Nigel Irens

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Nigel Irens RDI is a leading yacht designer. Amongst his designs are the Adventurer, a 35m trimaran motor yacht which completed a record-breaking circumnavigation in 1998, and B&Q/Castorama a 23 m sailing trimaran used by Ellen MacArthur to break the world record for solo circumnavigation in 2005.[1]

His design portfolio is wide-ranging, from record-breaking yachts to innovative cruising designs such as Roxane,[2] and other sailing designs of traditional appearance such as the Westernman[3] cutters – designed in association with the late Ed Burnett – or the launch Rangeboat, a 12m power craft also of traditional appearance. Typically, Irens' designs synthesise traditional forms with modern materials and methods of construction, with Carbon fibre masts,[2] laminated frames,[3] and epoxied strip wood[4] strongly in evidence.

For a while, when beginning his career as a yacht designer, Ed Burnett worked for Irens, and that led to a number of successful collaborations. They worked together on designs such as Zinnia, a 30ft gaff cutter, Kilrush Nomad II, a 43ft gaff cutter,[5] and the King Alfred dinghy[6] to be built by King Alfred School in London. By 2012, the school had built three, and use them to introduce students to dinghy cruising.[6]

Irens is perhaps particularly noteworthy for the simplicity, efficiency, and essential elegance of his design.


  1. ^ NIGEL IRENS yacht designers from the UK, accessed 10 November 2019
  2. ^ a b website for Irens' Roxane-Romilly family, accessed 9 November 2019
  3. ^ a b details of Nigel Irens' Westernman 40-ft-Pilot-Cutter, accessed 9 November 2019
  4. ^ Rangeboat details, accessed 9 November 2019
  5. ^ Rob Peake: Celebrated naval architect Ed Burnett has died, accessed 10 November 2019
  6. ^ a b King-Alfred Dinghy page at school website Archived 2013-05-27 at the Wayback Machine

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