(Sub title: why some people think I am one opinioned S.O.B.)
Some 45 to 50 years ago four designers (L. Francis Herreshoff; Ed Monk Sr; Bill Garden and Charley Morgan) all gave me the same advice, paraphrasing and combining all they said to me into this almost religious edict for a young wantabe boat designer “……watch, study and record what other people are designing but have a passionate opinion of what you know to be true, be creative or otherwise you sound like a fake. “Remember that you’re going to have the arrows in your backside with your passionate opinions. At least you will not be enslaved by another’s blind prejudices.”
I learned to study everything I could find, ride (sail) as many boats as I could and kept records of what I learned. Only the really good designers will develop a strong and deeply passionate opinion. Keeping an open mind and being a good observer you will develop your own strong opinions, most will say, too strong, but that is the true sign of a creative designer and worth the badge to call himself an artist.
Over these past 45 years of being a Yacht Designer I have learned that mediocre minds are incapable of understanding the designer who refuses to give in blindly to group prejudices and instead express his thoughts honestly. Too many people have dogged opinions without the discomfort of thinking. These people are easy to spot.
I rest my case, “…gee that even sounds opinionated”, oh well ( a quote from my wife by the way )