A.Mylne & Co are pleased to announce the appointment of an archivist and reprographics professional to assist them in digitising the entire Alfred Mylne collection of drawings.
Kenneth Bellini ran his own printing and reprographics business in Edinburgh for many years, before retiring early in 2000.Kenneth, of Limekilns in Fife, Scotland, is a keen local sailor who this year circumnavigated Scotland in his yacht via the three Scottish Canals.
"I reckon I have the best job in the company" says Kenneth. "Every day is an adventure, unrolling historic drawings that have not been looked at for a 100 years, and re-discovering these remarkable designs. The digitising process has to be handled with care. Many of the drawings are quite dirty and fragile, which means there is a lot of work to do in digitally touching up areas that are hard to see, something I particularly enjoy."
A.Mylne & Co was established in 1896 by Alfred Mylne. The business has been in continuous operation ever since, and was sold to Ace Marine Ltd (also based in Limekilns) in April of 2007. Original estimates of the size of the archive were around 350 designs, and 7000 drawings, but as the extent of the collection is slowly uncovered, Mylne are now estimating 400 designs, and in excess of 9000 drawings - keeping Kenneth busy for the foreseeable future. Mylne look forward to completing the archiving operation, which includes populating a database with the details of every known design, drawing, and yacht built, giving fast and accurate access to the entire design and build history of the business.
Copies of some original drawings are already available, priced at £50 each. There are also some very beautiful original watercolour renderings, and these will be specially reproduced in limited quantities either framed or unframed. Mylne are also looking for other opportunities to share the delights of these famous designs - and enquiries are welcomed.
Background information on mylne for reference purpose
Alfred Mylne the First was apprenticed to the famous Scottish shipbuilders, Napier Shanks and Bell, and later worked as draftsman to G.L. Watson, where he drew the plans of the Royal yacht `Britannia´ the racing cutter first owned by the Prince of Wales [later King Edward VII] which passed to his son, King George V.
Mylne set up his own office in 1896, which almost certainly makes his ongoing firm the world´s oldest yacht design firm in continuous production. He immediately established a reputation as a designer of winning yachts, and was one of the people behind the most successful yacht handicap rules of all time, namely the International Metre Rule. This rule was devised in 1906 and in the following years Mylne designed a wonderful collection of winners in the 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 and 15 metre sizes, as well as a 19 metre cutter. The `Metre´ lengths in the rule bear no relation to the overall lengths, and for instance 6 metres is about 20 feet, but yachts built to this size in the rule were up to 37 foot or 11.3 metres in overall length.
Mylne designs were always admired for their elegance, and this was one reason why many owners came to him for cruisers of every size. He also produced One-Design classes and racing dinghies, launches and some commercial craft. In addition he bought a yacht building yard with his brother Charles and ran this from 1911 until he handed it over to his nephew, Alfred Mylne II in 1946 when he retired. Mylne ran the design office and yacht yard through both World Wars, producing craft for the Royal Navy as well as major components of flying boats for the Royal Naval Air Service.
Alfred Mylne the First had no children so his nephew, also called Alfred took over the family firm when he returned from the Second World War, in which he had been in the Commandos and artillery. He had no training as a naval architect, but had a `natural eye´, as shown by the many beautiful yachts from his board. With the minimum of help from his ageing uncle, who was worn out running the design office and boatyard through the rigours of two World Wars, Alfred Mylne II was single handed in the design office for 13 years. With his own hands he often made half models of yachts he was designing, to ensure that the finished vessel looked perfect from every angle.
After his heart attack he went into partnership with Ian Nicolson. This arrangement worked well as Mylne was able to concentrate on running the boatyard and doing what designs he had time for, while Nicolson built up a substantial world wide survey business, in between doing design work. Mylne´s heart attacks became increasingly frequent but right up to the end he continued to design elegant craft of all sorts, including cruiser racers, day boats, ferries (which he made look pretty in spite of their capacious shape), motor yachts and dinghies.
Thomas Glen-Coats was an illustrious designer who worked for A Mylne & Co as a Naval Architect and produced some wonderful race winning yachts. Specialising in the metre class after completing his apprenticeship Coats was considered a fantastic designer in his own right. Born into the famous Coats cotton dynasty of Paisley he was used to owning yachts and owned many that he had designed himself. His most famous victory is surely winning Gold for Great Britain in the 1908 Olympics. Contested in
continued his home waters of the Clyde, sailing onboard `Hera´, Glen-Coats pushed the Alfred Mylne designed yacht `Mouchette´ into Silver medal position. A one two at the Olympics for A Mylne & Co.
Ian Nicolson was apprenticed to the famous yacht designer and surveyor, Frederick Parker. His journeymanship was with John I Thornycroft Ltd, the ship and yacht builder, now VT plc. He was a pioneer in the field of ocean cruising, emigrating by sail in 1952 to Vancouver where he worked under Canada´s greatest power yacht designer, Thorton Grenfell. Not wishing to waste money on air fares, he returned to Britain by hitch hiking across Canada and building himself a small cruiser near Halifax. He sailed this yacht home single handed.
After a spell as a naval architect to the magazine `Yachts and Yachting´ he joined Alfred Mylne II in 1959 and took over the firm when Mylne died. He has written 23 books on the design, construction and handling of yachts, and he lectures to three universities on these subjects. He has recently won the Geoff Pack Memorial Medal for his contributions to yachting literature. Apart from the numerous dinghies he has built, he has constructed 6 yachts for his own use to his own designs. With Alisdair Reynolds he won the RYA `Build a Racing Dinghy for £200´ competition, and has won boat-building races. During one of these with a friend he completed a `seaworthy´ dinghy from scratch in 57 minutes and 39 seconds which at that time was a world record.
Positioned on the island of Bute at Port Bannatyne many of the Mylne yachts were built here. Although many other yards up and down the Clyde estuary, such as Robertsons of Sandbank, William Fife of Fairlie and Dickies of Tarbert and indeed further afield, produced some of the Mylne designs the yard, now called Ardmaleish was where most of the Mylne yachts were built. At one time this yard was owned by A Mylne & Co and was run with the same passion and enthusiasm as the office in Hope Street, Glasgow. Famed for its craftsmanship, attention to detail was paramount and can be seen in the yachts that survive to this day.
Ace Marine Ltd are an established Naval Architecture and design business, based in Fife, Scotland. Started in 1999, the firm has produced many designs ranging from specialist RIBS, Fast Passenger Ferries, and more recently a 50 m (163´) Motor Yacht. The firm has many years experience in boats and yachts of all sizes, and all the designs are produced using the latest Naval Architecture software, ensuring rapid and accurate production of design materials.
The purchase of A.Mylne & Co in 2007 as an ongoing classic yacht design business adds a new element to the portfolio of the business. The combination of the classic designs available under the Mylne brand, with the engineering and technical excellence of Ace Marine, means the magnificence of these old yachts can now be brought to a new and appreciative audience. This allows clients the opportunity to own a traditional style yacht with a modern capability, or if the client would prefer, a fully authentic yacht true to its original design.
Site : http://www.mylne.com
Site : http://www.acemarine.co.uk