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I never got the chance to know Ed Dubois as well as many in this business, but I sure knew of him. Who doesn’t? The term “legend” gets thrown around a bit but there are probably about 10 designers in superyachting to whom it applies. Ed was one of them.

The designs that left his studio – and continue to do so – speak for themselves. His new 58 metre in build at Royal Huisman is something else. There was a model of it at the World Superyacht Awards in Amsterdam last year and people couldn’t help stopping and staring. It’s sad to think he won’t be around to see it on the water.

I loved my precious few encounters with him, all bar one. It was in Kitzbühel last year, at our design symposium, and I asked Ed if we could meet very early one morning for a photoshoot. The previous night had been a heavy one and he was wearing what can only be described as a threatening scowl when we met at an indecent hour for the photos. But a few coffees later he was restored to his charming self. 

Whenever we spoke about editorial matters, he was all too happy to help and was due to take part in our design symposium this year, but unfortunately had to pull out. I would have relished another chance for a beer and a chat. The tributes that poured in when the news broke about his death speak volumes. He will be greatly missed. 

We lost another designer in March – Pieter Beeldsnijder, the brains behind some true icons, including Athena, Hyperion and Hanuman. The superyachting world is not a big one and when we lose people of Ed and Pieter’s stature the effects are felt by all. So as we kick off this, our annual superyacht design special, let’s raise a toast to these great men of design, and the wonderful yachts they helped to create.

Stewart Campbell

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