Alvin Mason ~ 1911 - 1995 ~ US

In a 60-year career, Al Mason produced only about 150 designs under his own name, but he had a leadership role in several major design offices where he worked, and his unmistakable touch can be seen in many of the most successful designs of his time. Written by: Daniel B. MacNaughton

Max Oertz ~ 1871 - 1929 ~ Germany

Max Oertz was born in the same year in which the last German states finally united under Prussia to form modern Germany. In the time he grew up, the newly formed state also grew into the industrial leader of Europe; when he reached young manhood, his country, urged on by Kaiser Wilhelm II, looked to establish itself as a great cultural power as well. One of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s chief interests was yachting, and accordingly one of his chief ambitions was to develop a German yachting tradition which might rival those of his uncle, King Edward VII of England. Max Oertz was his standard bearer. Written by: Dr. Kristin Lammerting

Charles W. Paine ~ 1944 - ~ US

Combining a thorough understanding of the virtues of modern boat types with sensitivity to tradition, Chuck Paine has become one of the most successful cruising-boat designers of his generation. Written by: Daniel B. MacNaughton

Alan Payne ~ 1921 - 1995 ~ Australia

Alan Payne's name is forever linked to Gretel and Gretel II, 12 Meters he designed for the Australian America's Cup challenges of 1962 and 1970. Although they did not bring the Cup home to Australia, they did mark the beginning of Australia's huge presence in the America's Cup races, and as of 1982 his boats had won more Cup races than any challenger since 1958. Written by: Geoff Payne

Walter Reeks ~ 1861 - 1925 ~ Australia

Walter Reeks was the most influential yacht designer in late 19th century Australia. The 24-year-old, English-born naval architect arrived in Sydney in 1885, in search of a warmer climate. From then until the economic recession of 1893 he changed and dominated colonial yacht racing, designing most of the champion yachts on Sydney Harbour. Written by: Daina Fletcher

Jacques de Ridder ~ 1942 - ~ Netherlands

Like many designers in the Netherlands de Ridder is self-taught, out of his own experience as a yachtsman and a ship’s carpenter, along with several jobs and apprenticeships under some exemplary predecessors. Written by: Rutger ten Broeke

Ben Seaborn ~ 1914 - 1960 ~ US

Seattle designer Ben Seaborn was one of the first to perceive the advantages of the light displacement type. His work shows a stunning and rapid transition from his early, graceful and rather conventional moderate-to-heavy displacement sailboats to a series of light displacement designs which employed fin keels, separated rudders, reverse sheer, strip planking, and plywood construction in various combinations. Written by: Daniel B. MacNaughton

Alexander Simonis
1959 - ~ Netherlands/South Africa

Sailing with his father on a 45' multihull in the 1982 "Two Handed Round Britain and Ireland Race," young Alexander Simonis realized that his future lay with the sea. For a young man with this interest, training as a sea-going deck officer was an obvious choice. Written by: Thomas Roach

Christopher Columbus Smith
1861 - 1939 ~ US

The founder of the legendary Chris-Craft motorboat building company, Christopher Columbus Smith began his career in the 1880’s as a designer and builder of rowing skiffs and duck boats on the St. Clair River north of Detroit, Michigan. Written by: Joseph Gribbins

John A. Spencer ~ 1931 - 1996 ~ New Zealand

It has often been said that the common approach toward sailing in New Zealand and Australia today was greatly influenced by John Spencer’s "fun" approach to boat design combined with his pioneering rapid construction methods. . His Cherub and Javelin planing dinghies were landmarks in small boat design, and opened a new era of high-performance sailing which was adopted with enthusiasm in both countries. Written by: Mark Steele

Albert Strange ~ 1855 - 1917 ~ UK

For those who love simple, small yachts, particularly those which combine artistry with practicality, there is no greater treasure than the work of Albert Strange. Born on the Thames estuary in England in 1855, he designed during a period when most of the yachting world was concerned with big yachts, professional crews, and the mind-boggling luxuries of the very wealthy. Written by: Daniel B. MacNaughton

George Wayland ~ 1885 - 1947 ~ US

Beginning in the 1920’s, George Wayland drew a succession of memorable cruising and racing sailboats, plus a few handsome motor yachts. Notable among his designs are a number of beautiful raised-deck sailboats and knockabout schooners, somewhat atypical types which require a fine sense of proportion to execute successfully. Written by: Thomas G. Skahill


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