The son of an accomplished yachtsman, Geoff Dickes quite literally grew up in boats. Very early on he was fascinated by what made a hull move smoothly and efficiently through the water. In an early foreshadowing of the career to come, by the age of 9 he was already carving Balsa hull models for towing behind the family boat. One of these models was a working high speed hydrofoil complete with a strut mounted, properly cambered, hand-carved lifting foil. Even as a young boy, Geoff clearly understood something about generating speed and running efficiency by enhancing lift and reducing drag!
Although the design of full size boats and yachts did not come until years later, Geoff followed in his father's wake early on. An avid yachtsman himself for over 40 years now, he has logged over 8,000 hours at the helm or in command of all make and manner of watercraft on every sort of body of water imaginable. From outboard powered tenders to large expedition motor yachts and from lakes and rivers to the open ocean, Geoff has literally been there and done that. With a penchant for wilderness style cruising, and the self-sufficiency it requires, he has by necessity mastered the operation, maintenance and repair of nearly every kind of yacht system. With few exceptions, if it's on a boat, he knows what it does, how it does it, how to operate it and how to repair it when it breaks. Geoff believes that this real world experience and the broad range of skills it has conferred is one of the most valuable assets he brings to boat and yacht design. His understanding of what works, what doesn't and why comes not only from books and mentors' opinions, but from decades of hands on experience out on the water.
Geoff acquired the technical skills for the professional practice of boat and yacht design the old fashioned way: he earned them as an apprentice. From 1989 to 1992, he was a draftsman/designer at Ernest M. Brierley & Associates at the Wayfarer Marine yard in Camden, Maine. Prior to opening their design office, Brierley and his chief designer, James T. Dill, had been Headmaster and Director of Studies, respectively, for the Yacht Design Institute, which was later absorbed by the more widely known Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology. When the Brierley office opened, the adjoining space was already occupied by the famed C.W.
"Chuck" Paine Yacht Design. Chuck's right hand man was J.B. Hargrave alumnus and disciple Mark Fitzgerald. The two offices formed Brierley-Paine Associates to collaborate on larger projects and it was in this abundantly rich intellectual environment that Geoff's formal training was acquired.
In 1992, family circumstances took Geoff from Camden to Edgartown, Massachusetts and it was there that he first hung out his own shingle. Since then, more than 170 boats and yachts have been built to Geoff's designs. Today his practice is located alongside the Intra Coastal Waterway in North Central Florida.
Geoff maintains memberships in the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) as well as the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC).