Welcome to McBride Design

McBride Design is a small company in which each boat is designed precisely for it's purpose. We are sailors and sea-lovers, and at times have made our living on working boats - so we are intensely practical in our designs. This is a company about boats that work.

We design a variety of boats to match the customer's needs, and a high proportion of our work is commercial boat design. In the design of working boats, both looks and function are critical. Most working boats are used on a daily basis, whether for fishing, aquaculture (eg mussel harvesting), passenger transport, cargo, or as rescue boats.

We carefully consider the fuel efficiency and speed conundrum, alternative power systems, water and waste management on board, and crew comfort. In every case, it comes back to detail, designing a vessel which is fit for it's purpose. A custom-fit.


McBride Design is located in the Port of Nelson, near both the Nelson marina with it's broad range of pleasure craft, and the fishing port with it's busy wharves servicing deep sea, inshore and sheltered water fisheries. From the office we can smell the sea, see and hear the cranes working on the Port, and see across to the Shipyard.

Over the years, McBride Design have worked on a range of different craft, from big motor launches to runabouts, fishing or rescue boats right through to yachts designed for fast and fun sailing. Although there are huge differences in style, they all embody our philosophy of strength, safety and performance. We expect every one of our designs to perform up with the best vessels of their type.

"Seaworthiness is a tricky thing to describe, involving a vessel's stability, motion, willingness to go in the required direction and it's ability to survive conditions more extreme than those usually anticipated. There are few absolutes that will define seaworthiness - apart from the obvious like correct trim and sufficient freeboard - but some vessels just have the 'feel' that inspires confidence in their owners".