History of Yacht Design by Butch Dalrymple-Smith
Barkfire is proud to be working on the World’s first comprehensive History of Yacht Design, in particular as the author is the renowned naval architect Butch Dalrymple-Smith. As highly experienced in design of modern vessels as in the secrets of classic yachts, Butch is also a competitive sailor as well a professor of yacht design. The perfect mix – a publication about the romance of the sea, by one of the contemporary masters of the millieu.
History of Yacht Design will be a published for the iPad as a content-rich application. We love books but sometimes the right platform is not ink on paper but rather an electronic environment. This is such an instance.
Butch Dalrymple-Smith is a designer’s designer. He has penned a long list of milestone yachts, including the largest sloop in the World at the time of her launch (SY Georgia, 2000). A competitive sailor for many decades, principal of his own design practice, former partner in Ron Holland Design, partner in the Classic Works yard in France and professor of Yacht Design at the European Design Institute, Butch is easily the most qualified person in the World to write a History of Yacht Design and we are honoured to be working with him.
Butch grew up sailing yachts. He owned his first dinghy at the age of 7. Nine years later he built his own boat and between school and university he took the job of a skipper. At unversity he gained substantial competition experience, racing in the Admiral’s Cup in 1963, 1965 and 1967 and on graduating worked as an engineer while also collaborating on the design of his boss’s new race boat.
After racing in the Southern Cross Cup, Butch stayed in Australia over for four years, campaigning a Sydney 18ft skiff while earning a living as a boat builder and sail maker before establishing his own small spar building and rigging shop. During this period he also raced offshore, winning the One Ton Cup for Australia and also became involved in match racing, which was at that time a very new branch of sailing.
After the 1973 Congressional Cup in Long Beach, Butch returned to Europe, tuning racing yachts and consulting on IOR ratings. The winners of the top three classes of the 1973 Fastnet Race were all his clients.
A few days before the start of the first Whitbread Round the World Race, Butch was conscripted onto the Swan 65 Sayula II as watch captain. Despite capsizing in the Southern Ocean, the yacht went on to win the race. This was the first, and may still be Mexico’s only win of an international sailing event.
In the early 1970′s Butch joined Ron Holland’s fledgling design company to handle the technical side of the business and run the drawing office. This partnership went from success to success for seventeen years, during which time Butch also notched up World Championship wins in the Quarter and Half Ton classes as well as winning many regattas for maxi yachts, multihulls and smaller classes, all on yachts designed in partnership with Ron Holland.
Over the last twenty years Butch has worked with Lürssen, Camper & Nicholsons (Yachts) and finally set up his own design practice in the French port town of La Ciotat, where he is also partner in Classic Works. The yard specialises in the highly complicated art of restoring classic vessels.
As well as new build designs Butch works on modifications and conversions, such as the refit of the 74 metre four-masted Phocea, winner of a ShowBoats award for best refit and the 1904 Nicholson cutter Merrymaid.