The world of superyachts lost a great designer when Ed Dubois died in 2016.
His firm, Dubois Naval Architects, did not survive long after his demise and so his name is now remembered through the beautiful sailing yachts he drew. Ngoni, one of his last commissions, has just been launched. Those of us who knew Ed well look upon the finished yacht and realise again just what a great loss his passing has been.
The owner of this beautiful 58 metre sailing machine originally commissioned Ed to create the ultimate in high performance yachts. He wanted her to be fast and furious, and his secret weapon to be feared on the racing circuit by those he competed against.
He seems to have got his way because Ngoni, built in Holland by the Royal Huisman shipyard, is all of this and more. She may well be the beast the owner ordered, but no matter which angle you look at this hull she is a real beauty.
Her sculpted styling, plumb bow terraced aft deck are stunning, but it is her strikingly elegant reverse sheer that is the show stopper allowing as it does greater width in the forward half and amidships. Dubois had told me that his fi rst drawings were, in the owner’s opinion, just okay. The owner had bullied him, he said, to work harder on the reverse sheer transitioning into a concave form at the stern. Creating that shape has not only benefi ted the visibility for those sitting or standing in the cockpit but has, according to the shipyard, bolstered the hull’s strength and augmented the load resistance by 12 percent.
Her square-top mainsail measures 853 square metres, while her high-aspectratio, carbon fibre rudders are a massive 6.95 square metres. Yet at sea, this yacht thunders along 17 knots with just the lightest of touches on her enormous wheel. To further reduce weight and drag, and make the yacht even faster, the team who oversaw her construction opted for continuous carbon shrouds from deck to masthead gaining a 70% weight reduction over conventional Nitronic rod rigging. They also specified internal D-Tang connections where diagonal stays meet the mast tube, thus also removing the visual clutter of turnbuckles.