Superyacht design innovator Ed Dubois dies suddenly following short illness

Ed Dubois

Superyacht designer Ed Dubois the founder of Dubois Naval Architects has died at the age of just 64 years-old.

Born into a non-marine family, Dubois showed a flair for design at an early age, building model yachts and sailing them in ponds and waterways around the family home. He eventually studied to be a naval architect in Southampton in the UK.

The first time Dubois designed a yacht it won the British Trials for the Three Quarter Ton Cup, the RORC Class IV overall prize and the Solent Points Championship in 1976. The vessel was Borsalino Trois and it attracted enough attention to launch both a racing career and Dubois Naval Architects in 1977.

Dubois arguably cemented his name in superyacht design with racing yacht Police Car a vessel in the two-ton class that he designed for Australian Peter Cantrell in 1979.

Dubois was then tasked with designing his first super yacht the 37-metre Aquel II, built in New Zealand and from this a career in superyacht design was assured.

A statement from Dubois Naval Architects said: “It is with enormous sadness that Honor Dubois and the team at Dubois Naval Architects announce the death of Ed Dubois.

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 (24 March).

“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.”

Veteran of 23-years at the company, senior designer Peter Bolke, takes the position of managing director of Dubois Naval Architects with immediate effect.

“With one of the industry’s most innovative 58-metre 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,” the company added.

The funeral of the superyacht innovator will take place next week. It is to be a private, family service. There will be a memorial service, to which all are welcome, to celebrate his life and achievements in the near future.