOR in the Quarter Ton Class - Eygthene (Holland), 45 Deg South (Farr), Magic Bus (Whiting), and Fun (Davidson).

View attachment 536412
But as you said, nobody begat them - which is the point of the thread.

They were all self made.
 

tizak

Member
Met and became friends with Carl Schumacher in college. Not entirely sure of all details of his path but I do know he worked with Lapworth and Mull for a while. He also did some deck layout work for one of the 12 meter AC teams and was acquainted with German Frers. His route was, I believe, a bit different in that his college degree was in building architecture not naval or marine.
 

Schnick

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Farr mostly self taught but did work in the yard with Spencer and I think also for Young?

Frers (the 2nd) and I think Mull worked at S&S. Probably many others there, huge office in its day.

Donovan worked at Mull and Farr - did the best boats from either of those offices as far as I can tell.

Carter had a bunch of top guys but seemingly because of the era they mostly end up doing cruising boats because that's what race boats looked like at the time.

Holland sailed with Peterson but didn't work for him, early boats are pretty similar.

Dunning I think came from Farr office(?) and then got some Americas Cup work to go out on his own.

Dibley worked for Perry (briefly I think) and Davidson. He is now the keeper of all things Davidson.

Most of these guys have biographies and what is striking is not who worked for who but who was all sailing together just before each one made their big break. There were some ridiculous concentrations of yacht design horsepower out there at times and it gets hard to judge who was first to a concept in many cases.
 




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