ROBERT B HARRIS

Robert Buckman Harris was born in New Hampshire in 1922 and at the age of 20 joined the US Merchant Marine Academy as a cadet, seeing wartime service in the US Mercahnt Marine. In 1945 he joined the Wood's Hole Oceanographic Survey ketch "Atlantis" as mate before completing four years as an apprentice with crosby Yachts, Oyster Bay, New York.

In 1950 he joined Sparlman & Stephens, staying until 1957. In his spare time he designed and built catamarans, notably the cold moulded " Tiger Cat", winning "Yachting Magazine's" one-of-a-kind race in 1959. His books on multihulls was a pioneering work. After a time at Grumman Aircraft and designing multihulls with Frank Maclear, Bob returned to Sparkman & Stephens.

In 1972 he moved to Vancouver and set up a small office. The first design off his drawing board was the Vancouver 27.

Now in "retirement" Bob is still active as a yacht designer and has just published his autobiography, "Tracks on the Water. When asked where the inspiration for the design came from, what he thought of it now, all these years on, and where the project fitted into his long and distinguished yache design career he replied "The concept for the design of a small ocean-crossing cutter arose out of a request by the late George Hartley of Vancouver BC to provide plans for him to self build the boat according to his general arrangements. I accepted the challenge and he paid for the plans by building an office for me in an old iron works building on False Creek in Vancouver. The result was a double headrig sloop, often called a cutter, of about 27ft (8.2m) by 8.7ft (2.7m) beam and a draught of 4.3ft (1.3m) The boat he built, in endgrain balsa core glassfibre laminate, attracted Tradewind Boats of Port Coquitlam BC to request licensing for production units, Thus starting a class of boats we named the Vancouver 27."

Robert B Harris designs are now handled by Rodney Cowen, Tel: +1 604 809 9409; Email: vanyacht@shaw.ca; www.vanycht.com