Living , Modern



1955 -

John Reichel-designed yachts have had enormous success worldwide from the America’s Cup to one-design and offshore distance racing.


John has been designing winning performance yachts for almost 40 years, initially as an apprentice with Doug Peterson in the early 1980s during that firm’s domination of the IOR racing scene and then as the principal naval architect at his own firm Reichel/Pugh. His business partner, Jim Pugh who handles the sales and marketing, describes John as having “an uncanny ability to quickly grasp where art and science meet in the field of yacht design. He gets to the technological ‘sweet spot’ quickly, coming up with elegant solutions to problems that others would never recognize.”

Accomplishments and Honors

  • Designed the Melges 24, 32, 20, 17, and 14
  • 2008, Melges 20 named One-Design Boat of the Year by Sailing World magazine
  • Key member of design team for winning America’s Cup boat America3
  • Principal designer for four America’s Cup challenges:
    • 2007, Desafio Espanol
    • 2003, Stars & Stripes
    • 2000, Stars & Stripes
    • 1995, One Australia
  • 2008, principal designer for Oracle Racing (until team switched to catamarans)
  • Designed many successful offshore racing boats including winners of the Tranatlantic, Caribbean 600, Transpac, Fastnet, Newport-Bermuda, Sydney-Hobart, Middle Sea Race, Block Island Race, Mackinac Races, and Newport to Cabo San Lucas Race
  • 2001-2014, Reichel’s designs have taken line honors at the Giraglia Rolex 13 times in the last 14 races, with four overall wins
  • Reichel-designed Esimit Europa 2 set the current record in the Giraglia Rolex
  • 1992, 1991, 1990, Reichel’s 50-foot IOR designs won three World Championships
  • Since 1997, Reichel designs have won 25 Maxi Rolex Cup Championships


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