AN INTERNATIONALLY renowned boat designer says he has achieved the “pinnacle” of his career at the age of 86.

John Moxham, from Southampton, has designed high speed craft for the Special Boat Service and created the fastest RNLI lifeboat on the Thames.

But he has been credited with designing hulls that “fundamentally redefine the way they interact with the water” for the team behind a new range of powerboats, the Ultimate Boat Company.

The company’s high speed craft range from transatlantic racing yachts to workboats and sailboats.

Jeroen Wats, of the Ultimate Boat Company, said: “John’s hulls are designed to give compression or hydraulic lift – the first time anyone had come up with the idea. What John has done is to reimagine hull technology and hydrodynamic performance using principles that were first conceived during the development of the XB-70 Valkyrie supersonic bomber.

“This enables the boats to go faster, corner incredibly, and provide greater secure handling, stability and comfort.”

Plans unveiled to make Southampton Boat Show bigger

Mr Moxham has used new materials in his hulls, moving away from fibreglass to an innovative natural material, with the intention that the boats should last a lifetime. The company says this sustainable composite, called DANU, has already drawn global interest from other industries, including wind turbine manufacturers and Formula 1 racing, as well as marine.

Mr Moxham’s passion for designing boats started at the age of 13 on Southampton Common’s boating lake, but his early career was as an aircraft technical illustrator and designer.

He worked with Southampton’s Folland Aircraft, later Hawker-Siddley, and WEW Petter, famous for his designs of the Lightning and Gnat aircraft, before being posted to Boscombe Down during National Service to work on the design and development of fast jets.

He returned to his first love after the war, working in the marine industry as a technical illustrator then as a designer. He was asked by Ferry Marine to design a new superstructure and a new type of hull.

He was also at the forefront of using fibreglass for boats, designing the first mass-produced outboard-powered cabin cruiser, the Microplus.

He has designed boats for Avon, Ribeye and Scorpion as well as the Millennium of London boat in 2000, when he was presented to Her Majesty the Queen. He said his latest venture with The Ultimate Boat Company is, he says, “the pinnacle of my career”.