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Yacht designer Claudette Bonville dies

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Award-winning yacht designer Claudette K. Bonville, of Fort Lauderdale-based Claudette Bonville Associates (CBA), died July 16 after an eight-year battle with breast cancer, according to a company announcement. She was 66.

Ms. Bonville graduated with a degree in Interior Architecture from Kansas State University and spent several years working as a flight attendant before establishing her own design firm. Her early projects included hotels, resorts and cruise ships. 

Claudette Bonville

Her first superyacht design project was the 121-foot sportfish yacht Lady Anna, built in 1991, and the yacht projects that followed over the past 30 years comprised some notable new builds and refits, including the 180-foot Newcastle Sovereign, formerly Harbour Island; the 167-foot Feadship Amanti, formerly Dream; the 164-foot Westport Trending, formerly Vango; the 164-foot Delta Victoria del Mar, formerly Happy Days; the 142-foot Royal Denship BACA, formerly Triple 8; the 124-foot Delta Nita K; and the 170-foot Amels Nita K II, formerly Marjorie Morningstar.

Ms. Bonville’s most recent work included the refit of the 182-foot Feadship Cynthia, formerly Twizzle, which won the 2019 International Yacht & Aviation Award for Best Deck Design. 

CBA’s design team included Cindy Gunther, who joined the firm in 2002, and Ms. Bonville’s daughter, Lauren, who joined the company in 2009 while receiving a degree in interior design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. In June, the team completed work on the refit of the 180-foot Trinity charter yacht Unbridled, as well as the 122-foot Delta charter yacht Wonderland, formerly Time For Us. Lauren Bonville and Gunther have now partnered to launch Bonville Associates to complete work on current CBA projects. They intend to offer yacht interior design, residential design, and space-planning services with the same level of customer service that defined CBA, according to the company statement.

Ms. Bonville, who was known for her laughter and vivacious personality, was dedicated in serving her local community, receiving multiple Boys & Girls Clubs 100 Outstanding Woman of Broward County honors for her work with the organization. In March, she was recognized by the South Florida Business Journal as a 2019 Influential Business Women honoree. She is survived by her husband of 39 years, Michael; son Chase; daughters Lauren and Bridget; and three grandchildren. 

Ms. Bonville’s life was memorialized in a private family ceremony. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County in her name. A celebration of Ms. Bonville’s life and work is being planned for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

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    3 thoughts on “Yacht designer Claudette Bonville dies

    1. Fran Davis

      I just came to learn this sad news this evening. I am so saddened by it. I had recently done a commisioned painting for her firm in December 2018. I always enjoyed working with her and looked forward to our meetings. So very sorry to learn of this news. Deepest condolences to the Bonneville family.

    2. Paul Turowski

      Just noticed the passing of Claudette Bonville this past July.
      I usually make the Fort Lauderdale show or the Palm Beach show but was this very same past July rediagnosed with my Cholangiocarcinoma cancer return after a 6 yr battle
      Quite understandably those of us with such cancers try our very best each and everyday to never give up or in to it but sometimes it can just overwhelm.
      I remain committed to Mrs. Bonville’s ideology in design and hope soon to put my own cancer behind me and take advantage of her refounded company under the Bonville Associates brand name.
      All my best to her family and friends,
      Paul Turowski

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