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Top yacht designers pick their favourite piece of design

Top yacht designers pick their favourite piece of design

17 of 17 17/17
Leatherman Skeletool CX

Leatherman Skeletool CX

Words by Rob Doyle

I remember seeing my first Leatherman multi-tool as a teenager in the 1980s, watching how the professional sailors solved any problem with a Leatherman, duct tape and a hammer. I needed to have my own.

Over the years I’ve owned a few, each version improving on earlier models. I love my current Leatherman, which I’ve had since 2007, for its basic functionality. The Skeletool CX is a third generation of the multi-tool and represents a total rethink on the philosophy: you don’t need 15 tools, just the basic ones that you use the most. It was clever and brave of the manufacturer to take away functions while other brands were adding more.

It is beautifully crafted: low weight, a compact design and a comfortable fit in the hand. It is a joy to look at its dense engineering and a pleasure to hold. As a naval architect and designer, I appreciate the balance between styling, engineering and materials. This deep understanding of what can and can’t work has protected me from presenting unrealistic concepts. It’s not “it can’t be done,” rather “it’s not the right time for that idea”.

I always have my Leatherman with me; it gives me a peace of mind knowing that I have a knife, screwdriver and pliers ready. Has it ever saved the day? Yes, a million times: from fixing one of the kids’ toys before they go thermonuclear, to cutting a jammed line in a block while under load. It’s never celebrated but the one time you forget it will be the one time you really miss it.

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