Despite being one of the more influential American boat designers of the last decade, Paul Bieker has managed to remain almost completely below the radar, in part because he isn’t a self-promoter, and in part because he’s done a lot of work for some very private clients. An Anarchist from almost the beginning, Bieker says that most of what he learned about design and construction came from the highly technical International 14 Class – a class dominated by Bieker designs for nearly a decade.
Paul is truly a genius, and the lessons he took from the I-14 have transferred easily to today’s modern ultra-light performance yachts like the SA favorite Dark Star, which Paul designed for Jonathan McKee, and his talent at analyzing and designing composite structures led to a lucrative long-term gig with BMW/Oracle Racing.
We rarely pimp industry websites without getting cold, hard cash for it – but we recently stumbled on Paul’s new home page and were impressed with the wealth of information and pure sailing porn available there. We asked Paul about it, and he wrote, “We did the website ourselves around the middle of the year, and it was about time! Actually, some SA’ers offered to help me me put together a site a long time ago but I couldn’t quite get to it – guess it didn’t seem like work and I’m a bit bashful about self promotion.”
Bieker has a little more time on his hands now – he quit Oracle after sea trialing the giant trimaran he helped design because he was, as he puts it, “getting too specialized in structural design and it was time for a change.” Now he’s working on a couple of sportboats, a little open powerboat, and a design for Moth foils, and we’ll try to catch up with Paul soon for an Innerview on all this and more.