Who begat who ... in the designer world

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Jim Young innovator and John Spencer (Ragtime ex Infidel) trailblazer along with Farr,Davidson and Holland. Kiwi talent extrordinaire that took forever to be accepted and recognised
 

JimC

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Holland, Farr and Mark Bethwaite were all associated with John Spencer in their youth. Spencer was such a big deal in Kiwi Yachting in the 50s and 60s its hard to believe he didn't have some influence on the other Kiwi designers. Laurie Davidson was a similar age to Spence, but AIUI started designing professionally much later.
 

SloopJonB

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Farr,Davidson and Holland. Kiwi talent extrordinaire that took forever to be accepted and recognised
Hardly - they all made their bones early in the IOR. Holland and Peterson in particular had careers that started at the same time and paralleled each other for years

Farr's lightweight wide stern boats were the only thing that "took forever to be accepted and recognised" and forever in that context was about 2 years.
 

Black Jack

Super Anarchist
Barney Nichols hired a young Gary Mull in 1957 who was then the local Finn sailing champion. Nichols was one of the best designers and boat builders to come out of the 1940s and 50s he himself came out of W.F. Stone Boats in Alameda and the Kaiser yards during the war. He was a contemporary to Ben Seaborn (the Thunderbird) and the brilliant Bill Lapworth. Those days west coast designers were builders -interested in building light displacement auxiliary racers. Nichols boat builders went belly up and he had to form an association with Pacific boat works where the magic happened and blossomed what became the Santa Cruz race boat era. Mull left Nichols to pursue a more notable drafting position at Sparkman & Stephens. Mull came back to Oakland in 65/6 with a feather in his cap from S&S. He drew the Santana 22 and right after drew the Mull 30. Ron Holland came under the Mull shingle in 1967/8 after being in the "in crowd" on Spirit and making connections at the St. Francis. Schumacher and Jim Antrim also got their start and fell under Mull house until they were ready to run on their own. Somewhere in that collective bay area mix in 1969 is Tom Wylie - his IOR designs are legendary.

What is interesting is that as time progresses - Holland would have folks believe he designed and built the pinched ended crib he was suckled at as a babe. despite the boat designer mythology of the former great is a lower ladder rung of the greatest living one - no designer is greater than the dedicated skilled builder that makes the fastest well founded racing yacht using the best practices and materials available.
 
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shanghaisailor

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Ed Dubois worked for a while with Alan Buchanan before he designed the likes of Borcelino Trois (apologies for the spelling), had quite a good thing in Hong Kong, designed Vanguard for David Lieu for the 1977 Admiral's Cup team. His real breakthrough was Design No 60, Police Car supposedly called that because "nothing passes a Police Car". One of my Quarter Tonners is one of Ed's - Design Number 55. In HK he met a young Malcolm Mckeon who wet to work for Ed and eventually went out on his own and so the baton passes on. Ed was a lovely man and sadly he passed away 5 or 6 years ago with, As Ed once told me over Euro1Bn worth of his designs around the world
 

valcour2

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12 metre

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IIRC, Holland apprenticed with Gary Mull at some point...
Yeah, I think it was all pretty fluid with young designers working at many different firms - probably as dependent on which firm had work as much as anything.

Someone like Frers though was already established before joining S&S in 1965 having worked with his father German Sr. and apparently designed his first boat as a teen in the late 50's.

But I suspect the opportunity to work with Olin Stephens was too good to pass up. His early IOR boats were conceptually and visually quite similar to S&S designs of the time. But Frers had this magic touch to make them look nicer than S&S designs, at least IMO. He has a real eye for things like sheer line and shaping of the transom and bow stem that I think is unparalleled.
 

SloopJonB

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Yeah, I think it was all pretty fluid with young designers working at many different firms - probably as dependent on which firm had work as much as anything.

Someone like Frers though was already established before joining S&S in 1965 having worked with his father German Sr. and apparently designed his first boat as a teen in the late 50's.

But I suspect the opportunity to work with Olin Stephens was too good to pass up. His early IOR boats were conceptually and visually quite similar to S&S designs of the time. But Frers had this magic touch to make them look nicer than S&S designs, at least IMO. He has a real eye for things like sheer line and shaping of the transom and bow stem that I think is unparalleled.
I've called it a "feminine" look as opposed to the masculine look some designers have - like The Maestro.

Frers boats simply have a subtle "prettiness" about them - probably created by the components you mentioned.
 

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