Owen Clarke DesignCompany profile
Owen Clarke Design was founded more than thirty years ago and is recognised as being at the leading edge of performance sailing yacht design. We are particularly known for our earth circling IMOCA Open 60’s such as Ellen MacArthur’s Kingfisher. As naval architects and yacht designers our portfolio of cruising and racing designs are as diverse as our experience in large yacht design. We specialise in performance, blue water and explorer designs, producing innovative solutions from first principles, while managing these often-complex projects.
Owen Clarke provide a full range of naval architecture, yacht design, engineering, and project support, acting as consultants for both new commissions and the refit of large sailing yachts. We are also expert in performance analysis and undertake consultancy work and rating optimisation for IRC, ORC and the ORCsy Superyacht Rule. Owners, project managers shipyards, legal and professional bodies are supported locally by offices in the UK, New Zealand and through our associates in the United States.
OC have long been committed to the development of greener, sustainable innovations in yachting. Our eighth IMOCA 60, Acciona, circumnavigated during the 2012 Vendee Globe with a combination of hydrogen, solar and hydro-generators, a world first for any yacht and without having any fossil fuels aboard. That’s something not seen since the days of the square riggers. More recently we completed the design of a 25m hybrid diesel-electric motor sailer with twin lifting drive shafts/propellers. And in the composite world, our sixth generation Class 40 racing yachts will be built from bio resins, recyclable basalt fibres and be powered by electric motors.
Our own designs are styled by Allen Clarke, who having completed three years studying yacht design at the world-famous Southampton Institute worked for the largest interior design company in the West of England before forming Owen Clarke Design with Merfyn Owen in 1991. Allen designed OC’s first large cruising yacht, Spirit of Adventure, a 65’ performance blue water cruiser built by Marten Yachts, New Zealand and delivered in 2004.
Merfyn Owen is a graduate of University College London and a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. He is OC’s senior naval architect and to date his responsibilities have been mainly focused on the office’s race boat designs, including running the research and development programs associated with grand prix projects. In 2009 he was the lead naval architect of Owen Clarke’s first superyacht collaboration, a 45m carbon-Nomex schooner, designed in partnership with the Finnish design studio Aivan.