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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Kwalt:
Of course you are correct. I think Walt and I both had some of the same influences.

I like Walt. He's a very good boatbuilder. I met him years ago at the Nap show when he passed the word that he was going to punch me in the nose if he met me. Tat sounded like fun to me so I went over to his 38 and introduced myself. We had a nice chat and I think we have been friends ever since. I wish he had built some of my boats.
 

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Bob -

Thanks for sharing your blog post. It was an entertaining and enjoyable read, and your drawings are wonderful. It's always nice to see content from you.
 

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Bob, has anyone done a sort of 'family tree' of designers (lets stick to North America to keep it a bit simpler). Who worked with who as a pup. It would be interesting to get a sense of the pattern of influences. Does it all go back to Herreshoff? How does Olin Stephens fit in? Rhodes seems to have been very influential. I wonder if there are a bunch of 'begets' in there?
 

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I really enjoyed seeing Bob's early work and reading his story. It struck a real cord with me, since when I was growing up I too wanted to be a yacht designer, and would scour the pages of books and magazines memorizing designs in much the same way as other kids memorized baseball statistics.

When I look at Bob's early work, the artistry is the first thing that strikes me, but there are certainly plenty of DNA from other designers. to some extent there are certain resemblances to the work of Rhodes, Alden, Atkins, Morse, Stephens, Garden. But the reality is that a yacht designer rarely if ever does a design which is totally original. Most great designs evolve from prior works and are at best unique in the way that their creator combined their DNA to produce something better than what came before.

Regarding Killarney's post, There are a whole bunch of begets but I suspect that there is more incest than produced the guys from 'Deliverance'. There is certainly a lineage that passes through George Steers (designer of the America) who begat Edward Burgess (who was associated with Steers early in his career) who literally and figuratively begat Starling Burgess who begat John Alden, Olin Stephens, and to a lesser extent L.Francis Herreshoff and Clinton Crane. (E. Burgess also begat BB Crowninshield who helped begat John Alden) Olin Stephens begat a bunch of the 1960's-through 1990's stars and starlets such as German Frers, Bill Shaw, Bill Tripp, David Pedrick, Brit Chance, and so on.

Nat Herreshoff made himself from whole cloth. Its hard to say that anyone influenced him. But Nat was the other begatter of L.Francis as well as Sydney DeWolf Herreshoff.

I am not sure that guys like Rhodes and Alden were all that influential in the big picture, but they certainly influenced and were influenced by a bunch of great and semi-great designers who worked with them or were influenced by them, like Geiger, Alberg, Aage Nielsen, Ray Hunt, Charlie Wittholz. There are a bunch of designers whose work was evolved from the work that preceded them. They were just very good at improving what they inherited.

There are also very strong lineages that can be found in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
 

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Looks like Jeff already has a good start on it. I am a geographer by training and inclination. It would not be as strong today with airplanes and the Internet, but would it be fair to suggest that in the past there were regional schools of yacht design? I have always been partial to New England style boats. They seem to have come from very different artistic sensitivities than California or Western European boats, although you do get cross-fertilization with S&S designing for Swan and Frers who seems to be very international.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Killarney:
You and my son Max. He has a degree in GIS ( I think it's called) and he works for Lockheed-Martin in their flight simulator program. I think we may have discussed this before.
He does 3D modelling for airports and surrounds.

Really, this is a job for Jeff. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the business and he has nothing to do that is more important than this.
 

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Killarney:
You and my son Max. He has a degree in GIS ( I think it's called) and he works for Lockheed-Martin in their flight simulator program. I think we may have discussed this before.
He does 3D modelling for airports and surrounds.

Really, this is a job for Jeff. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the business and he has nothing to do that is more important than this.
I don't think you mentioned that your son did GIS or I missed it. GIS is certainly become a huge field in only a few years. It is now so pervasive that we don't even notice it. I am more old school geography than that. Used a computer mapping program in about 1971 called SYMAP. A run on the mainframe took about 20 minutes and could only be done on the middle of the night when they reassembled all of the partitions. Printouts were done on a line printer that did 'grayscale' shading using overstrikes of regular characters. Ah, the good old days.

I agree Jeff would be perfect for the detailed ancestry of design(er) influences and I am sure he has lots of time. :D On the topic, I have always enjoyed the designs of Mark Ellis and I think he said that he worked with Rhodes and was much influenced by his designs. I think he also worked with C&C at one time but might be wrong. What were Hood's design influences? He seems very much part of the NE group.
 
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Killarney:
Max was the kind of kid that read himself to sleep at night with the Atlas. His wife, Stacy, also has a degree in GIS but now she is a full time Mom to my two beautiful grand children Violet and Drake.
 

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It's just wonderful when young people see their dreams, go after them, and succeed.

It's beyond cool, Bob.
 
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