Founder Profiles

Learning from experience is integral to our evolution as a design firm.

John Reichel

Founder & Vice President

A native of Oyster Bay, N.Y., John has been designing performance sailing yachts for nearly 30 years. A graduate of the University of Michigan’s acclaimed Naval Architecture program, John apprenticed with Doug Peterson in the early 1980s during that firm’s domination of the IOR racing scene. Since then, John has been refining what his partner Jim Pugh describes as “an uncanny ability to quickly grasp where art and science meet in the field of yacht design.

He gets to the technological ‘sweet spot’ quickly, coming up with elegant solutions to problems that others would never recognize.” John’s success with diverse designs such as the America’s Cup, offshore and inshore racing, and one-designs is a testament to his enormous talent.

Jim Pugh

Founder & President

A native of Liverpool, England, Jim is the driving force behind the design concepts cultivated by Reichel/Pugh. He works intimately with John Reichel and clients to evaluate their options and achieve their vision. With more than three decades’ experience of inshore and offshore competition, he stays ahead of trends in Grand Prix yachting. His insights have resulted in the emergence of new paradigms in yachting. Of his design philosophy, Jim says, “One of the important features which distinguish us from other design firms is our ability to think outside the box because we collaborate so readily with outside experts. We’re in a great position to utilize the tremendous enthusiasm and knowledge of our own team, plus each is an expert in his field.”