The yachting community lost two great design talents just days apart in March. Pieter Beeldsnijder passed away on March 21, followed by Ed Dubois on March 24. Beeldsnijder was 78 years old. Dubois was 64.
Beeldsnijder’s studio was responsible for the creation of more than 2,500 pleasureboats, commercial craft, and superyachts. His first job was in 1957, at an Amsterdam- based shipyard then called G. De Vries Lentsch, Jr. (also then part of the Feadship organization). The job was to help build De Groene Draeck, a traditional Dutch round-bottomed sailboat that was a birthday gift for Princess Beatrix. Because Beeldsnijder was also adept at design, he went from working on the shop floor to the in-house design studio.
That studio later spun off and became De Vries Lentsch. Beeldsnijder established his own company in 1979. He partnered with yards like Jongert, Hakvoort, and Royal Huisman. With Royal Huisman alone, he helped create more than 20 sailing superyachts, such as Athena, Hanuman, and Hyperion. He also earned five International Superyacht Society design awards. Among Beeldsnijder’s last designs: the long-awaited J-Class Svea, nearing completion at Vitters.
As for Dubois, he landed his first yachting job, in Alan Buchanan’s naval-architecture studio, following his university graduation in 1974. When a friend asked him to design a raceboat nearly two years later, and that raceboat won significant regattas, Dubois decided to go into business for himself. Dubois Naval Architects opened in 1977.
The Dubois office became renown for race winners. Pleasure yachts soon started coming, too. The mid-1980s brought a significant development, when a yacht owner requested Dubois design a 37.4-meter (123-foot) cruising sloop. The yacht was Aquel II, built by Sensation Yachts - Dubois’ very first superyacht, also bearing what became his studio’s signature, a raised deck saloon. Other renowned sailing superyachts that Dubois Naval Architects created include Ganesha, Janice of Wyoming, Kokomo, Tiara, and the Oyster 100 and 125 series.
Some of the designs have gone head to head in the Dubois Cup regatta, held every two years since 2007. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Dubois’ motoryachts, such as the two Como builds (one at Alloy Yachts, one at Feadship), plus Kiss, also built at Feadship. Dubois Naval Architects is now run by Peter Bolke, the senior designer for many years. Among its projects are a 58-meter (190-footer) nicknamed The Beast at Royal Huisman.
* Reposted with permission by the International Superyacht Society