During the early thirties, Jock started studying yacht design with Athol Taylor and built several dinghies. Athol and his brother, Norm, were gifted designers and builders. Their first large craft was the 40-foot schooner Brilliant, which they built for Neil Campbell, of Sydney. Sadly, Athol Taylorwas swept overboard from the boat in a south-westerly gale during her delivery trip. "I was very, very fortunate to have had as my early influences in design, both Perce Coverdale and Athol Taylor. Athol didn't make half models but taught me to lay the design straight on to paper." The desire to build ocean-going boats was sparked by a little German-built ketch called Te Rapunga, which had arrived in Hobart from New Zealand in a race with a New Zealand boat, Ngataki. "There was a lot of interest in this trans-Tasman race and everyone went down to the wharf to see them. I was determined to build something like her and cruise off to the Pacific. She was a little double-ender, about 32 feet, and I adopted her concept with some of my own ideas."
Elliot Brothers Ltd.'s first low-loader. Westwind on her way to Constitution Dock, 1937. Cartage cost 10 pounds, or the equivalent of about $20. Left to right: Elliot Bros employee, Robbie McAllister, Colin Snook, Elliot Bros employee and Dave McAllister.