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design 101

Designer and Anarchist Merfyn Owen shares a look inside the world of Open 60 design…

This is an introduction to a series of articles, sometimes short; sometimes long, to be posted on the subject of performance racing and cruising yacht design. The aim is to be informative, in some cases to reinforce knowledge and in others to dispel some commonly held beliefs. We’ll draw on over twenty five years in the business of yacht design and naval architecture.  The last twelve years of which really have been at the leading edge of the rule which has provided the widest and cleanest blank sheet to designers and engineers of blue water performance sailboats – the IMOCA Open 60 rule. During this time OCD have also been the most prolific designers of Class 40’s outside of France with fourteen boats on the water and we are now extending our portfolio into the IRC world.

During this time under the umbrella of ‘Owen Clarke Design’ this team has designed and had more Open 60’s built than any other design office, bar none. Our approach has always been technology lead and more often than not been based on the model of an extended independent design team, which has included some of the leading designers and engineers in the world of sailing. So, when you see terms such as OCD, or ‘we’, it goes without saying that as a company we owe a huge debt to everyone who’s worked in particular on the designs of our Open 60’s going back many years. You’ve all contributed to the knowledge base and the standing that as a design group we have now. You know who you are! Read on.