Beauty Matters: the boats of David Trubridge

12 August 2017     Editor    0 Comments.

Celebrated New Zealand artist and designer David Trubridge has turned his creative attention back to boats, where it all began. Trubridge studied naval architecture in his native England, and sailed his small family on a journey that took them to the Caribbean and Polynesia, working their way from place to place, eventually landing and settling in New Zealand. His wooden furniture and lighting designs are now exhibited and sold in trade fairs worldwide.

A key chapter in the book (So Far) looks at boats and the question, why are traditional boats from every corner of the planet invariably so beautiful, despite an incredible variety of form? I could not resist launching on a practical exploration of boat forms that combined my naval architect training with my experience at building shell forms for lighting using CAD.

Some of the finest seafarers of all time have been the Polynesians, who have made some of the fastest and most beautiful boats. Their creations include the crab claw sail, proven to be the most efficient overall sail ever designed; and the amazing thofothofo from Aua and Wuvulu Islands which is as unique as it is impossibly beautiful. But to what extent is beauty a consideration for the Polynesian canoe maker? Or is it more of a practical tool for achieving the perfect form?

David has utilized his modern skills and technique of CAD, a CNC router and ultra thin plywood to build his own version of ancient designs, including a British coracle, a thofothofo outrigger canoe and a dugout river canoe. He has also turned his attention to exquisite stand up paddle boards.

Beauty Matters, the Boat Project Part 1
Beauty Matters, the Boat Project Part 2

BOOK REVIEW: ‘So Far’ Traces the Evolution of David Trubridge’s Nature-Inspired Designs
David Trubridge on Facebook

Much thanks to Paul D. for the submission.

 pacific / outriggers / designers 


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