IBEX 2019: Imagining the Boats of 2050

A challenge for yachts designers under 30

Professional BoatBuilder Magazine The Design Challenge Finalists have been chosen! Join us in the Seminar Hall at IBEX to view their 3D models along Designer Row, then attend the Design Challenge Defense on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 8:30am, when they will defend their designs to a panel of judges. This is a ticketed seminar, but the audience will be invited to vote for their favorite design.

The winning design will be published here, along with the two runners-up, after IBEX.

Marnix Hoekstra (VriPack)
Rob Kaidy (SeaVee Boats)
Vlad Murnikov (mxDesign)

Read More about the Challenge Below

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) and Professional BoatBuilder magazine invite design students and working yacht designers under the age of 30 to imagine the world and their profession 30 years from now and to submit for competition their best concept boats for the model year 2050.

As they conceive of and develop their designs, participants are urged to think pragmatically and creatively about the future of our industry: In 2050 who will be buying recreational boats and why? What fuels or propulsion options will be most favored? What construction materials and techniques will be cost-effective and accessible? What size boats will be practical and popular? What yet-to-be developed or refined technologies will have disrupted or redefined boating as we know it?

Complete entries must include:

  • Study plans for a successful boat of 2050 (production or custom built) with lines or 3D model/rendering.
  • Interior layout and systems
  • Description of construction technology and materials
  • Performance predictions
  • A narrative description of the boat’s intended use profile, performance, defining materials and technologies, and build methods. This should include predictions of how recreational boat use will evolve in 30 years, as well as likely developments in design technology, build materials, onboard systems, propulsion options, control systems for boat operations, and regulations builders and owners will be subject to.

Three finalists receive Full Conference Passes with travel assistance to IBEX 2019 (Oct. 1–3) in Tampa, FL, to present their designs and ideas to a panel of experts and boatbuilding professionals. Top design will be selected at IBEX.

Finalists’ plans will be published by Professional BoatBuilder magazine, ProBoat.com, and at IBEXShow.com.
For further questions or submission assistance, please contact Sarah Devlin, sarah@nullibexshow.com.



  • Sarah Devlin says:

    Hello! We have opened comments on this page and invite you to add your thoughts about the Design Challenge here. Our open discussion online will help guide some of these young designers as they consider what the boats of 2050 will be.

    I’ll start this discussion with comments we have received via email. Enjoy!
    -Sarah Devlin

  • Sarah Devlin says:

    Here is one email we received that I absolutely loved. I will not identify the author of this comment because it was sent via email.

    You asked for people over 30’s view of yacht design in the 2050’s

    And this is my somewhat flippant answer – either huge cruise ships which look like 2019 container ships (interchangeable pod cabins to allow for maximum flexibility) which are in effect floating islands or remotely controlled drones less than 5m in length.

    With the continued trend to increasing weight in the general population and declining participation in sailing of the young (aging sailing demographic) increased use of electronics / power handing of current craft I think that sailing will be carried out by people from their homes via VR or similar technology.
    The NASA Sojourner Mars rover had 1/50th (or less) of the computer power of your mobile phone and that was made in 1997* – who knows what VR will be like in 31 year’s time.

    I envisage the average “sailor” looking like the occupants of the Axiom from the film WALL-E.

    Sorry to put a damper on your day – but if there is an easy way to experience an event the human race will find it. And getting away from the floating plastic, bacterial blooms and toxic pollution – VR maybe the only way we as a species can “sail” in 2050

    Sojourner Mars rover – central processing unit was a 80C85 with a 2 MHz clock, addressing 64 Kbytes of memory. It has four memory stores; 64 Kbytes of RAM for the main processor, 16 Kbytes of radiation-hardened PROM, 176 Kbytes of non-volatile storage and 512 Kbytes of temporary data storage

  • Sarah Devlin says:

    Here is another email we received, also posted here anonymously.

    Ideal sailors motor boat. I’m old enough to still want to be out on the water but too old to be hauling mainsails up the mast and tacking all the time.
    Light weight easily driven trImaran.
    Short amas like US navy autonomous mine hunter. Amas designed to ride on bow wave of main Hull to reduce drag at one cruising speed. Aimed at slow speed crushing say 8 knots but sprint to 15 knots.
    Approx 12 to 13 metres long 6 metres wide overall. Designed for grey nomads with occasional short term guests.
    Massive area for solar panels so electric motors and battery with range extender gas generator if necessary. Simple gas bbq on back deck everything else electric.
    Simple, cheap, easy to build. Painted interior easy to maintain.
    Twin electric motors set in amas, no rudders to reduce drag. Steer by varying power to motors which are wide apart. Possible surface piercing propellers.

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