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When Sailors Are Artists

You don’t have to own a boat to be a sailor, but you do have be a sailor to fully capture the essence of sailing in art. John David Taylor doesn’t own a boat but he is a sailor, and a “self-taught” maritime artist.

John sent us his rendition of the Jules Verne Trophy record holder, the French VPLP-designed Ultim trimaran IDEC SPORT, rounding Cape Horn on its pursuit of the record for the fastest circumnavigation.

Cape Horn to Port - painting by John David Taylor
Skippered by Francis Joyon, IDEC SPORT won the trophy in 2017 by sailing 26,412 miles in 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds, at an average speed of 26.84 knots.
© 2020 John David Taylor

Although John doesn’t own a boat, he says he can build or fix almost anything related to the maritime world. “I know enough about boats not to be an owner … it’s best to know people who own boats!”

John’s lifelong connection with boats, sailing, and the ocean began with his first equator crossing at the age of 2, followed by his discovery of half-model fishing schooners in his grandfather’s basement in Nova Scotia.

He’s also a surfer and board builder, has worked as a sailing instructor and rigger, has participated in yacht races and deliveries, has worked as a welder in shipyards building aircraft carriers and destroyers, and has worked for naval architecture firms. Plus he’s a yacht and rig designer (member of a rig design team for 12-meters).

Did we mention John also spent 40 years working in rehabilitation medicine? (Where does he find the time to paint?)

Regardless of where he finds the time, John continues to paint and enjoy sailboats. Below is his first painting.

Sailboat on the ocean
Maritime artist John David Taylor hails from San Luis Obispo, CA.
© 2020 John David Taylor

As of November 15, the French foiling Ultim Edmond de Rothschild and the Gitana Team were on standby to set sail within 72 hours on their attempt to break Francis Joyon’s 2017 record.


  1. Avatar
    Jonathan Frank 2 months ago

    very nice work indeed!

  2. Avatar
    Chris 2 months ago

    San Luis Obispo

    • Avatar
      Monica Grant 2 months ago

      Thanks Chris. Still learning to spell in American 🙂

  3. Avatar
    milly Biller 2 months ago

    Amazing art !

  4. Avatar
    Emily 2 months ago


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