‘I love to design boats. Rather design boats than eat. Often do. So let’s get going on the perfect ship before you are so old that you have to be carried aboard.
‘I have drawers full of stock plans and a head full of boats that want to be launched.
‘Whether you want the ultimate in a motor or sailing yacht or a one cylinder clam hound, I can fix you up with a plan to suit.’
So wrote the legendary William Garden, who died last week. Born in 1918, he was a Canadian boat designer who drew boat plans for many hundreds of craft in a long career, including both yachts and workboats, and anything in between.
Many of them as attractive as you’ll find anywhere.
He also created a distinctively salty and positive style in writing about his plans and the boats that could be built from them – a style that was very much in keeping with the confident and determined young man we see in the photo on this biographical Mystic Seaport web page. He also had a puckish sense of charm and humour, which is clear from the salty little cartoons he often added to his drawings and plans – such as the one above showing a contented pipe-smoking fella getting progressively less comfortable as his plank-on-edge yacht heels further and further…
Garden must have been quite a character.
My thanks go to Peter Vanderwaart for alerting me to Bill Garden’s passing.