About Mark Ellis Design

Apprenticed in the innovative offices of Hunt Associates and schooled in the classic traditions of Philip Rhodes, Mark Ellis began his design career in 1965.  His experience included stints with some of the foremost yacht design firms of the day, including both Hunt and Rhodes, Little Harbor (Ted Hood) and C&C Yachts.  In 1975 he formed his own firm, Mark Ellis Design, in Oakville Ontario.



The launch of the Nonsuch class in 1978 marked a breakthrough in catboat design, combining, for the first time, traditional catboat aesthetics with an efficient modern fin keel and spade rudder and a decidedly untraditional freestanding wishbone rig.  The Nonsuch offers excellent windward performance, luxurious accommodations and amenities and unparalleled ease of sail handling.  Today the Nonsuch Class numbers over 1000, with an active racing and cruising association in the U.S., Canada and Europe.  The extraordinary owner loyalty, longevity and high resale value associated with the Nonsuch class is a hallmark of the wide range of sail and powerboats designed by Mark Ellis. 



The Niagara 35 and Niagara 42 sloops, also launched in the late 1970’s featured spacious and versatile cruising accommodations with traditional good looks and a modern hull form from which the current Custom 42 built by Bruckmann Custom Yachts evolved. 


















The popular Limestone was the first powerboat designed by Mark Ellis, and it too reflects a respect for traditional lines, coupled with a deep-V planing hull design and a mid-engine configuration that offers outstanding smoothness, comfort and safety in the most demanding sea conditions.  The Limestone series ranges from 17 to 26 feet and is used extensively by police, RCMP, Coast Guard and other government agencies in Canada.  As with the Nonsuch, the Limestone has generated a very loyal following.  Noted for its handsome looks, practical features and extraordinary seaworthiness, the Limestone’s name and unique cachet are well recognized among knowledgeable boaters.


Legacy 34, 40, 42 Series

The long-standing popularity of the Legacy series of Mark Ellis-designed yachts, ranging from 34 to 42 feet and built by Freedom Yachts in Rhode Island, is a testament to their traditional good looks and outstanding seakeeping abilities.  The combination of broad chine flats with deep-V entry creates an exceptionally soft and stable ride, while a choice of hardtop, express and flybridge configurations, single or twin engines and custom interiors offers the widest variety of accommodations and layouts.












Pilot 19 and 24

Proof that elegant lines are not the exclusive property of larger yachts, the Pilot 19 and 24 offer the highest quality workmanship and confident handling in the roughest of seas.  Meticulously crafted by Holby marine in Bristol Rhode Island, and utilizing the enhanced planing Ellis Power Chine® design, the Pilot 19 and 24 are grace notes in any harbour, as pleasing to look at as they are to drive.












Bluestar 29 and 36

“The perfect pocket cruiser”, the Bluestar 29.9 was hailed as a breakthrough when it was launched in 2001.  Built to exacting standards by Bruckmann Yachts in Mississauga, Ontario for Boatworks Yacht Sales in Rowayton, Connecticut, the Bluestar combines a classic deep-V hull form and respect for traditional aesthetics with luxury accommodations and features normally found only in much larger cruisers.  The new Bluestar 36.6 offers even more amenities in either twin or single engine configurations.






















Bruckmann 50 Motorsailer

The Bruckmann 50 Motorsailer is the logical evolution of the Northeast 400 Motorsailer.  The Northeast 400, conceived by James Eastland and built by Cabo Rico Yachts, was the first motorsailer offering an efficient hull shape that was as speedy to windward as when motoring under power—or both—a key factor in its success.  The expansive, wall-to-wall windowed pilothouse of the new Bruckmann 50 gives a whole new meaning to visibility.  Accommodations, crafted with exemplary attention to detail by the Bruckmann shop, include two staterooms, two heads, a den/office with fireplace and a fully-lockered pantry with washer/dryer.



The Mark Ellis Design office works closely with a number of builders and suppliers to develop tooling for new production lines as well as custom and one-of designs.  Though the firm’s view is traditional, the methodologies are not.  The efficient Ellis Power Chine® hull form, which allows for planing capabilities at substatially lower speeds than traditional deep-V’s, is but one example of performance enhancing innovations that have earned accolades from numerous staisfied owners and the yachting media alike.


Mark Ellis Design is highly skilled in all phases of CAD and the most advanced shape modeling and hydrostatic technologies, working in virtually any material, including composites, steel, aluminum and cold-molded construction.  If you have a concept in mind, or if you’d simply like to explore the possibilities, please contact us.


Legacy 34


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