Which boats were designed by Bruce Farr / Farr Design?

It is incredible to think that New Zealander Bruce Farr, designed his first yacht at the age of thirteen and during his teenage years, he was involved in designing small class-racing yachts, which were notable for their lightweight construction and good planing abilities. He also designed a number of fixed keel cruisers. Before looking specifically at the Farr designed entries in the Global Solo Challenge let’s look briefly at the background of this extremely talented designer.

Farr Design – Leopard 3


By the age of 24, Farr was heavily involved in the designing of yachts for the competitive 18-foot skiff class, with his yachts winning the JJ Giltinan Championship several times in the early 1970s (which is regarded as the World title for this class of yachts).

Such wins attracted a number of clients, and this enabled Farr to follow Naval Architecture as his chosen career. In the early years, his yachts had considerable success, winning the ¼, ½, ¾, and 1-ton World Championships run under IOR rules.

Basically, the yachts he was designing were faster, cheaper and better to sail than his rivals.

Farr Design – Imoca 60 – Hugo Boss


Apart from designing many other cruisers and racing yachts, Farr also designed a number of yachts for the Whitbread Round the World Race (1973- 1990). His yachts were in every race held under that name, and the boats he designed won on four occasions. Apart from the success in the Whitbread races, Farr’s designs have won races like the Sydney to Hobart race, 15 times, and they have had wins in virtually every other major sailing event.

Farr – VOR 70 Telefonica Black – Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race


Farr has also been heavily involved in the design of boats for the America’s Cup.

In 1981, Farr set up Farr Yacht Design in Annapolis on America’s eastern seaboard, where it is still based.

Farr and his team have been responsible for designing craft for a number of yacht builders, including Cookson Boats, Carroll Marine, Janneau, Beneteau, Concordia, Baltic, and Nauta.

Farr Design – Beneteau First 40


It is worthy of note that Beneteau, alone, have launched over 3,400 Farr designed boats. A sure measure of the strength of his design skills.

Farr has also been involved in the yachting world and has served on many committees including the International Technical Committee of the Offshore Racing Council.

In 1990, Farr was awarded the prestigious Order of the British Empire, as a recognition of his services to Yacht design.

Farr Design – TP52


Farr Yacht Design remains at the forefront of the industry and the team is now headed up by local, Patrick Shaughnessy, who is company President and a design team that includes Russell Bowler, Jim Schmicker Britt Ward, Bryan Baker, Keith Carew, Mark Bishop, Alon Finkelstein, Chris Cochran, Luke Shingledecker, Jim Donovan, Graham Williams and more, whilst Bruce Farr remains as Vice-President.

Indeed to show how strong this team remains, Farr Yacht Design won two highly coveted prizes at the 2022 BOAT International Design & Innovation Awards.

Lifetime Bulgarian sailor, Pavlin Nadvorni, is one of the two entries to have declared that they will be sailing a Farr designed yacht in the 2023 Global Solo Challenge.

He has owned his boat ‘Espresso Martini’, for about 5 years. It is a Kevlar composite Farr 45 design, built in 1997 by the American company, Carrol Marine.

Farr 45 – Espresso Martini – Pavlin Nadvorni


Nadvorni knows his yacht well and has sailed her over the years in a number of eastern Mediterranean regattas. Indeed this boat (with an Amateur crew) holds the record for crossing the Black Sea. He has also sailed her in some very demanding conditions, including a major Mediterranean depression with 60-knot winds. He is happy to report that she held up well.

The other sailor who will be sailing a Farr designed yacht, will be Volkan Kaan Yemlihaoğlu fromTurkey, who will be sailing a Farr 40.

Farr40 One Design


Given the strength of Farr’s designs and their proven track record, I could easily envisage that there will be further Farr designed craft entered into the Global Solo Challenge.

Farr Design – Roaring 40 2 – Class40


Featured Image: Farr One Designe VOR 65