About Owen Clarke Design

Owen Clarke Design are one of the world's leading companies of yacht designers, naval architects and engineers. OCD specialise in the design and engineering of racing yachts and cruising sailboats. We are particularly known for our custom and semi-custom performance offshore racing and blue water cruising boats . Our design portfolio spans yachts from the 6.5m Mini Transat class to a 42m performance cruising ketch and includes eighteen Class 40s in addition to eight Vendee Globe IMOCA Open 60s. While we're specialists in composite yacht design and engineering, in 2018 our 66' high latitude aluminium expedition yacht Qilak was launched in Holland confirming our ability to adapt, design and manage complex projects from experience and first principles. Our most recent consultancy projects have included rudders and steering system for the Nautor Swan 115, completed at the same time as a new rudder for one of our competitors 47' Grand Prix inshore/offshore IRC designs.

OCD Vendee Globe Open 60, Acciona 100% Eco-Powered – lead designer, Merfyn Owen

Merfyn Owen is graduate of the University College London, Fellow of the University of Glamorgan, Fellow of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects and chartered engineer. His responsibilities in OCD have historically been race boat design and development of new designs such as Qilak. Merfyn is a former member of the IMOCA 60 technical committee and an integral part of the group that formulated the class rule for the Volvo 70 because of his extensive experience in swing keel racing yacht design. He is a ‘double’ Cape Horner and former round the world race boat skipper himself on the 96/97 BT Global Challenge, as well as co-skipper in the 2005 Transat Jacques Vabres and numerous Class 40 events. With over 250,000 miles of offshore sailing experience including a climbing/sailing expedition above the Arctic Circle in his own cruising yacht, his input is also very much as ‘hands on sailor-designer’. Merfyn has been responsible for instigating and running the projects OCD have undertaken using the design team approach, is a very experienced 'design co-ordinator' himself and brings a strong engineering and technological bias to the work OCD undertakes.

65 foot Supercruiser,  Spirit of Adventure – lead designer, Allen Clarke

As well as overseeing the office and acting as  the company's first point of contact in the world of Class 40's, Allen Clarke is charged with the development of OCD’s range of cruising boat designs. He trained at Falmouth Boat Building College and Southampton Institute, studying boat building and yacht design respectively. A boat owner and keen cruising sailor for many years, with a number of transatlantic crossings behind him, he has also competed in a number of significant races including two AZAB's. Allen pursued a successful career as an interior designer before returning to yacht design and brings his considerable flair and talent to his work, with a keen eye for detail and aesthetics in  a project.

Founding partners Allen Clarke and Merfyn Owen pictured after the Fastnet Race in 2015

Merfyn Owen and Allen Clarke joined forces in 1987 designing and building racing and cruising multihulls. In recent years the design team has expanded into a diverse multi-disciplined group with over 80 years collective experience. Predominantly now designing monohull racing and cruising yachts, in recent years we have been engaged in work on superyachts such as Mari Cha 3, Mari Cha 4 and the 40m Wally, Angels Share.

Temenos Open 60, third in the Barcelona World Race – lead designer, Tim Sadler

Owen Clarke Design became a limited liability partnership, incorporated in the United Kingdom in 2002. In the same year we opened an office in New Zealand run by Tim Sadler, a qualified design engineer with sixteen years engineering design experience. Previously with Marten Yachts, Tim's duties include the day today design work we all do as well as looking after our projects in the southern hemisphere.

Our philosophy is to be the key to success in all projects, offering creative thinking, challenging existing technology, and providing design excellence. We offer a managed, logical and high tech approach to yacht design with all the necessary tools that a project might need, from research and development, to old-fashioned flair and talent for the job

We thrive on being involved in the whole concept, design, construction and delivery of the completed product, be that to the end of builder’s trials for a cruising boat or to the start of a major international regatta. We’re very well versed working as a team feeding from our individual skills both in-house and with other designers and project teams – "whatever the program calls for" is our attitude.


Head Office: PO Box 26, Dartmouth, Devon, TQ6 0YG, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1803 770495 Fax: +44 1803 770517
Registered office: 20-22 Bedford Row, London,  WC1R 4JS, United Kingdom
Limited Liability Partnership Registered No. OC301507

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