Douglas Philips-Birt

Douglas Philips-Birt, 1966.

Douglas Philips-Birt (1920-1978)

Biographical Notes:

Douglas Hextall Chedzey Phillips-Birt started sailing as a child in a half-rater on Milford Haven. He was educated at the Nautical College, Pangbourne, then studied naval architecture with Messrs John I. Thorneycroft, interupted by a stint in the army during the second World War, qualifying later as an Associate Member of the Institute of Naval Architects. Although he specialized in consultancy on propulsion and propellors, his principal activites concerned yachting; he was a longtime, and very active, member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (Class 1 Jocasta) and wrote extensively on the subject of yacht design. He was also the author of many works on yachting history, yacht clubs, and the various arts of sailing.

Bibliography (yacht design):

Yacht designing

Sailing yacht design, Southampton: Robert Ross and Co, in association with George G. Harrap, 1951; First edition; 272 p.     A Second edition revised, published by Adlard Coles in 1966, expanded both in format and content, a Second edition further revised by Adlard Coles in 1969, Second edition further revised with added material by International Marine Publishing in 1971, adding an appendix by Sir David Mackworth on the latest IOR rules, and finally a Third edition by Adlard Coles in 1976, updating the entire work and venturing very cautiously into the use of computers. This was the accepted standard work for many years for sailing yacht design. The author approaches his subject scientifically and without dogmatism, explaining the art and progress of yacht design before proceeding to recent developments and practical details.


Motor Yacht and Boat Design

Motor Yacht and Boat Design, London: Adlard Coles Ltd, 1953; First edition; 180 p.    This was an excellent introduction to the subject, covering displacement and semi-displacement hulls with an introduction to planing craft. The second revised edition in 1966 updated and considerably expanded the contents.


naval architecture of small craft

The naval architecture of small craft, London : Hutchinson, 1957; First edition; 351 p.     As the title implies, this design monograph includes all vessels up to about 130 feet in overall length – workboats, harbour craft, fishing vessels, as well as yachts, both power and sail.




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