On April 12th, Hal Sisk is coming all the way from Ireland to present his new publication, "G. L. Watson – The Art and Science of Yacht Design", a new book by Martin Black about the genius and awe-inspiring creations of renowned British yacht designer George Lennox Watson, at the IYRS Newport Campus.
Author Martin Black, a corporate lawyer and yachtsman, has passionately devoted decades of his leisure time to uncovering Watson’s career and life. Drawing from previously unpublished material held in museums, archives and private collections of Europe and the USA, and illustrated by some of the most fabulous yachting images never published before - many by the River Clyde’s forgotten 19th Century marine photographers - the author sheds new light on the development of the Big Class cutters, the fierce rivalry between Kaiser Wilhelm and Edward, Prince of Wales and the inside story of the epic struggles to regain the America’s Cup.
We did a little search on Watson's work and here's a summary of his succesful 32-year career.
As a boy he developed an early interest in yachting and it was at age 16, when he resolved to make a carrer as a naval architect. He worked as an apprentice draughtsman at shipyards and soon he started using his craftmanship and his knowledge from studying hydrodynamics in yacht design.
At the age of 22 Watson set out to found his own yacht design office and his first design, Peg Woffington, featuring an unorthodox reverse bow, drew much attention to his work. His yachts became renowned for their seaworthiness and durability and very soon prestigious families like the Coats family of Paisley, the Allan Brothers (of the famous Scotch-Canadian shipping line), the Vanderbilt family, Earl of Dunraven, Sir Thomas Lipton, the Rothschild family, Charles Lindsay Orr-Ewing, Whitaker Wright and Wilhelm II (German Emperor), were among his clients.
Watson designed 432 yachts, lifeboats and other vessels during his 32-year career, an output which averages one new build launched every 3.5 weeks. His most famous design, HMY Britannia, was commissioned by Edward Prince of Wales (subsequently King Edward VII) and had a long and successful career passing to his son King George V. It remains the most successful racing yacht of all time, with a racing career spanning 43 years.
Google Books. Watson died prematurely from coronary asthma, in 1904. He entrusted his company to his Chief Draughstman James Rennie Barnett, who went on to design the firm's largest and most famous luxury steam yachts. The firm G.L. Watson - Yachts since 1873, is now based in Liverpool and is engaged in the design, restoration and replica builds of large yachts.
The G.L. Watson archive, one of the UK's most significant maritime collections, is now stored in the firm’s dedicated archive, with ongoing conservation, cataloguing and reproduction work still taking place. The collection contains a diverse range of material from drawings and photographs, to press cuttings and specification documents, also plans, books, diaries, many of them available on enquiry.