I happened upon a nice piece in the magazine Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors on L. Francis Herreshoff. It is an interesting, but brief, profile of the master designer’s philosophy. I found this description of his beliefs well worth grabbing onto (even if its phrasing is a little more confrontational than necessary):
L. Francis Herreshoff was a fascinating combination of traditionalist and iconoclast. He saw yachting as a straight-line continuum; he believed that what would come would naturally follow what came before, even though that coming might be revolutionary. He believed that the continuity of tradition maintained standards, and artistry, and sanity within the community of yachting, and that when those who didn’t know any better—the arrivistes—started meddling with it, the beauty and pleasure of yachting was diminished.
It isn’t necessary to call anyone an “arriviste,” but the reason the flow of tradition is important – one reason we here at Chine bLog hold onto the traditional – is that there is vast accumulated wisdom and aesthetic sense. Certain well-thought concepts and looks have survived the waxing and waning of trends and lived on as sure bets. We need to ensure one foot is firmly in this pool of wisdom, even as we push forward with new ideas and innovations.