Yacht Designer Ron Holland Keeping an Eye on the Wind
Ron Holland is the mega-yacht designer behind the world’s largest sloop, the M5. The former Aucklander, who lives in Vancouver, had the 60-million-euro vessel built in fibreglass at the Southampton, England yards of Vosper Thorneycroft who have long experience with super-tough boats and naval minesweepers.
Holland, 67, produces vessels that reflect his ocean-racing past while meeting demanding environmental advances.
His technologically advanced 190-foot ketch Ethereal was acclaimed worldwide for epitomising that direction. After designing fleets of yachts in the 45 to 60m range – one for Australia-born media tycoon Rupert Murdoch – Holland is convinced that “owners are seeking a better balance between efficient hulls and means of propulsion.”
Addressing globally feted marine artist John Horton and others at the Royal Naval Sailing Association’s awards event recently, Holland stressed that no technical or aesthetic formula for success exists. “The wind changes, and you’ve got it wrong,” he said. “Your best effort is always a compromise.”
For his own cruising, Holland has a 50-year-old Coronado 25 moored in Vancouver, where he moved in 2011 after four decades in Ireland.
Original article by Malcolm Parry, Vancouver Sun, November 26, 2014.
Photo by Malcolm Parry.