A generation (or so) ago, naval architecure was alive with great designs and great designers- Bill Crealock, Bill Garden, Olin Stephens, Cuthbertson & Cassian, Ted Brewer, Ted Hood, and at the unconventional end of the scale Phil Bolger and Artthur Piver, producing designs to be emulated, imitated, improved upon and admired for decades to come.
All were legends in their own time, and, occasionally, in their own mind. There are far fewer designers today, even fewer who evince the same reaction, and fewest leave the same solid body of work behind.
An exception that proves the rule is Pacific Northwest -based naval architect Robert Perry. For over 40 years Perry has turned out some of the best-regarded fast sailing cruiser designs available, boats that have stood the test of time:
and my favourite, the Far Harbour 39, a ship designed to be shipped:
I'm not gonna waste any more of your time blowing smoke up Bob's ass- for those who are interested , you can find out more info here:
Bottom line is, this dude is one of the last of the real deals when it comes to designing floaty stuff.
I have been lucky enough to come across Bob's radar screen, thanks to the interweb. Before I get to the meat of this post, a little background is probably in order:
As I make my bones, in my own ham-handed way, designing, building, and refitting boats, I am reminded of the "Four Stages of Learning Any New Skill<" as it was described to me a few years ago:
1. Unconscious Incompetence- Don't know what to do. Don't know how to do it.
2. Conscious Incompetence- Know what to do. Don't know how to do it.
3. Conscious Competence- Know what to do. Know how to do it. Have to focus and concentrate to do it.
4. Unconscious Competence- Know what to do. Do it automatically.
I hover between stages 1 and 3 with occasional delusional flashes of stage 4, with a confidence level anywhere between 27 and 128%, which means that sometimes a second, or third or fourth, opinion is wise.
This is where the WLYDO comes in.
WLYDO (pronounced "Lee-do." The W is silent. I don't care what anybody else says.) is the "World's Largest Yacht Design Office", a loose group of naval architects, wannabe architects, boatbuilders, sailors and critics who meet on-line in the Cruising Anarchy forum to present designs for criticism and/or improvement,and/or to criticize/improve proffered designs. As I refine my catamaran design, the input of the WYLDO has been invaluable. The support and advice has kept the wheels from coming off this wreck so far, and has been much appreciated.
Apparently, I'm not the only one who has benefited from the power of the WYLDO. Last week , Mr. Perry blogged about the efforts of this rogues gallery:
Halfway down the page, check out the picture of the skunkworks deep below Stately Jones Manor. How cool is that?
And thanks to all of you for checking us out. Please feel free to "Talk the Dock!" Link us, follow us or just tell your friends.