Design Services

All Boats are Built to Order

That means every step of the process is based on decisions we make together. These crucial choices follow a structured process linked to the different stages of your project.

It’s when our decades of experience meets your dream that the magic happens.

Our Custom Design & Build Process

'Tailored Design' or a one-off?

Our standard range of boats are based on a core set of design principles which largely define the distinctive elements. This means that certain aspects of every build are fixed and pre-determined. Within that there is wide scope for adaptations and personalisations. We are happy to discuss your ideas and requirements and will draw on our expertise to present you with a number of choices wherever possible.

We also have an extensive catalogue of one-off custom builds, major conversions and wheelchair accessible boats. We have enjoyed working with other well-known designers on some of these. You are always welcome to contact us with your project ideas and we will be happy to let you know whether we are able to help.

We do not sell our designs or outsource builds. All our boats are built in-house.

First Introductions

1 – The Introduction

Relationship building and getting to know you is perhaps the most important part of the design process as we begin to understand your needs.

We will ask what your sailing/ seafaring goals are and outline what is achievable within your brief and budget. We will also want to know your sailing background. We use all this information to suggest  what we think will work best for you.

If we don’t think we are your best match, we will tell you. This can occur if, for example, we feel our design princliples are in conflict with your needs. If we do work together you will discover that our customer service is exceptional, as is the attention to detail and our ability to tailor the boat.

Next steps

We would then invite you to visit the yard if possible and experience the boat you are interested in, or in the case of a custom project a chance to discuss more detail face-to-face. This can include a tour of any boats that are in the yard and build sheds, an invitation to sail or an immersive virtual tour of concept boats using our VR headset. If you are unable to visit in person we are happy to set up video calls and can take you on a live boat tour.

Following this we would begin to discuss more detailed specifications,  personal preferences and associated outline costings.

Following Through

If all parties feel we could work well together we discuss contracts and timelines.

If you are interested in moving forward we will then create a full production package including specifications, quote and payment schedule with contract based on our agreements.

Our conversations and decisions on the finer details continue through the build process. By using our VR headset you can fully immerse yourself in your project to help you with some of the design choices.


Handover is a minimum of three days following sea trials and commissioning. It follows a pre-scheduled run through of all the systems and sails and is included in the boat cost. Additional training is available on request.

Why work with us?

Our provenance is well proven. Our boats are tested in extreme offshore racing and cruising conditions where they are pushed to their limits so you can have full confidence in your boat’s integrity.

Safety is always at the top of our priorities and we do not simply work to minimum regulatory requirements, we often go over and above to a level we feel sure is as safe as possible. For example, our guard rails are always above regulatory specifications because we feel more secure with a bit more height between us and the ocean. When people ask “What distinguishes a Dazcat?” It is the many, often small, details that add up to the whole.

Contact us if you have any questions or specific requirements you would like to ask about. We are always happy to talk to you: / ++44 (0)1752 823900 option 2

Dazcats make up our core range and are highly tailorable

Designer Darren Newton and design team member Luca discuss the core principles informing their design choices.

The Dazcat design principles remain the same whether your boat is a home-from-home or a cruiser-racer. Key to that is the integrity that links aesthetic with practicality and thouroughness to the last detail. This ensures that every Dazcat is the right fit for how its owner wants to use it while maintaining the signature Dazcat benefits of strengh, speed, saftey and a sensational on-the-water experience every time.

What informs our design principles? ++

Here at Dazcat we pride ourselves on only designing boats that perform, often beyond their owners’ expectations. We aim for high average speeds relative to all conditions.

We always design features into the boat that will improve its stiffness, lighten the structure and enhance performance. Our full structural analysis procedure during the primary design phase informs this process.

Plumb bows to increase the boat’s waterline length to beam hull ratio are a standard feature to maximise boat speed. The headroom needed is incorporated within a reverse sheer deck line and hull surfaces are designed to form three-dimensional, elliptical curves for increased stiffness and reduced weight. In our larger boats, chines increase hull stiffness by dividing the hull sides into two panels. This reduces weight, expands accommodation and avoids the un-aesthetic slab-sided look.

Volume and performance are a good evaluation of a boat’s cost. By increasing volume you increase surface area, which pushes up the cost of the boat by increasing the materials and time needed to build; the trade-off is more internal living space and hence greater value. The interior volume of most cruising Dazcats is maximised for comfortable cruising. A high freeboard gives plenty of headroom all round, increases bridgedeck clearance, prevents bridgedeck slamming and creates a much drier working platform.

Performance is partly determined by the power-to-weight ratio of a boat. Extra power can be generated by increasing either the sail area or the lift coefficient by using different rig formats. There are many combinations of rig, ranging in performance and cost, but increasing rig or sail capacity has its limits, and depends on the individual client’s ability to be responsible with the increased power.

Part of the discussion process is to establish clients’ levels of ability and experience in order to recommend the right boat to fit both helm and crew, in order to ensure safe sailing. We can also offer training with qualified skippers where needed; our boats are great fun but they are not toys and need to be sailed with good seamanship. When they are, they really fly!

Another option for improving performance can be reducing overall boat weight by simplifying the design. One can do this and not compromise the internal volumes; remember length is a good thing but filling it all up with accommodation may not be. Bridge decks offer fantastic space and are especially useful in our chilly UK waters, but they also add to cost, weight and windage. A longer boat without a bridgedeck could be similar in cost to a shorter one with a bridgedeck.

There are several considerations that need to be factored into every element of any design: what level of performance you want; the type of sailing; and how much money you want to spend. Once you have made these decisions you are ready to talk to us and we can make a start on realising your dreams.

We are always happy to talk through any modifications you may want to make on our established designs. It is always great fun being involved in helping design and build a dream boat, and it will be our pleasure to help make your dreams come true.