Chesapeake marine architecture firm has new owner

Gibbs & Cox acquired Donald L. Blount and Associates, a Chesapeake, Va.-based firm.
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Gibbs & Cox acquired Donald L. Blount and Associates, a Chesapeake, Va.-based firm known for naval architecture and marine engineering services for recreational, commercial and government clients worldwide.

Gibbs & Cox, based in Arlington, Va., has designed and engineered nearly 7,000 vessels, and it supports military and commercial clients in the United States. It also has offices in New Orleans; Newport News, Va.; New York City; Philadelphia; and Washington, D.C.

"With this key strategic acquisition, Gibbs & Cox continues our strategy aligned to provide high-performance marine craft solutions to our military and paramilitary clients, as well as continued expansion of our commercial market areas in engineering, design and construction management of vessels, including megayachts, commercial craft and production boats,” Gibbs & Cox chief executive and president Rick Biben said in a statement.

Biben emphasized Gibbs & Cox's focus on expansion and innovation.

"We will continue to identify and pursue other candidate companies to further expand our vision," he said. "Our agreement with DLBA further solidifies Gibbs & Cox's industry leadership role in the design and development of some of the most prestigious and capable maritime craft afloat today.”

"DLBA's new association with Gibbs & Cox will significantly enhance DLBA's depth and breadth in providing timely and quality high-performance marine solutions to our worldwide market, while continuing to foster and maintain our important and close relationships with our clients," DLBA president Don Blount said.

"This new relationship with Gibbs & Cox will provide our clients with the assurance of new technology application and expert staff reach-back from one of the largest, premier naval architecture and marine engineering firms in the world,” Blount said. “We are proud of the many accomplishments of DLBA over the last 27 years and look forward to being an integral part of Gibbs & Cox.”

Founded in 1988, DLBA is a naval architecture and marine engineering firm specializing in the technical development of high-performance marine craft consulting services related to the design, evaluation, testing and construction management of motoryachts, custom sportfishing boats, production boats, and commercial, military and paramilitary vessels.

Last year, CEO Bill Blount discussed the firm with sister publication Soundings.

“In the support role of production builders, there [were] over 20 builders on display at [the February Miami boat shows] that we support behind the scenes. Examples are Tiara Yachts, Marquis Yachts and Cruisers Yachts,” Bill Blount told Soundings. “We work in conjunction with them. The Hatteras 63GT is an example. The Regal 52 and the Jupiter product line are also examples. When you get to the big sportfish builders, we design for Jim Smith Boats in Florida, Bayliss Boatworks in North Carolina and Weaver Boatworks in Maryland.”

“There are probably 50 models from 25 feet to 150 feet that we have had some involvement with,” he said. “We have a lot of non-disclosure agreements and support a lot of companies behind the scenes. We provide technical guidance in hull-form development, performance, propulsion, structural design and styling.”

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