Bob Perry has written an interesting and entertaining book about his long experience as a yacht designer. He interspaces specific experiences with some of his well known designs with a summary of the theory of yacht design. Perry's style makes for an easy and informative read.
It was interesting to read about the different approaches some of his clients have used in working with him and helps to explain the challenge that a yacht designer faces when doing a custom design.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the art of yacht design and about Perry's designs in particular.
I have a large collection of yacht design books (all of which I have read) and can say this one was worth reading and will now be added to my collection.
In a note of full disclosure I have met Bob a number of times and have alway enjoyed his company and wit. I am delighted that he took the time to put some of his thoughts and experiences into a book.
If you enjoyed Bill Garden's books and L. Francis Herreshoff's books on this subject, I believe you will enjoy Bob's new book. KB
While Bob's book is filled with really great anechdotes describing the coming of age of the performance cruiser, the technical presentation is the best I've seen for the intended audience (people like me). I have a modest collection of yacht/boat design books and Bob's is hands down the book I turn to when I need a REAL answer to a design question. Sure, there are the academic approaches to yacht design that require a 4 year degree and decades of experience to understand. Then there are the common sense approaches that Bob has given that ultimately arrive at the same conclusion, often with better results. Bob's been around and you cannot beat experience. He's seen the transition from the old ways of lofting lines full scale on the floor to designing in 3D and sending the data to a CNC milling machine. Unlike a lot of folks who are stuck in the 'old' ways, Bob has kept pace with the times and his designs and methods are state of the art.
As an owner of a Perry Designed Sailboat (Baba 30 mentioned in his book in the double-enders chapter), it was great to read about the history of the type. Any Perry boat owner should read this book. It will answer a lot of questions.
For those of you who know how prolific Bob has been, stay tuned for his second book which he has threatened to publish.
As a friend and colleague of Bob's I may be a bit biased, but as yacht designers go, Bob stands out as an exception in the boating community. His willingness to share his insight into all things boat related (mostly sail, but powerboats too) has done more to advance boating than I think he realizes. Don't get me wrong, he's not humble. But that hasn't stopped him from sharing his enthusiasm for boats and he's always willing to listen to others' ideas. Good ideas and dumb ideas alike will tender appropriate responses.
Bottom line, if you can't find this boat instructional and entertaining, maybe boats just aren't your thing and you should consider something like watching Full House reruns instead.
Kim above provided an excellent synopsis..I can only echo her comments.
Mr. Perry does a great job of explaining the technical challenges associated with modern yacht design, along with the technical terms, what they mean and how they intertwine in the total package of a performance cruiser. He is witty, candid in his discussion and humble enough to note things he could improve in his own designs.
I had intended to add this to my coffee table collection and slowly browse through it, but after opening the package and beginning to read, I have almost completed it in just a few days!
When I started working with Bob, he suggested I read his book. I bought it as a courtesy, but found myself drawn into it. The author combines a narrative style with amazingly detailed textbook material on every topic in yacht design. Whether you are new to the topic or an old salt, you'll enjoy this book.
My interest in the shape of a hull and the configuration of the rigging is a growing one, but is often stymied by the immensity of the topic. Perry's book is a clear and inspiring entry into a complex topic. He is straight forward and personal too. I love reading this book.
This is an outstanding book for anyone who wants a practical understanding of modern yacht design. Perry is an excellent writer, clear, concise and thorough and his broad experience allows him to explore a wide range of designs and design topics.
The book is organized in an interesting way. He intersperses chapters on specific makes of boats he's designed (e.g. Valiant, Passport and so on) with complementary chapters on yacht design principles (draft, transom shape, keels, etc.) I came away with an understanding of a sailboat as a unified system, rather than as a collection of separate parts.
One thing I enjoyed in Perry's writing style was his directness in evaluating his own work. Maybe this comes from the years of reviewing the design work of others in the sailing mags. When he feels he nailed it on one of his boats, he says so, and when he thinks he missed the mark he says that too.
He's pretty straight forward too about the colorful characters he's encountered along the way, especially the strong willed owners and builders that he admits he's had the good sense to learn from, or at times be pushed around by. Made me realize that building a sailboat is more of a collaboration than I first understood and sometimes a battle of wills.
If you're interested in sailboat design, this boat is an excellent primer. If you're considering having a custom boat designed and built to your brief, then maybe you know all this stuff already. If not, this book is a must read.
Bob Perry's book is a beginning yacht designer's guide for understanding the parameters that make a great design. His knowledge of what works and doesn't is carefully catalogued throughout the book. The lines drawings will be referred to by many beginning yacht designers to help identify the shapes that make a fast performance or cruising yacht. Mr. Perry's book provides information that had to be researched in Naval Architecture books or scholarly research papers. His easily read prose is makes the understanding of yacht design much easier. I wish I had bought the book when it was first published.
I found Perry's book to be very helpful as I contemplate evolving from day/weekend sailing to more extended blue water cruising. Inserting stories on the design and development of a particular sailboat (and variations thereof) in between chapters devoted to specific elements of yacht design made the book very enjoyable to read. My understanding of what design charactersitics to seek in my next sailbaot has advanced measurably. I am greatful to Mr. Perry for his contributions to the world's fleet of great sailboats, and for sharing his unique experience and insights on yacht design.
After more than 40 years in boat building myself, I thoroughly enjoyed Robert Perry's Yacht Design According to Perry. Of particular interest was Robert's discussion on the evolution of hull and rig design and the elements that effected each aspect of performance. Robert is refreshinly candid in relating his experiences both good and bad. With over 6000 boats built to his designs there is no question that Robert Perry is one of the top designers of our time. I would recommend the book to anyone who is interested in yacht design or in building a performance oriented sail boat.