Kevin Dibley named 2017 Yacht Designer of the Year
Published: Wednesday, 24 May 2017
Kevin Dibley, who designs Kraken blue water cruisers, was named 2017 Yacht Designer of the Year at the Asian Marine and Boating Awards at the China International Boat Show in Shanghai.
(Photo: Peter Busfield of the NZ Marine Industry Association presents award to Kevin Dibley (left))
New Zealand-based Dibley is the first Kiwi to win this award and joins a list of previous winners that includes Ed Dubois and Bill Dixon.
Dibley started his design career as the Design Director at NZ based boatbuilding firm, Eagle Yachts Ltd. Then in the mid 90’s he started working alongside America’s Cup legend Laurie Davidson.
Two of the notable designs Dibley worked on with Davidson were the Norwegian Juice Dragon’s for the Volvo 60 round the world race and the Davidson 52 Pendragon lV that went on to form the basis for the internationally successful TP52 class.
Since setting up his Dibley Marine office in Auckland and Queenstown (NZ), Dibley has designed a wide variety of craft. These include high performance racing yachts (including the Custom Dibley 72), blue water cruisers (including the Kraken range), explorer motor yachts (80ft Manu-Moana), planing power cruisers (including the Sapphire 55) and a large number of production craft (both power and sail).
Explaining his design philosophy, Dibley said: “I was first taught the theory of yacht design using hand drawings and calculations as well as spline weights and French curves. From this ‘old school’ foundation I moved onto CAD design and drawings in the early 1990's.
“My early background and experience have been invaluable for understanding 'cause and effect' and knowing how one small change can have a domino effect all the way down the line. My aim is to always combine technology and artistry in such a way that each client falls in love with both his yacht’s performance and its aesthetics.”