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Garden didn’t at-tend college and was grandfathered into his naval archi-tecture P.E. license. It’s proof positive that this can be done and should be done, as perhaps the best naval archi-tect of the twentieth century came up this way.

In 1951 Garden moved his office from the old boat shop site on Port-age Bay to the Pa-cific Fishing & Trad-ing Co. building on the ship canal in Ballard; then in 1954 the office was moved to Maritime Shipyards with a participating inter-est in the yard. This partnership pro-duced several

yachts, workboats, pile drivers, and more. Garden and naval architect Phil Brinck worked together on miscellaneous pro-jects through the mid 50's, and in 1956 Brinton Sprague—a mechanical engineer and Bill's good friend and mentor— joined him for several years, his expertise providing a major contribution to the firm. A 1957 article in Marine Digest de-tailed 62 boats in construction valued at nearly 2 million dollars and another 12 on the boards.

In 1959, the design office was moved from the Maritime Shipyards location to a new building above Lockhaven Ma-rina overlooking the locks and ship canal traffic. For a time, Garden gave serious thought to relocating to New Zealand in order to provide a more ideal location to raise a family, and Victoria, BC was chosen in 1968 as an interim move while projects in process where completed. Later, a nearby island was purchased as an interesting location for design offices. Shops and a self-sufficient island home were built in 1969, and from then on Garden operated from this location. He named his island base Toad’s Landing.

Garden’s magazine articles and two design books are an inspiration and source of awe for designers around the world. Yacht Designs and Yacht Designs II , both originally published by International Marine, are filled with beautiful designs, power and sail. The drawings are not only exquisite, exact, and technically excellent, but are filled with delightful

quirky little details, like seamen in hats holding paint buc ets. His hand-drawn hull perspectives are a joy, and woul be hard to equal for their combination of clarity, accurac and warmth by any modern computer 3D program.

Boat designer Bob Perry spent some time with Garden a remembers words of simple common sense. He once as Garden what he did about rudder flutter? Garden replied, the rudder has a radiused trailing edge, flatten it. If the r der has a flat trailing edge, radius it.” On another occasio Garden grumbled to Perry, “Never guarantee performanc writing.”

Bill Garden’s complete plans and records are available fo study at Mystic Seaport Museum’s Ships Plans Collection have spent many hours poring over Garden’s brilliantly d tailed drawings there. I learn something new every time I

The world of boats is an incalculably richer place thanks t Garden’s extraordinary work. We wish him Godspeed on final passage.

— D.


Sources: Mystic Seaport, Robert Perry’s “Bill Garden: A Memoir,” Jay Benford and Tiller Publications, Yacht Desig

and Yacht Designs II , International Marine/McGraw-Hill

Bill Garden in his 1965 Seattle office.

Photo: Jay Benford, - Yacht Designs

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