Pratical Boat Owner: Britain’s influential yacht designer David Thomas has died. Earlier this year, the Royal Southern Yacht Club hosted its first David Thomas regatta in celebration of the yacht designer, who had been a member of the club for 25 years. Now tributes are pouring in for the UK’s most prolific keel boat designer.
The main speaker was PBO contributor Peter Poland, a long-standing friend of David’s, who built many of his designs as co-owner of Hunter Boats. He said: ‘David has an instinctive understanding of what sailors want – he has been the Pied Piper of yacht designers, that’s his secret.
‘People from all divisions of sailing have sailed out on a David Thomas design. They will go on for ever. He is also responsible for the largest one-design fleet in Round the Island Race history, 105 Sigma 33s, a record that will never be beaten.’
The Royal London Yacht Club on Cowes, Isle of Wight also run an annual David Thomas-inspired regatta. Tim Bennett said: ‘The UK’s most prolific (and probably the best), keel boat designer has died.
‘He had the knack of combining brilliant designs with an uncanny insight into understanding what sailors really wanted from their boats. ‘And he was a nice guy. Sail on David.’
Forum user Doris wrote: ‘One of the greatest designers of all time and a smashing bloke as well. ‘It will be a long time before we see his like again. ‘RIP.’