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Walter Reeks – Naval Architect, Yachtsman and Entrepreneur

$89.00 GST

by Nicole L Mays and David Payne

This is the biography of Australia’s first naval architect, Walter Reeks (1861 – 1925). A man who produced innovative, sometimes unorthodox designs across a broad range of vessels, from commercial craft to recreational yachts. Best known as the pioneer of the Sydney fleet of ferries, Reeks rose to prominence immediately after his arrival in Sydney from Liverpool in 1885. He went on to design more than 300 vessels up until his death in 1925 at the age of 64.

Walter Reeks (1861-1925), naval architect, was born on 25 February 1861 at Christchurch, Hampshire, England, son of Charles Reeks, corn dealer, and his wife Elizabeth, née Kent. He served apprenticeships with Alexander Richardson, naval architect, and George Inman & Sons, shipbuilders, acquiring a particularly good knowledge of yacht design and marine propulsion.

In 1885, seeking a warmer climate, he migrated to Sydney, and soon became involved with the yachting fraternity of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron at Kirribilli. The profession of naval architecture was virtually unknown in Australia (its only practitioner before Reeks being Norman Selfe) and severely limited in scope, most local shipbuilding being small tonnage constructed in timber and designed according to ‘the rule of King Thumb’.

Reeks was an unconventional naval architect given to radical, and not always successful, experiment. His modest achievements in a field dominated from overseas made him the outstanding figure in that profession in Australia before 1945.

Pages : 390

SKU: P92858

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