From High School Dropout to Master Yacht Designer

Ron Holland aboard United States Coast Guard Eagle

‘Say yes to every opportunity that comes your way,’ says Ron Holland

Ron Holland Design sailing yacht Kialoa IV ariel shot of boat during sailing race

“…..his story reads like a cascade of adventures, as he sails the world over—Cuba, the Isle of Wight, Tahiti— along the way winning the Quarter Ton Cup in 1973 with Eygthene in St. Petersburg, Florida. He’d noticed he was perhaps “one of three people who designed, owned, and skippered their own design.”

His victory at the Quarter Ton Cup got him a phone call from Ireland—and an invitation to come design for a businessman and yachtsman there, presumably for a few days. He ended up staying for 40 years, opening a design studio in Kinsale……..”

Read the full story at EPOCH TIMES – BY CHANNALY PHILIPP

Latitude 38: Bill and Ron’s Excellent Adventure

Need Christmas gift ideas? Consider giving the gift of print. (That’s Latitude’s Mitch Perkins modeling for the shot.) © 2018 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

“Long before Merlin and ImpBlondie and Condor — and Charley,The WizardMorning Cloud, Santa Cruz 27s/50s/70s, RegardlessFast Is FunMirabella V, the Chicken Coop, half the Swan lineup in the ’80s and ’90s and, well, everything else — Ron Holland and Bill Lee were just two young guys having fun and hoping to make a career in the marine industry. “

Latitude 38

Ideal Christmas Present

1/4 ton zeilers had this to say about All The Oceans:

Looking for a nice Christmas present? How about Ron Holland’s book “All The Oceans”. Ron Holland drew his first yacht at 19 years of age. He rapidly made a name for himself as one of the most successful and sought-after designers in the highly competitive world of international ocean racing. Ron designed the 1973 Quarter Ton Cup (Weymouth) winning 1/4 tonner ‘Eygthene’ and the 1977 Quarter Ton Cup (Helsinki) winning 1/4 tonner ‘Manzanita’. A great book!

Making waves: Legendary yacht designer Ron Holland to speak in St. Pete

From The St. Pete Catalyst:

Holland grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, where, he recalls, every family had a boat – the majority of them built right at home – to sail Harukai Gulf and the Firth of Themes.

By 15, he was crewing on yachts, and competing in races and regattas, and made the 1,000-mile journey from Auckland to Sydney, Australia aboard at 236-foot ketch. He became an apprentice boat builder.

In 1966 – at the age of 18 – he received his first design commission, which led to more, and he traveled to San Francisco as a Trainee Naval Architect, under celebrated yacht designer Gary Mull.

Holland arrived in St. Petersburg in 1972, accepting a job with Charley Morgan, whose Morgan Yachts was one of the most successful design and construction companies in the States. He became a well-known figure out the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, and in his memoir he recalls the organization “was primarily a social club but they also had a good racing organization … I spent most weekends racing around the magnificent Tampa Bay and Gulf of Mexico aboard a variety of yachts.”

It was here that Holland designed the first of his legendary vessels – a 24-foot racing boat called a “quarter tonner.” Called Eygthene, the scrappy little yacht was built for approximately $6,000.

From All the Oceans: “I drew a deep breath and approached senior members of the yacht club committee with a proposal that they organize an event that would showcase the Quarter-Ton class on Tampa Bay: a level-rating event, a true test of the relative merits of the yachts. Considering I was not even a member of the club – and a New Zealander to boot – was probably asking a bit much.

BOOK SIGNING – Haslam’s Book Store, St. Petersburg, Florida

Meet the author, Ron Holland will be at Haslam’s Bookstore on Nov 10, 2pm to sign copies of his memoir All The Oceans – Designing by the seat of my pants.

Award-winning yacht designer Ron Holland drew his first yacht at 19 years of age. He rapidly made a name for himself, after winning the St. Petersburg Yacht Club ¼ Ton Mid Winter Series in 1972. This milestone positioned Holland as one of the most successful and sought-after designers in the highly competitive world of international ocean racing, before advancing to bigger things. His seminal influence on the then-new category of sailing superyachts, those toys of the rich and super-rich, brought him fresh success, and an introduction to a world of fascinating international personalities: business tycoons, royalty and rock stars. For over 50 years Ron’s innovative designs have repeatedly shaken up the world of sailing.

Date: Sat Nov 10, 2018
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: Haslams’s Bookstore, 2025 Central Avenue,
St, Petersburg, FL33713