David De Villiers – Marine Designer

As a 10 year old kid in the early 1970’s my family lived in a landlocked city in Southern Africa but then things changed……we moved to Cape Town and my surgically trained father self-built a 42’ ketch rigged cruising boat.

Sailing in the waters around the magnificent Cape of Good Hope was pivotal in shaping my future and developing a passion for the ocean and all forms of boats. Yacht racing became a weekly obsession and more often than not late-night Mechanical Engineering studies turned into boat sketches.

20 years later, armed with varied yacht design and boatbuilding experience gained in Cape Town as well as the USA plus many thousands of miles of ocean sailing and racing under the keel, New Zealand beckoned.

De Villiers Design Ltd started in mid 2000 and although there been some tacks and gybes through the years (in a somewhat cyclical industry) the company is still going strong with a diverse portfolio of designs, clients located in North America, Europe, Africa and “down under” in Australia and New Zealand. We continue to develop our skills as well as our range of designs, both power and sail, for commercial and leisure applications. Personally, I am out on the waters of the stunning Bay of Islands, New Zealand as often as the work schedule allows.

De Villiers Design is proud to have designed many successful RHIB’s which are utilised by navies, coastguards and law enforcement agencies etc. in many countries. In 2008, against popular wisdom, we designed a 62’ aluminium ocean-going catamaran. By early 2020 that boat has cruised almost 100000 nautical miles and is now starting a new life as the flagship for Sealegacy (a marine conservation foundation). I am completely humbled by this development and look forward to a long association with a forward-thinking foundation helping in the battle to conserve our ailing oceans and seas.