Designed in 1968 the Westerly Centaur is thought to be the last small craft design that Jack Laurent Giles contributed to before his death later that year. He didn’t survive to see the construction of what is probably the most important development in production yacht design and certainly the most prolific.

Fifty years ago, Laurent Giles with their 26’ Centaur design; one of the most popular British yachts ever, cemented links with the growing and soon to be prolific, production fibreglass yacht builder Westerly Marine Construction.

This collaboration was immediately successful and Pageant (the ‘smaller Centaur’) was soon to follow, leading a succession of family cruisers, racing yachts and motor sailers, until the sun finally set on the Westerly marque in May 1991.

What’s more in 1968 A.H. Moody & Sons were strengthening their GRP production building arm, having already built many hundreds of wooden yachts including three dozen or so from Laurent Giles, the then most recent being  Salmo Salar the wooden prototype of the Salar 40. This particular and rather ingenious motorsailer design must have struck a chord with the powers within Moody’s as very shortly to follow we see them commission Giles to create designs of the Carbineer.

Corrival, the first of class, with wooden clad deck house, large saloon windows and aft cockpit, she was a move ahead from Moody’s own Alan Hill designed Halberdier and Giles’ brief was to provide within her 44’ hull the accommodation of an equivalent 47 footer.

Between June 1969 and February 1973 Moodys completed fifteen Carbineers, thereafter the hull moulds were increased by two feet and a further eighteen were delivered from the Swanwick yard.

Meanwhile a the design was revamped with various deck house arrangements and three of the version were built and marketed by Nautical Sales & Services in Australia.

More than two thousand drawings, photographs and manuscripts already scanned

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Had he never designed an ocean racer Jack Giles would still have become famous for his beautiful motor yacht designs.

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