Pacific Yachting Review of All The Oceans

All the Oceans is an excellent read and is sure to become a classic on the bookshelves of anyone involved in the world of yachts from the 1970s to modern days. Holland got his start as a youth by immersing himself in the world of offshore sailing and racing and was intimately involved with some of the world’s fastest speedsters in some of its most challenging races.

From his offices in lreland, Holland designed yachts for, and became friends with, such notable figures as former British Prime Minister Ted Heath, newspaper mogul Rupert Murdoch and Monaco’s Prince Rainier. He also designed a number of production yachts for Nautor Swan, Camper Nicholson and Jeanneau and collaborated on New Zealand’s first America’s Cup entry in 1987 (which lost out in the final round to Dennis Connor’s Stars and Stripes).

In the 1980s, Holland started designing 100-foot-plus sailboats. His most celebrated is the 247-foot (75.3 metre) Mirabella V, launched in 2005. It was, and still is, the largest sloop ever built. Until then, the technology to manufacture the massive masts, winches, rigging, sails and hydraulics for such large vessels didn’t exist, but that didn’t stop Holland. There were many skeptics who said that the structural challenges were insurmountable. However, Holland proved them wrong. The amazing aspect to all this is that Holland was never schooled in yacht design; he learned the basics while working and taking classes as an apprentice boat builder at the age of 16.

Some of the most riveting parts of the book are when Holland takes us through high-seas dramas such as being arrested by the Cuban military; his near-death experience during the notorious 1979 Fastnet Race during which 15 people died; the keel failure of Simon Le Bon’s (lead singer for Duran Duran) yacht prior to the Whitbread Race, and more.

In 2012, Holland moved his design offices to Vancouver and began to settle into semi-retirement. However, he hasn’t given up sailing and still owns a small Coronado 25 for local sailing where he is active in the racing community. Holland was there, saw it all and helped write history. AII the Oceans takes us on an amazing insider’s voyage through it all.

—Peter A. Robson

Colin Squire’s Review in Yachting Matters

I first met Ron Holland at the launch of Mirabella V in Southampton during 2003 and for those that are unaware she was, and still is , the largest single masted yacht ever built. Being the designer of such a vessel is an accolade in itself, she would have been a reference point in any yacht designers career, and Ron had been asked to lead the creative team due to his history of designing many of the finest sail yachts ever built, be they simply cruising the world’s oceans or taking part in, and winning many of the world’s most rugged yacht races. I have to admit to sitting in awe watching his presentation of M5 (her more recent name). I mused on what sort of man Ron was and imagined him being a ‘difficult-to-approach’ creative genius.

Several years later, during the spring of 2009, I was in search of a subject for the increasingly popular ‘Man At The Top’ series of editorials in Yachting Matters and I recalled the M5 presentation and thought Ron would be the ideal person to interview. With great trepidation I approached Ron to see if he was willing to meet up with me and tell me his life story and I nwas delighted when I received his reply ‘By all means’.

We met in the beautiful town of Kinsale, near Cork on the coast of Southern Ireland where Ron’s design studio was located. At 9 am on a Sunday morning I walked into a little cafe and there, sat before me , was the man himself. He greeted me with the biggest smile and a warm handshake. He immediately put me at ease as we tucked into a hearty fry-up before walking the short distance to his office.

We talked all day; covering his life as a youngster, his first designs, his love of sailing (especially racing), his involvement in the America’s Cup , his move from New Zealand to the USA and on to Ireland, his famous designs, his ups and his downs, his move into the Superyacht arena, where many of his world’s largest sail yachts have his fingerprints all over them.

My editorial came out at 15 pages, pretty sizeable for a magazine editorial but it only covered just a few memories from this extremely extraordinary man’s life.

However, for those that would liked to have known a lot more about this iconic figure it appears that your hopes have been realized as Ron has just published his life story in a magnificent memoir titled All The Oceans – Designing by the seat of my pants.

John Macfarlane’s Review

Ron Holland grew up obsessing about yachts, sailing ships and crossing oceans, an obsession that so seriously interfered with schooling he failed to pass School Certificate – twice.

Despite that, few would have predicted that he’d not only become one of the top IOR yacht designers worldwide, but also become one of the world’s premier superyacht designers.

All The Oceans details Holland’s inspirational journey from his boyhood sailing adventures, his teenage ocean crossings, his shoestring yacht design that won a World Championship, the tumultuous years at the top of the IOR scene, his production boats and his latter career designing superyachts.
Throughout the book, Holland’s approach to seizing life’s opportunities stands out. Whenever he was asked if he could do something – a sailing opportunity or a yacht design – the answer was always “Yes”. Figuring out how would come later it’s proof – once again – attitude and passion can take someone a very long way.

As a book, All The Oceans is a magnificent, quality production and extraordinary value for money. Besides being easily readable, Holland’s text is excellently supported by numerous quality photos and drawings.
Grab yourself a copy while you can and prepared to be inspired.

Review by John Macfarlane
New Zealand

Renowned yacht designer Ron Holland grew up in New Zealand, surrounded by vast blue water and fuelled by an insatiable curiosity

Oceans Magazine  reviews All The Oceans, February 2018

He dreamed of crossing oceans and exploring the world. From a troubled childhood to his rise to fame in the sailing world, Ron Holland’s real life journey would take him far beyond his wildest imaginings.

Ron Holland’s memoir, All The Oceans, follows the trajectory of a small-town lad with a keen sense of adventure who has traversed the oceans to finds himself on the cutting edge of superyacht design. This autobiographical story gives a valuable insight into Ron’s combination of talent and zest for adventure.

Ron is a pioneer of superyacht design who pushed boundaries and forged a new path for himself.

“Really not much in my life was planned. It was saying yes to the next opportunity”, says Ron Holland, reflecting on his incredible experiences.

Ron Holland drew his first yacht at 19 years of age. He started out racing small dinghies and went on to win races at an international level, sailing his own designs.

The book details his rapid rise as one of the most successful and sought-after designers in the highly competitive world of international ocean racing, before moving to bigger designs. Already one of the most celebrated yacht designers, Ron’s seminal influence on the growing industry of superyachts brought him fresh success, and an introduction him to a world of interesting personalities, including business tycoons, royalty and rock stars.

Stuart Woods, Author of 50 NYT bestselling novels, was enthralled by Ron’s story. “Ron Holland’s All The Oceans is exciting from page one; it pulls the reader through the pages, cheering Ron on all the way. An amazing life story from one of the world’s greatest yacht designers!”

His story spans over 50 years, where Holland has developed unique relationships with his international clients, allowing him an intimate view of social and economic trends during the early days of the new millennium.

He has designed some of the industry’s most famous yachts. One of Holland’s most ambitious designs Mirabella V, now M5, holds the record for the world’s tallest single mast – an astonishing 90 metres tall.

With a foreword by Rupert Murdoch, All The Oceans is an engrossing read exploring the life of one of the industry’s true trail-blazers.

His fearlessness and willingness to explore unknown territory make this a compelling saga and an engaging tale of success in a new frontier.