Sailing for Everyone Says Yacht Maker Ron Holland

The gleaming yachts moored in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour are indelibly tied to wealth. Ron Holland would appear to fit the bill. The sailor’s 33-metre yacht Avalon, which he designed, is valued at a jaw-dropping $10 million. But for Holland, 70, a born-and-bred New Zealander, sailing isn’t a rarefied hobby for the affluent.

“Sailing is a hugely widespread endeavour,” Holland said in a recent interview.

“You can do it from a little canoe or a rubber tire dinghy in our swimming pool to a boat like Avalon.”

Holland has made a storied career out of sailing.

In his new memoir, All the Oceans: Designing By the Seats of My Pants, Holland recounts his days sailing as a child in a dinghy off the coast of New Zealand and the worldwide sail boat races he conquered.

He also describes his work as a yacht designer, through which he fashioned ships for the likes of pop group Duran Duran and the Austrian conductor Herbert Von Karajan.

Holland is entirely self-taught. After failing a crucial high-school exam in New Zealand, he learned the trade by competitive sailing and working as a wooden boat builder.

“If you’re going to be a yacht designer now, you would go to university,” Holland said.

“My yacht design lessons were based on my feeling of the boats worked by racing them.”

Original article by Alex Migdal, CBC News, April 15, 2018.

Photo by Matthew Parsons.

Tags: All the Oceans: Designing By the Seats of My Pants  CBC News  Ron Holland  yacht design  

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