4 Simple Questions with Sailboat Designer Bill Dixon

This is the second entry in a series of my mini-interviews with prominent sailboat designers. My guest this time is Bill Dixon. Bill leads Dixon Yacht Design and has done so ever since he took over Angus Primrose Design more than 27 years ago. To cruising sailors, perhaps Bill's best known designs include sailboats from Moody Yachts since 1981. Of particular note are the unique and innovative Moody deck saloons. As Moody Yachts puts it, "Bill Dixon is more than a designer. Each one of his developments is filled with life." Dixon Yacht Design has also been involved with the Passport Vista 615, Passport 58TC, the Discovery 50 catamaran, the Tayana 54 and many others including several superyacht sailboats and powerboats.
A very big THANK YOU to Bill for participating! And now on to my questions and Bill's responses:

1) Sum up your sailboat design philosophy in a few sentences.
I enjoy designing sailing yachts, based on the lifestyles of owners. This, I believe, is what can move sailing boat design forward, as sailors are using their yachts in a different way. The result must be seaworthy and comfortable, and of course fun to sail.

2) What's one of your personal favorite sailboats that you designed and why?
In production designs, the Moody 45DS stands out. It is the result of my many years of family cruising and living aboard. Why live in a cave? Instead, have a sailing yacht with great interior visibility and a deep, safe cockpit. All this in a boat that really sails fast.

The Moody 45DS and her unique deck saloon design

3) Is there a sailboat design and/or designer that inspired your own work or career?

No particular designer, but during my career there have been significant designs that move the industry forward. Getting inspired and keeping a very open mind to design are important.

4) Is it more difficult to design a sailboat that looks good or sails good?
I think modern hull designs make for fun sailing boats, and I believe exciting to style. I think that unfortunately today, the consolidation of boat manufacturing has reduced choices for owners, which is sad. All boats don't need to look the same!

The modern yet classic good looks of the Opus 55.

Thanks again to Bill Dixon. If you're interested in more design perspectives, visit SailFarLiveFree's Sailboat Reviews page. And stayed tuned for the next interview in this series!


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