build me a beast

The final part of our Ed Dubois article

By 2014, Dubois Yachts already had over 1 Billion Euros in value of super sailing yacht afloat, Ed’s definition of a superyacht being over 100 feet long.  

Not just superyachts same off his drawing board (yes he still used one) with the likes of the Windy Blackbird.  This came about because the owner of the 66m Aglaia wanted a fast tender with crew accommodation.  With the ability to hit 45 knots even with 10 people on board she is absolutely beautiful.  It can take owner and guests of the sail yacht quickly and in great comfort to a beach, a restaurant or wherever and can be shipped ahead to be where the parent vessel is at any time.

As a result of this vessel, Ed was asked, also, to design 28’ and 40’ versions.

With regard to the multiple awards the firm won over the years Ed felt that some of the many awards came into being as a marketing exercise for the various magazines involved and also the Superyacht Society and perhaps that sometimes one felt that the awards have a lot to do with politics but it is better to win them than not do so!

Being so busy with bespoke superyacht commissions meant that latterly little work was done on production designs although earlier in his career Dubois designed many production boat, particularly for Westerly and Wauquiez in particular. SO in some ways it was almost back to his roots when designs were drawn for the likes of the Southerly 57 and for Oyster for their larger boats (the 100 and the 125).  

I remember talking to a Chinese builder looking to build boats for charter for the Round Hainan Regatta and pointed him in Ed’s direction ultimately resulting n the Dubois 50 of which 5 or 6 were built and are used for that regatta and others here in China, powerful enough to be interesting without maiming the inexperienced sailors that often sail on them.

He was never just someone who just drew boats and was unaware of others work, nor was he just a ‘theoretical sailor . As mentioned before he bought one  of his earlier Quarter Tonners, had it refurbished, put the right people on it and won one edition of the revamped Quarter Ton Cup.

His “main’ boat was the Sparkman & Stephens designed Firebrand which he helmed to many Classic Regatta wins along with Class wins in the Round the Island Race run from Cowes. We hope that we will design for other good production boat companies into the future.

The last time we had any sort of detailed conversation he was working on a 60m sloop – couldn’t tell me who. It doesn’t take 2 + 2 =4 to know that project is now Ngoni and Ed was commissioned to “build me a beast. Don’t build me a wolf in sheep’s clothing – and that he did – what a swansong! See video above.

My only regret is that having only just got to know Ed Dubois a little that he was taken from us way too soon. However just as he always had Firebrand, designed by his ‘hero’ Olin Stephens I will always have Bird of Prey, Dubois Design Number 55. 

And as one looks back at Ed Dubois design career there are still countless numbers of owners getting boundless pleasure from the yachts (power as well as sail don’t forget) that he drew. – SS