The Big Picture: Neil Gilbert’s OD44

SinC OD44 Neil Gilbert 700

December 14, 2022

This scorching 44 is a holiday gift from Neil Gilbert, one of the country’s few professional boat designers. Neil is arguably Canada’s most prolific, working or having worked with Malibu Boats, Campion Marine, Doral Boats, Vector Powerboats, C&C Yachts, Twin Anchors, and many others over four decades. An accomplished racer forever, Neil and his brothers won the Shark Worlds in 1981.

This stunning boat, so far just a concept, is a concept for a 44 one design that Neil did during some downtime in between projects in his studio in BC’s Okanogan Valley.

SinC OD44 Neil Gilbert 2 700

The versions named Nanuk were a holiday present for Pat Festing-Smith. Pat and Neil spent their youth sailing in Oakville. Pat has campaigned but mostly cruised various racer-cruisers his current Nanuk, a Jeanneau 57 that has hosted all sorts of celebs from Ed Robertson to Tessa Virtue.

Then big question is will Pat switch to this hot One Design 44? Who else might? Could we see a Canadian fleet come to life? Stay tuned.

-JM

SinC OD44 Neil Gilbert 5 400SinC OD44 Neil Gilbert 3 400

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