John Laurent Giles

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John ('Jack') Laurent Giles (1901–1969) was a naval architect who was particularly famous for his sailing yachts.[1][2] He and his company, Laurent Giles & Partners Ltd, designed more than 1000 boats from cruisers and racing yachts to megayachts.


Notable examples of Laurent Giles' work include the famous 25-foot (7.6 m) Vertue (sail numbers suggest that some 230 of these have been made), Wanderer III,[3] the 30' sloop in which Eric and Susan Hiscock circumnavigated, and the race-winning Gulvain, the first ocean racing yacht to be made from an aluminium alloy.

His famous Myth of Malham, a revolutionary small displacement yacht for John Illingworth, was inspired by developments in aeronautics; the novel design helped win the Fastnet race in 1947 and 1949. The updated Miranda IV of 1951 had a rudder mounted separately from the aft of the keel (a 'spade rudder') which heralded the arrival of the modern period of yacht design.

Laurent Giles described as part of his design philosophy that a yacht should have "the utmost docility and sureness of manoeuvring at sea, in good or bad weather" - his boats were designed to maintain a steady course with minimal action by the helmsman but respond instantly to the helm if the need arose.[4]

He was awarded the honour of Royal Designer for Industry in 1951.

Select List of Designs by Laurent Giles[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Lee, Adrian; Philpott, Ruby (3 Jan 1991). Laurent Giles: Evolution of Yacht Design. Adlard Coles Nautical. ISBN 0-7136-3322-0.
  2. ^ Lee, Adrian; Philpott, Ruby (1990). Laurent Giles & His Yacht Designs. International Marine Publishing. ISBN 0-87742-285-0.
  3. ^ "Wanderer III - Details of Laurent Giles Yacht". Laurent Giles Archive. Archived from the original on 2015-05-18.
  4. ^ Vigor, John (1994). The Practical Mariner's Book of Knowledge. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 0-07-067475-2.
  5. ^ Website for Vertue Yachts (
  6. ^ "Westerly Centaur archive details". Yachtsnet's archive of boat details and pictures. Yachtsnet Ltd. Archived from the original on 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2015-10-01.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Sailboat designs of Jack Laurent Giles by year". Archived from the original on 2015-09-28. Retrieved 2015-10-01.