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Top yacht designers pick their favourite piece of design

Top yacht designers pick their favourite piece of design

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Screwpull LM-400

Words byDonald Starkey

I had a very modest upbringing so it was not until my mid-teens, having started my first job as an architect’s office junior, that I first tasted a decent bottle of wine. Fortunately, I developed a taste for it and have been drinking wine ever since — it has fuelled my creative juices on many occasions.

Good wines need a corkscrew; it can be so frustrating when you do not have a decent one. I have had success with the cheap, old fashioned penknife type — bottle between the knees and pull. There have been many versions designed since — mechanical, electrically operated and elaborate, such as the amazing bottle opening sculpture designed by Rob Higgs in 2006. But the one that has become my favourite is the Screwpull LM-400. It is a simple, cast engineered aluminium tubular device presented in an elegant, velvet lined black leather case.

It was some 10 years ago, after we had made a successful client presentation on a 60 metre yacht project, celebrating with a glass of wine with my friend and business colleague Kevin Glancy, that the subject of corkscrews came up. We each gave our ideas of what the perfect one should be. On my next birthday Kevin presented me with a Screwpull LM-400, which has been cherished and used ever since.

Practical, functional and so very simple to use, it appeals to me as good design. Placed over a standing bottle, held around the bottle top with the left hand, the lever is pulled over the top of the bottle as far as it can go with the right hand, then swung back over and the cork is free. It works every time, even through capped corks. Life would just not be the same without it.

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