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Thread: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

  1. #1
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    Default Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    One of the things I really loved as I started to get interested in wooden boats was not just reading books about designs drawn or preserved by Gardner or Culler or even Chappelle, but about Gardner, or Culler, or Chappelle. Learning a bit about those people, getting at least a whiff of their character, as captured in their own writings, but also in others ' remembrances.

    Those three are gone now, and in the foreseeable future, the only way anyone will know them is through those writings.

    Who are today's counterparts, who need to have their personalities captured in amber for us and the next generation, and who need to have such captured soon? Time to expand my thinking, and my virtual acquaintancees.

    Who would you want to know, or meet, in the wooden boat world today?
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    gartside
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    oughtred
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    mcmullet has forsaken us but he left a large body of work in the archives
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    that welsford guy
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    I'd have to put Ian Oughtred in there. And while he might deny it, I'd add John Welsford. With the trends to smaller craft those two (along with a big set of other notables) have encouraged small scale boatbuilding and adventuring.

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    so hugh has me on ignore, interesting. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    bob perry
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    This is great. What about people we should have met, and maybe could in another close to contemporary timeline? Meade Gougeon, say.

    Not a wooden boat guy, but I wonder about Tom Colvin.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    This is great. What about people we should have met, and maybe could in another close to contemporary timeline? Meade Gougeon, say.

    Not a wooden boat guy, but I wonder about Tom Colvin.
    lots of commentary and articles about and by the gougeon brothers

    pretty sure colvin's been covered at length in SteelBoat Magazine
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    Fortunately, Gartside has written two books that reveal much about his thinking and character. He's a wonderfully expressive writer, among the best.

    Maynard Bray is someone who would be a great subject among today's cohort of experts: deeply knowledgeable but so humble about it that he'd resist having a book written about him.
    "Be curious, not judgmental." - (Misattributed to Walt Whitman as recalled by) Ted Lasso

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    Paul Gartside was at the TSCA event in Blue Hill signing his books. I had met him years ago at the Small Reach Regatta without realizing it. I was talking to a guy who came over to watch us rigging the Faering and later Clint mentioned my talking with Paul. He was interested in the rudder hardware we had ordered from Classic Marine.

    I also met Iain Oughtred when he was the featured designer at the WoodenBoat Show in Mystic. And Mik Storer when he was in Maine. And when we were in Brest for the Festival we met Francois Vivier and got to sail with him on his boat during the Bastille Day fireworks. Clint helped with that connection. Plus I’d have to add Clint to the list, love his designs.

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    I took a boat design course from Paul Gartside at the WB school. Great guy. Needed more than a week, but it was lots of fun.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    I recon Leo will be the new Larry .

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    I'd add to the list of current talents: JF Bedard; Michael Storer; Harry Bryan; Graham Byrnes; Sam Devlin; Karl Stambaugh; Art Shell; Tad Roberts, Paul Riccelli; Francois Vivier; Richard Woods; Arch Davis; Don Kurylko; Joel White; Clint Chase; Mark Bowdidge; Ross Lillistone. I'm sure there are several more I'm overlooking at the moment.


    And I'd strongly second Oughtred, Welsford, and Gartside.
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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    John Brooks

    Those that want recognition will get it. It is required to sell boats or designs. Writing books or publications of your work along with politic opinions (on boats) are those that will be remembered. L. Francis, William and John Atkin, W.P. Stephens, Howard Chapelle, Phil Bolger, et al are among the more well remembered and their designs are still viable today. Ian Oughtred even as a recluse has his finger on the pulse.
    Often, talented builders of small craft become talented designers. It helps as in the case of say, John Gardner, to have a masters degree in teaching. (Albert Strange was a teacher and a great writer)

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    Nigel Irens

    Graham Bantock

    Frank Bethwaite
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    In Germany - I guess Judel/Vrolijk https://www.judel-vrolijk.com/

    Holland - I guess Van de Stadt deserves mentioning

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I'd add to the list of current talents: .......... Paul Riccelli; ............. I'm sure there are several more I'm overlooking at the moment.


    And I'd strongly second Oughtred, Welsford, and Gartside.
    Sorry to inform you that Paul Ricelli is no longer current. d. May 2018.

    I came across him on boatdesign.net.

    Daily he gave us the benefit of his knowledge and experience. A huge loss.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    Perhaps not so well known outside the UK: Andrew Wolstenholme
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    John Harris should be added to this list of designers. He has put a great many small boat builders in elegant small craft. I have built three of his designs (kayak, sail & power) which were perfect for my needs.
    “Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily" Johann Von Schiller

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    For me, the late Ed Burnett.

    And the still with us Ray Wall.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    Oh, and MMD of course

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    Most of these folks are English speaking. Other than Vivier, who else in the not-English native tongue world is compelling, that I oughta find out about? Henning's post above got me realizing a narrowness of my scope so far
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    so hugh has me on ignore, interesting. . .
    Sorry Paul I think I was writing as you were and you beat me to it. Just getting back to this thread. Some amazing folks listed, many of whom I know noting about!

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    how about Mike O'Brien? I have enjoyed all his writings on boat design.

    And while not a designer most of us know, Nick Schade deserves a shot at joining the illuminati. Not only has he designed and built many amazing kayaks, but he is an author as well.
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meyer View Post
    John Harris should be added to this list of designers. He has put a great many small boat builders in elegant small craft. I have built three of his designs (kayak, sail & power) which were perfect for my needs.
    The man behind Chesapeake Light Craft. Definitely - He's put more butts into wooden boats than ALL the others mentioned. I think of John as Bolger V2 - taking Bolger's open minded approach & refining & translating his weirdness & riotous experimentation into wide accessibility & commercial success.

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    I took a course with Gardner at Mystic lo these many moons ago. I was thrilled to be able to do so. For me it was a par with being taught by Tage Frid at RISD.

    But to answer the OP I would certainbly say Oughtred, sure.
    Gerard>
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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meyer View Post
    John Harris should be added to this list of designers. He has put a great many small boat builders in elegant small craft. I have built three of his designs (kayak, sail & power) which were perfect for my needs.

    Having met and talked with him on several open houses and visits to CLC over the years. I agree. Not only is he a talented designer and businessman, but he has assembled a top notch team to back him.
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    Most of these folks are English speaking. Other than Vivier, who else in the not-English native tongue world is compelling, that I oughta find out about? Henning's post above got me realizing a narrowness of my scope so far
    I ran into a Dutch chap aboard his self built Bombigher schooner. He was in Harwich intending to circumnavigate Britain so I gave him my Cruising Association Almanac. He went clockwise and has just got home.

    Daniel Bombigher certainly has a following but not an Anglo-Saxon one.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

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    Default Re: Who are today's boat illuminati? Today's Gardner, Culler etc?

    BBE5B62A-1289-4880-9A6E-8DAB10E5F1E5.jpg@David G : Tad Roberts was in Victoria and came aboard our boat this past Saturday. Not exactly a youngster but he’s got some good years and designs yet to go. Local dude so he’s my pick too. The photo was taken as I write this off Whidby Island about a mile from the recent plane crash. Homeward bound posted under way.
    Last edited by Lew Barrett; 09-05-2022 at 02:38 PM.
    One of the most enduring qualities of an old wooden boat is the smell it imparts to your clothing.

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