Dick Carter: Yacht Designer
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In the Golden Age of Offshore Racing
Part Number: BOA0554
Publisher: Fernhurst Books
Not many ‘amateur’ yacht designers would dare to enter the first boat they had ever designed into the epic offshore Fastnet Race, let alone with the intention of winning it. But that is what Dick Carter did in 1964, beating all 151 other yachts, some sailed by the most notable sailors of the day.
He repeated the feat 4 years later with another of his own designs (which also won the Admiral’s Cup that year as top boat and top team), but by then he could certainly not be described as an ‘amateur’ yacht designer. His radical innovations created fast and comfortable boats which were much in demand in this, the golden age of offshore racing. They were commissioned by the top sailors and succeeded in winning the Admiral’s Cup, Southern Cross Series, One Ton Cup, Two Ton Cup and many of the biggest races.
He even went on to design the massive 128-foot Vendredi Treize for Jean-Yves Terlain to sail single-handed in the 1972 OSTAR (trans-Atlantic) race – the longest boat ever to have been raced single-handed.
But after just a decade at the top of his game, he quit the world of sailing and moved on to other challenges. He hadn’t been heard of for so long that sailors assumed he was dead. His surprise appearance at the funeral of Ted Hood gave rise to the suggestion that he wrote this book. It is beautifully produced with many fabulous photographs and boat plans and was first published in the US by Seapoint Books and is now published in the UK by Fernhurst Books.
While his career as a yacht designer may have been brief, the impact of his innovations has lasted the test of time. Who today would think of an offshore yacht without internal halyards in the mast or that the rudder always had to be fixed to the keel? These concepts, and many more, were first introduced by Dick Carter.