Robert Perry (yacht designer)

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The Tayana 37 is one of Perry's most famous and iconic designs.
A Tayana 37 under sail on the East River in New York passes under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Robert H. Perry is a U.S. yacht designer based in Seattle, Washington. Among his designs are some of the most successful cruising yachts in modern cruising such as the Tayana 37 and Valiant 40. Through his career he has designed boats for many well recognized names in the yachting industry, such as Tayana, Cheoy Lee, Valiant, Baba, Ta Shing, Islander, Passport and Saga. Perry has taught yacht design at Evergreen State College.[1]

Early life[edit]

In 1957 when Robert H. Perry was twelve, he and his family moved from Sydney, Australia to Vancouver, British Columbia. He writes that the trip made a lasting impression on him and spurred his interest in yacht design. At the beginning of his ninth-grade year, his family moved to Mercer Island, Washington, an area renowned for its school system. Here, his interest in sailboats really clicked. He met famous designer William Garden, joined the local yacht club, and excelled at mechanical drawing. Perry graduated with a 1.69 GPA from Mercer Island High School in 1964.[2] The only local college that would accept him (and on a probationary status) was Seattle University.[1] He enrolled as a mechanical engineering student, but dropped out after four years. Although the Vietnam War was growing and called him for enlistment, his childhood history of petit mal seizures made him inelligible.[2]

Career[edit]

Mirage 27 designed by Perry

In 1970, Jay Benford gave Perry his first job as a yacht designer. Benford was promoting ferro-cement boats in Seattle. Soon, Perry had his first published design, a 47-foot ketch in National Fisherman. Boatbuilder John Edwards who would found Hans Christian Yachts sent a letter to Perry in response to the 47-foot ketch. Eventually, this relationship would lead to Perry's first design, the CT 54, a clipper-bowed ketch. Ted Brewer consulted and helped Perry with the design. Ta Chaoi Brothers, a Taiwanese yard built the CT 54 and the larger CT 65.[2]

Simultaneously, Perry was working on what would be his landmark design, the Valiant 40. Along with Nathan Rothman and Sylvia and Stanley Dabney, he would design the first "performance cruiser." They all met at Benford's ferro-cement studio, but even as Perry moved to work for Dick Carter they continued to strategize about building a bluewater cruising boat like the Westsail 32 that would have better performance.[3] Rothman contacted Uniflite, a Bellingham, Washington boat builder, and by 1974 the first Valiant rolled off their line. The design combined the classic canoe stern cruiser shape with a fin keel and skeg hung rudder instead of the traditional full keel.[4]

These two starts led to more design commissions for Islander Yachts and Tayana Yachts. Perry became a popular designer for Taiwan-built boats.[2]

Recent[edit]

Perry designed the latest (and largest) yacht for Pacific Seacraft, the SouthSea 61,[5] beginning work in 2007.[6]

Perry also designed a unique long narrow 62 foot double ended daysailer built at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock, Washington, and launched in March, 2015.[7] This design was inspired by a number of famous classic vessels including vessels designed by L. Francis Herreshoff, Bruce King and Bill Garden. Perry was selected to create the design due to his past very successful double ended designs and the recent success of a number of his designs on the race course.

Awards[edit]

  • 1979, Yacht Racing/Cruising Magazine, Medal of Achievement for Performance Cruising Design
  • 1989, Cruising World Magazine, Cruising Hall of Fame
  • 1995, American Boatbuilders Hall of Fame, Valiant 40 inducted into Hall of Fame

Boat designs[8][2][edit]

Perry's Aloha 27 design
Name Length First Built
ALOHA 26 26.50 ft / 8.08 m 1979
Aloha 27 26.50 ft / 8.08 m 1976
ALOHA 271 26.75 ft / 8.15 m 1983
ALOHA 8.2 26.50 ft / 8.08 m 1980
Baba 30 30.00 ft / 9.14 m 1976
BABA 35 34.83 ft / 10.62 m 1979
BABA 40 39.83 ft / 12.14 m 1980
BABA 40 PILOT HOUSE 39.83 ft / 12.14 m 1980
BYSTEDT 30 30.00 ft / 9.14 m 1975
CHEOY LEE 35 34.83 ft / 10.62 m 1979
CHEOY LEE 43 MS 42.78 ft / 13.04 m 1981
CHEOY LEE 44 43.80 ft / 13.35 m 1979
CHEOY LEE 48 47.83 ft / 14.58 m 1980
CT-37 36.67 ft / 11.18 m 1976
CT-54 54.00 ft / 16.46 m 1975
CT-56 55.50 ft / 16.92 m 1986
CT-65 / SCORPIO 72 64.83 ft / 19.76 m 1983
EO 36 35.83 ft / 10.92 m 1978
ESPRIT 37 37.00 ft / 11.28 m 1977
FLYING TIGER 10M 32.66 ft / 9.95 m 2005
GOLDEN WAVE 42 42.00 ft / 12.80 m 1981
HANS CHRISTIAN 34 34.00 ft / 10.36 m 1974
ISLANDER 26 25.83 ft / 7.87 m 1976
ISLANDER 28 27.92 ft / 8.51 m 1975
ISLANDER 32-2 31.96 ft / 9.74 m 1976
ISLANDER 32-3 31.96 ft / 9.74 m 1977
ISLANDER 34-2 34.33 ft / 10.46 m 1983
ISLANDER 38 C 38.00 ft / 11.58 m 1983
ISLANDER BAHAMA 26 26.00 ft / 7.92 m 1976
ISLANDER BAHAMA 28 27.92 ft / 8.51 m 1981
ISLANDER FREEPORT 36 35.75 ft / 10.90 m 1976
ISLANDER FREEPORT 38 38.00 ft / 11.58 m 1983
ISLANDER FREEPORT 41 41.00 ft / 12.50 m 1974
LAFITTE 44 44.33 ft / 13.51 m 1978
LAFITTE 66 66.00 ft / 20.12 m 1982
LANDFALL 39 (C&C) 38.75 ft / 11.81 m 1985
MARINER 39 (PERRY) 38.83 ft / 11.84 m 1981
MIRAGE 25 (PERRY) 25.17 ft / 7.67 m 1982
MIRAGE 26 (PERRY) 26.17 ft / 7.98 m 1976
Mirage 27 (Perry) 27.92 ft / 8.51 m 1982
MIRAGE 30 30.00 ft / 9.14 m 1983
MIRAGE 32 32.00 ft / 9.75 m 1987
Mirage 33 33.50 ft / 10.21 m 1982
MIRAGE 35 35.50 ft / 10.82 m 1983
NASSAU 45 44.92 ft / 13.69 m 1984
NORDIC 34 34.33 ft / 10.46 m 1985
NORDIC 40 39.70 ft / 12.10 m 1982
NORDIC 44 43.83 ft / 13.36 m 1980
NORDIC 45 RS 45.33 ft / 13.82 m 1988
NORSEMAN 447 44.58 ft / 13.59 m 1980
NORSTAR 40 39.67 ft / 12.09 m 1995
NORSTAR 44 43.83 ft / 13.36 m 1995
PANDA 40 39.91 ft / 12.16 m 1983
PASSPORT 37 37.00 ft / 11.28 m 1984
PASSPORT 40 40.67 ft / 12.40 m 1980
PASSPORT 41 41.33 ft / 12.60 m 1987
PASSPORT 44 45.50 ft / 13.87 m 1995
PASSPORT 456 45.50 ft / 13.87 m 1995
PASSPORT 47 46.58 ft / 14.20 m 1983
PASSPORT 470 AC 47.00 ft / 14.33 m 1997
PASSPORT 50 50.00 ft / 15.24 m 1994
PERRY 41/ALOHA 41 40.83 ft / 12.44 m 1981
PERRY 47 46.58 ft / 14.20 m 1977
PH 41 41.00 ft / 12.50 m 1975
POLARIS 43 42.67 ft / 13.01 m 1979
RELIANCE 37 37.00 ft / 11.28 m 1981
SAGA 35 36.50 ft / 11.13 m 2000
SAGA 43 43.25 ft / 13.18 m 1996
SAGA 48 52.30 ft / 15.94 m 2003
SCORPIO 72 65.00 ft / 19.81 m 1982
SEAMASTER 46 46.00 ft / 14.02 m 1981
SOUTH PACIFIC 42 41.92 ft / 12.78 m 1988
SUN 27 27.50 ft / 8.38 m 1977
SUN 28 28.00 ft / 8.53 m 1977
SUN 838 27.50 ft / 8.38 m 1977
TASHIBA 31 31.19 ft / 9.51 m 1986
TASHIBA 36 36.00 ft / 10.97 m 1986
TASHIBA 36 PH 36.00 ft / 10.97 m 1986
TASHIBA 40 39.87 ft / 12.15 m 1984
TATOOSH 42 41.83 ft / 12.75 m 1981
TATOOSH 51 50.58 ft / 15.42 m 1983
Tayana 37 36.67 ft / 11.18 m 1976
TAYANA 47 CC 47.00 ft / 14.33 m 1991
TAYANA 47 DS 47.00 ft / 14.33 m 1991
TAYANA 52 52.42 ft / 15.98 m 1983
UNION 36 36.67 ft / 11.18 m 1977
VALIANT 32 32.00 ft / 9.75 m 1976
VALIANT 37 37.00 ft / 11.28 m 1977
VALIANT 39 39.33 ft / 11.99 m 1995
Valiant 40 (101-199) 39.92 ft / 12.17 m 1973
Valiant 40 (200-235) 39.92 ft / 12.17 m 1978
VALIANT 40 PH 39.82 ft / 12.14 m 1981
VALIANT 40-2 39.82 ft / 12.14 m 1981
VALIANT 42 42.00 ft / 12.80 m 1992
VALIANT 42RS 42.00 ft / 12.80 m 1992
VALIANT 47 47.00 ft / 14.33 m 1981
VALIANT 50 50.67 ft / 15.44 m 1997
VALIANT ESPRIT 37 37.00 ft / 11.28 m 1978
WESTSAIL 39 38.67 ft / 11.79 m 1979
WHITE WING 35/36 35.93 ft / 10.95 m 1980
YACHTCRAFT 32 31.92 ft / 9.73 m 1976

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Robert Perry bio on perryboat.com
  2. ^ a b c d e Perry, Robert (1 December 2007). Yacht Design According to Perry. International Marine Publishing Co. p. 240. ISBN 9780071465571.
  3. ^ Kretschmer, John, Used Boat Notebook, pp. 143–146
  4. ^ Dabney, Sylvia (October 1998), "The Birth of the Valiant", Good Old Boat
  5. ^ "SouthSea 61 Specifications". Pacific Seacraft. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  6. ^ Pacific Seacraft press release
  7. ^ "Launchings Francis Lee". Woodenboat Magazine. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Production Boats". Robert H. Perry Yacht Designers, Inc. Retrieved 29 December 2018.

External links[edit]