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About the designer James Brett


The ocean has been a lifelong passion of mine, and ever since I was a child I have enjoyed designing, building and experimenting with all types of watercraft.


Growing up, I went on frequent extended sailing trips with my parents on their home-built yacht in New Zealand's Hauraki Gulf. This gave me the love of sailing and boating that endures to this day and inspired me to build and experiment with many radio controlled model boats during my teenage years. 


From 2005 until 2008 I gained a Bachelor of Design, majoring in Marine Transport Design from Massey University, Auckland. During this time I designed and built several experimental vessels both for personal use and for course assignments. My 5 metre proa Free Radical was my first full scale build and after around two years of testing and development it was a fast, fun and reliable boat which won races and became well known among proa enthusiasts. 

Since then I have designed and built several more successful designs including the Unicat dinghy and Eagle power trimaran.


By my mid twenties I had also taken up surfing which quickly became an obsession, and ever since I first started learning I had dreamed of building my own board. Using my boat building skills, I taught myself how to build surfboards and not long after I began getting orders from family and friends. 


Today, JB Watercraft Design has a range of stock boat designs which you can build yourself, and a range of stand up paddleboards and surfboards are also in development. I also offer a custom surfboard design and build service and can tailor a surfboard to suit you and your surfing style. 


JB Watercraft is all about enjoyment and creativity. My easy to build designs will allow your creativity to flourish during the build as well as allowing you to enjoy spending time out on the water. 

Designer James Brett surfing at Tawharanui

The 5 metre Proa Free Radical

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