Gino Morrelli, Designer / Partner
Gino started out working on race cars and boats in his family's Southern California back yard as a teenager. He built his first boat with his dad and brother, a 33-foot Crowther trimaran in high school. Soon after he started his first company, Climax Catamarans, designing and building 18-square meter cats. He has been entrenched in onshore and offshore race-boat construction efforts since the early 80's, designing and managing the construction of a French 60' ocean racing catamaran, multiple Formula 40's, the 1988 Stars & Stripes America's Cup catamaran, Bol D'or racers, Little America's Cup C-Class cats and many racing beach catamarans. Gino raced extensively on Stars and Stripes '88 with Dennis Connor and Steve Fossett's Morrelli & Melvin designed 125ft cat PlayStation, setting Atlantic W-E, 24 hour, Round Britain/Ireland records, and many more.
Pete Melvin, Designer / Engineer / Partner
Pete Melvin has been creating innovative vehicles since his youth. Not discouraged when the boat he built as a 6-year old did not float, he rebounded and built a fast motorized skateboard by the time he was 10. Pete and his father designed and built several Optimist dinghies and then formed a company to build them. They used Nomex honeycomb and carbon fiber long before these materials gained acceptance in the marine industry. Pete has always designed, built, rigged, and prepared his own race boats, creating many innovations along the way and gaining valuable hands-on experience. He recently designed and built an innovative electric motorcycle that goes 50 miles on a single charge at up to 60 mph. His motorcycle is a test bed for lithium battery and electric propulsion systems that are increasingly finding their way onto M&M's commercial, military, and pleasure boat designs.
Erik Berzins | Yacht Designer
Canadian import Erik Berzins has been living, sailing and designing sailboats in California since 2005. After completing a degree in Naval Architecture and Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, Erik knew a lot about tug boats and cruise ships, but was much more interested in pursuing his passion for sailing. Erik teamed up with local Long Beach yacht designer, Alan Andrews to design and race performance monohulls. Jumping on opportunities to race to Hawaii, Tahiti and Cabo, Erik is now a go-to bowman in the California sailing scene.
Trip Ivey | Designer
This Virginian spent many formative summers upon the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries developing a deep passion for yachting. Having moved to Southern California with his wife after an expansive undergraduate study, he is happy to be living the “Golden” lifestyle amidst the Sierras and the Pacific.
Mark Peters | Naval Architect
Mark was born in New Jersey, but grew up hanging around the boats/docks in Kinsale, Ireland. After high school he attend a 2 year apprenticeship in traditional boat building in Rockland, Maine. This lead to job building the Schooner Virginia in Norfollk, Virginia. From there he ventured south taking a job in the Caribbean building and refurbishing yacht interiors. During his time in Caribbean he picked up a love of racing, which later turned into a job as a delivery boat skipper/race crew for a number of Caribbean racing teams. After 2 years of racing, Mark returned to university to complete a degree in Naval Architecture from the Marine Institute of Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Upon completion, he returned to boat building to help build Puma’s “Mar Mostro” at NEB for the Volvo Ocean Race. After the launch, he moved to Seattle and took a job as a Naval Architect designing carbon fiber patrol boats. When the opening arose to join the MM team, Mark jumped at the opportunity.
Ferdinand van West | Naval Architect
As yacht designer and top multihull sailor, Morrelli & Melvin feels like home for the Dutchman Ferdinand. In 2012 he completed his Master of Science in Maritime Engineering, Yacht and small craft at the University of Southampton. Now he is combining his professional and sportive passions in life. Before Ferdinand got to California he worked for long-time MM client Nacra where he was working on the development of Nacra’s latest designs, namely the Olympic Nacra 17 and the Full foiling Nacra F20c FCS, where he also broaden his boat-building skills by building several prototypes.
Ferdinand is also active as a professional sailor, having sailed multiple disciplines from dinghies, 29er and the Olympic 49er, to catamarans, F18 and extreme 40 to the big boats on offshore's and the Super Maxis, winning various National and World Championship events in all of these classes.
Andrew Bloxom | Design Engineer
Andrew was born in Fairfax, VA, and then moved around the East Coast for his father's Navy assignments before returning to Fairfax permanently. His mother's family builds ships for the Navy in Pascagoula, MS. Early on he learned the joys of being on the water through living in Newport, RI, Mayport, FL, and trips to his grandparent's homes on the Rappahannock River and the Gulf Coast. Having only sailed three times before college, he was not discouraged by his late start and set out to learn sailing through the Sailing Club at Virginia Tech. Deep in the heart of Southwest Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains, he found an escape from his studies in the New River and Claytor Lake. Not long after, his family was sailing regularly on the Chesapeake Bay in their Sabre 34, and later a Catalina 387.