Zurn Yacht Design is known for the fine aesthetics and performance of its builds in power and sail. Since its beginnings in 1993 it has won acclaim for more than 600 launches commissioned by a growing list of custom and production clientele.
The lines of Zurn designs are a union of state-of-the-art sensibility and classical style with hands-on experience gained over the years at boatyards and marinas. Each of Zurn’s drawings, whether of a runabout, a shoal-draft daysailer, Down East lobster yacht, Offshore Express Cruiser or a retro-styled, fast commuter yacht, illustrates a commitment to technology and innovation along with a devotion to comfort and aesthetics.
Based in Marblehead, Massachusetts, the company and its staff offer end-to-end design and engineering services, including conceptual mockups, shop drawings, project management, three-dimensional visualizations, and material specifications.
“All our boats are the result of taking advantage of design and materials for optimal handling and performance,” says founder Doug Zurn. “Having grown up sailing I have an appreciation for the ocean and understand the limits it imposes: How do you protect yourself? How do you make the onboard experience more comfortable? How do you make it more enjoyable from standpoint of performance? The reward for me is to see the way my clients enjoy using my designs, and I hope people will continue to enjoy using them.”
Two commissions for singer-songwriter Billy Joel in 1995 and in 2001, serve as key milestones in the company timeline. Out on the water, “that’s a Billy Joel boat” is among the highest compliments admirers consistently pay to a designer whose name they may not know. In recent years, “that’s a Doug Zurn boat” is heard too—an unmistakable sign of success.
Zurn’s second commission, NOMAD, a 38-foot Shelter Island Runabout kicked off a successful, ongoing production run with Coecles Harbor Marine of Long Island. Vendetta, Zurn’s 57-foot commuter yacht built by Coecles Harbor/Derecktor for Joel brought the same design tenets to a larger vessel and continues to attract attention wherever she cruises.
After NOMAD and Vendetta, Zurn was commissioned by Bob Johnstone of J/Boats fame to design a functional, beautiful 34-foot Down East style powerboat. The 34z, the “z” for Zurn, debuted in 2003 and was the first of his prolific output for Johnstone’s MJM Yachts. Two decades on, Zurn has designed the entire MJM line up until 2020, which included the 29z, 35z, 36z, 40z, 43z, 50z and 53z foot models originally built by Boston Boatworks and the 3, 35, 4, foot models now by Seolta Holdings LLC.
Aside from MJM, over 30 years, Zurn Yacht Design production clients include Marlow, Bruckmann, Lyman-Morse, Coecles Harbor Marine, Vanquish, Delta Marine, C.W. Hood, Derecktor, Hylas, NEB, Duffield, Samoset Boatworks, JW Boat Company, Vanquish, and Barton & Gray Mariners Club, to name a few.