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Noted racing and superyacht designer Ed Dubois dies suddenly

by Sail-World.com NZL on 26 Mar 2016
Ed Dubois, Naval Architect (1952-2016) SW
Dubois Naval Architects have announced the sad passing of its principal and noted superyacht designer, Ed Dubois at the age of just 64 years.

Born into a family who were not sailors, Dubois began designing and building model yachts at an early age, sailing them in the pond at Kensington Gardens. He then trained as a naval architect at Southampton.

After designing several yachts in the lower end of the Ton scale, Dubois made his mark with one of the notable offshore racers, Police Car a 42fter that rated in the Two Ton class, for Australian owner Peter Cantwell. She made her debut in the 1979 Admirals Cup as part of the winning Australian team.

From that success, Dubois was invited to design his first super yacht the 37metre Aquel II, which was built in New Zealand. A long and successful career in superyacht design followed, with Dubois still at the design board until a week before his untimely passing.

The statement from Dubois Naval Architects reads:

It is with enormous sadness that Honor Dubois and the team at Dubois Naval Architects announce the death of Ed Dubois yesterday (Thursday).

Following a period of illness last year, Ed had been in better health and working as normal. Unexpectedly he was admitted to hospital last week and sadly died on Thursday.

Ed’s career spanned decades and his passion, commitment to his work and love of his clients created a unique business, driven by exceptional design and technical talent and a genuine desire to create the most breathtakingly beautiful and technically advanced yachts; now scattered across the globe.

Although created by Ed, Dubois Naval Architects has always been underpinned an incredibly committed and talented, team of naval architects, none more so than those working with Ed at the moment.

The business will continue. Peter Bolke, who is Senior Designer and has been a valued member of the Dubois team for 23 years, will become Managing Director with immediate effect.

Peter will be supported by the rest of the Dubois team.

With one of the industry’s most innovative 58m yachts currently in build and a number of similarly ambitious projects in the design stage, Ed left the business at an exciting moment in its development.

Peter and his team will be supported by Ed’s great friends, Richard Cunningham, and Andrew Prynne QC, Ed’s friend for fifty years.

Ed Dubois was a huge talent, and his legacy will continue as one of the world’s great yacht designers. Known not only for his love of all things boat-related but also music, art, travel and most of all his family and friends. Ed leaves his darling wife Honor and four wonderful children, to whom he was completely devoted.

We would respectfully ask that any enquiries regarding this news is made via email over the next few days to allow Ed’s family and team to adjust to the news.


Megayacht News reports that Dubois had been ill last year, but feeling better and keeping a typical work schedule in recent months. Unfortunately, and unexpectedly according to his staff, he was admitted to the hospital last week.

For the rest of this tribute from Megayacht News click here

For a profile on Ed Dubois published in Yachting magazine click here

For the full media gallery on Ed Dubois and Dubois NA click here

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