Boating Business | Significant moment for Spirit Yachts

Spirit Yachts has completed the most significant hull rollover in its history.

The 34m sailing yacht, Spirit 111’ is thought to be the largest single-masted wooden yacht to be built since Shamrock V in the 1930s

Prior to the rollover, the Spirit 111’ – that has a beam of 6.4m – was removed from its ‘strongback’ and moved outside before been lifted into the air using multiple cranes to rotate the hull in preparation for its next stage, the internal fit out.

“As we head into our landmark 25th year in business, the rollover of our largest yacht to date was a moment in history for Spirit Yachts and a spectacular sight at our yard,” said Spirit CEO and head designer Sean McMillan.

“Our world-class team of boatbuilders has been meticulously bringing to life the beauty and style of the 111’s classic lines. Now with the hull settled the right way, work will begin crafting the complex interior.”


The new superyacht is set to be as eco-friendly as possible to enable the owner to spend sustainable periods of time onboard using minimal fuel.

Features include an electric drive system, supported by four lithium battery banks, which will power the yacht for modest distances or when manoeuvring.

Under sail, the system will automatically regenerate the batteries. For longer distance propulsion, the owner has the option of two back-up generators.

Work on the yacht is due to be completed in 2019.

via Boating Business | Significant moment for Spirit Yachts.

Boating Business | Seldén carbon mast for Maiden

Seldén Masts Ltd will supply a carbon mast and boom for Tracy Edwards’ round-the-world 58ft race yacht ‘Maiden’.

The carbon rig will have a custom laminate with very specific properties to facilitate stiffness and strength specifications and is being built as part of a rigging package project-managed by Hampshire-based Marine Results.

“Maiden’s original spar was a bespoke aluminium spar, the likes of which are not made any more as technology has moved on,” said Seldén Mast Ltd managing director Steve Norbury. “To achieve this level of individual design we use modern composite processes to make a carbon mast.”

Retaining look

Technical director Andy McCormack added: The original spar was heavily tapered, and the new rig is required to have the same look.

“The only way that this can be accomplished is to manufacture in carbon with our computer numerically controlled filament winding machine and then paint in a custom silver finish to give it the same appearance the original”

The original aesthetic is also required to be maintained on the boom. The original boom was constructed from sheet aluminium – a technique which isn’t used in modern boom construction – and consequently the boom will also be made from carbon.

Seldén will produce a tailor-made Y-Boom with a tapered outboard end. The Y-Boom is also designed to make handling of the mainsail easier for the crew.

The carbon rig will be completed by May as part of Maiden’s refit in preparation for its three-year ‘Maiden Factor’ global voyage to promote and fundraise for girls’ education.

via Boating Business | Seldén carbon mast for Maiden.

Boating Business | Administrators appointed to Oyster’s main trading company

KPMG has been appointed administrator to Oyster Marine Ltd – in addition to the company’s role as administrator to Oyster Marine Holdings.

Oyster Marine is the primary trading company of the group and operates out of two sites – at Southampton and Wroxham.

Interested parties are being invited to come forward – the administrators are calling for initial offers by March 2.

“There is a lot of interest in the market and we would encourage any more interested parties to make contact as soon as possible,” said joint administrator Neil Gostelow. “We are working with a large number of parties to progress their offers.”


The administrators are marketing several Oyster Marine assets including the brand name and trademark, technical designs and drawings and associated IT hardware, build manuals, hull and other production mouldings, shares in subsidiary companies and the plant and machinery.

Prior to the appointment, 117 employees were employed at the Saxon Wharf, Southampton site, led by Wayne Huntley.

Manufacture of vessels over 75ft was undertaken on site, which contains six construction bays. The design team was also based on the site.

The Wroxham site contains ten bays and was used primarily for the manufactures vessels under 75ft with 145 employed workers.

Interested parties should contact: Andrew Stone at [email protected] or Will Lewis at [email protected]

Oyster Leasing, Southampton Yacht Services and Oyster Yachts remain dormant companies. Oyster Palma, Oyster Marine Events and Oyster Brokerage remain trading.

via Boating Business | Administrators appointed to Oyster’s main trading company.

Boating Business | Discovery Group considers an offer for Oyster

As Discovery Yachts exceeds its crowd funding expectations, the company has confirmed it is considering an offer to buy Oyster.

The Discovery Group closed its crowd funding early in February having raised £2.2m – the initial target was between £750,000 and £1.5m – from around 500 investors.

“We were overfunded dramatically,” said Discovery Group CEO Sean Langdon. “It’s great for us as we now have about 500 new investors in the company who are all brand ambassadors.”


He added: “We mailed out the offer to our existing customer database and were in danger of never going live to the general public as we had so much support.

“We had to go live a week early and shut it down quickly.”

The money raised from the crowd funding will be used to develop a new 60ft catamaran for the Bluewater range and for the company’s flagship superyacht, the Britannia 74.

This will be a 74ft traditional style sloop that will be marketed for both private and syndicate ownership.


The Bluewater 60, like the Bluewater 50, has been designed by Bill Dixon.

Additional funds raised from the crowd funding will be used to make sure the company is resilient and any interest in Oyster will not affect existing plans, confirmed Mr Langdon.

“We’re looking at three sites to expand and relocate to in the next three to five years.

“We would be crazy not to look at the purchasing of Oyster and are investigating every avenue that comes with it,” he said. “We’re looking at it separately to our existing plans.”

He added: “We have successfully turned around two businesses in less than a year and we are ready for another. We have a robust financial position and are actively looking for opportunities to grow the group of companies in our portfolio.”

Back on schedule

With nine boats currently in build and an order book of 15 yachts, the company has already taken on 25 workers who were laid off by Oyster with plans to take on the same number again by the end of March in order to bring the boatbuilding back on schedule.

“We’ve benefitted by being able to take on a lot of skills however there is only one pool of skilled workforce which is inherently a problem. You don’t usually see the industry turning a corner all at the same time.”

Mr Langdon added: “In April 2017 when we first launched the Discovery Group, I stood in front of 35 skilled craftsmen. In January 2018, we had 111 and are planning to have 150 by Easter and 200 by September.

“Due to our current orderbook, we will be expanding our production facilities to accommodate the build of the Bluewater 50 and 60 catamarans that have been ordered.

“Everything is going in the right direction; it’s the right product at the right time.”

Join forces

In addition, the company is keen to discuss joining forces with other smaller companies who may wish to combine buying power and marketing.

“If you’re not the enemy you should be our friend,” said Mr Langdon. “We’re very keen to work with anybody who wants to work with us. The marine industry is very small and it’s only going to work if everyone works together.”

* Boating Business understands that Sunseeker International is also keen to buy Oyster Yachts’ facilities and take on the staff but an offer has been refused by KPMG. At the time of writing no-one from Sunseeker was available to comment.

via Boating Business | Discovery Group considers an offer for Oyster.

Boating Business | Formula One-modelled Mercedes-AMG vessel

A 140mph vessel designed with Formula One (F1) technology has been built by Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing.

Inspired by the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE supersports car, the 51.5ft long Cigarette Racing 515 Project ONE is powered by a pair of Mercury Racing 1,350/1,550 QC4v (Quad Cam 4 Valve) engines and M8 stern drives, delivering up to 3,100 hp to enable it to reach a top speed of 140mph. The dual calibration engines allow the operator to switch engine power levels through an electronic key fob.

Tobias Moers, chairman of the board of management of Mercedes AMG GmbH, said: “By directly translating Formula 1 technology from the track to the street, the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE is our most ambitious and awe- inspiring vehicle yet. It is incredible to see our vision reimagined for the water in such an impressive and highly compelling form.”


A staggered engine configuration lowers the centre of gravity by allowing the motors to be placed closer to one another, deeper in the vee of the boat, to improve dynamics and stability.

Cigarette Racing 515 Project ONE features a carbon fibre deck, which reduces its weight and lowers its central mass. Carbon fibre is also used for the inner structural laminate of the hull, forward bulkheads, cabin liner, engine hatch, consoles and storage hatches.

Kevlar has been used for tabbing bulkheads and around the edges of framing for its extreme toughness properties.

Cigarette Racing 515 Project ONE is the ninth special edition boat created from Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing’s 11-year partnership.

via Boating Business | Formula One-modelled Mercedes-AMG vessel.

Boating Business | Contest 85CS nears completion

The 26m flagship ‘Contest 85CS’ is being prepared for its 2018 launch as builders Contest Yachts fit it out.Engineering and systems installation are progressing well in the fitting out hall, in line with joinery both on and off the yacht, as base furnishing structure and modules move through the cabinet making department.Parkstone Bay Yachts, the sole UK agents for Dutch Contest Yachts, said: “It is an exciting time seeing this first of the line taking shape. She’s going to be seriously good fun to sail and also to live on board in such extreme comfort.”Vacuum infusionContest Yachts uses vacuum infusion moulding techniques to build robust but considerably lightweight structures for fast and easy handling. Contest 85CS also includes new approaches to short-handed sail management, such as code sails flying from the carbon Hall rig.Contest 85CS is a collaboration between Contest Yachts, German naval architects judel / Vrolijk & Co and Dutch interior designers Wetzels Brown Partners.The hull and deck has a vacuum-infused composite with a Conyplex vacuum infusion system and laminate consisting of quadraxial and biaxial E-glass for inner and outer skins, while the hull is additionally infused with vinylester resin.It has a hand laid teak deck and teak detailing around the cockpit, plus a fibre-orientated rudder laminate, vacuum-infused composite with the Conyplex vacuum infusion system.Other features include a Reckmann hydraulic furling system and fully battened, slab reefing by North Sails for the mainsail.

via Boating Business | Contest 85CS nears completion.

Boating Business | Administrators appointed for Oyster Marine Holdings

Administrators have been appointed for Oyster Marine Holdings Ltd, the holding company for the Oyster Yacht group of luxury boat builders.

The company is headquartered in Southampton and also trades from Wherstead in Suffolk and has two employees.

It owns the intellectual property to all the technical drawings and moulds used in the production of yachts in the Oyster range.

Administrators KPMG Restructuring has confirmed no other companies within the group form part of this administration.

“Late last week, the company directors confirmed that they had been unable to secure the financial support they needed to continue to trade the business,” said Neil Gostelow, partner at KPMG and joint administrator with KPMG’s Mark Orton. “Our immediate priority will be to seek a buyer for the business and its assets and would encourage any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible.”

Considering options

KPMG has confirmed Oyster Yachts, the company’s main trading business, is currently considering its options having failed to secure financial support.

A statement from David Tydeman, Oyster CEO, confirmed the company did not have the finances to continue.

“It is with sincere regret that we advise that the company has been unable to secure financial support to enable it to continue at this time and it is looking at all opportunities available,” he said. “Further information will be issued as soon as we can.”

The Oyster group comprises Oyster Marine Ltd, Oyster Brokerage Ltd and Southampton Yacht Services Ltd.

The group has bases in Ipswich, Wroxam in Norfolk, Mallorca and Rhode Island and employs around 400 staff across all its sites.

In January Oyster reported 2017 was a record year for the boatbuilder and it had a forward order book of more than £80m.

Interested parties can contact William Lewis in the administration team on 07771 555540 or [email protected]

via Boating Business | Administrators appointed for Oyster Marine Holdings.

Boating Business | 100 years of Ian Proctor at RYA Dinghy show

100 years of accomplishments by designer, sailor and writer Ian Proctor will be celebrated at the RYA Dinghy Show 2018.

Visitors to the show will be able to see some of his earliest designs including the Gull, Minisail, Osprey and Wayfarer in an exclusive exhibition.

“Ian Proctor was responsible for designing so many of the dinghies that we still sail, cruise and race today,” commented RYA show and promotions manager Celia Edgington. “We are delighted to not only showcase some of his best loved innovations but to share the insightful stories surrounding the history of his life.”


Born in 1918, Mr Proctor began his boating career as managing director of Gosport Yacht Co. in 1947, before transitioning to co-editor of Yachtsman Magazine in 1948.

He first began to design dinghies in 1950 and notable vessels have included the World Sailing Class Topper, an 11ft long sailing dinghy, of which over 46,000 models have been sold.

First designed in 1977, the polypropylene-constructed vessel was made to be light and durable and is believed to be the first sailing dinghy to be produced from injection moulded plastic.

Also notable is the wooden or fibreglass-hulled 15ft long Wayfarer dinghy. It was created for stability and the first of many variations was launched in 1957.

Interested in metal mast design, Mr Proctor set up Ian Proctor Metal Masts, which used tapered aluminium alloy masts that could be produced with a bend in them to complement the shape of new sails with curved edges.

Adding to his writing career, from 1950 to 1964, he was the Daily Telegraph’s yachting correspondent.

Mr Proctor passed away in 1992.

via Boating Business | 100 years of Ian Proctor at RYA Dinghy show.

Boating Business | Oyster Yachts goes into liquidation

British luxury yacht builder, Oyster Yachts is believed to have gone into liquidation, just three weeks after announcing a record breaking 2017 and an order book of 33 yachts worth in excess of £80m.

It is understood all staff at Oyster’s Southampton and Wroxham yards have been laid off.

The company launched its latest model, the Oyster 745 at boot Düsseldorf last month, the largest sailing yacht at the show.

The company also announced the sale of its 23rd Oyster 625 at the show.

Earlier in January, new deck tooling was taking shape that could be used on either the new Oyster 895 or Oyster 835 – both models were announced in September 2017.

And the company also announced plans for a major project to build several 118ft superyachts.


The company was founded by Richard Matthews and sold in 2008 for around £70m. The acquisition included the Oyster Group companies Oyster Marine Ltd, Oyster Brokerage Ltd and Southampton Yacht Services Ltd.

Oyster Marine was sold to HTP Investments BV in 2012 that is now rumoured to have withdrawn financial support for the company.

In September 2016, Oyster received guarantees under the UK Export Finance Bond Support Scheme after receiving a number of contracts to build yachts for buyers in Switzerland, Germany and Belgium.

At the time Simon Haynes, group finance director, Oyster Yachts, said: “Without UKEF’s support, we would have had to look at less favourable financing options in order to deliver these contracts.

“Working with UKEF meant that we were able to access the finance we needed to sell to Europe and beyond and drive core revenue growth.”

Structural problems

Yachting forums are discussing the fact that the boatbuilder may have lost money in dealing with structural problems identified following the sinking of the Oyster yacht Polina Star III, which lost her keel off the coast of Spain in 2015.

An inspection of the yacht after it had been recovered highlighted a possible weakness in the process used to build the inner structure of the vessel.

It is not known how much the incident cost the boatbuilder.

Family focused

The Oyster World Rally has helped the company establish itself further with plans for a third world rally to take place 2021-23 recently announced and the company reported that its family-focused yachts were proving especially popular attracting new European and international buyers.

The company employs around 160 staff at its Southampton boatyard and a similar number at its Wroxham yard. Last October Oyster held a recruitment day at its Wroxham yard and this week was still advertising job vacancies on its website.

*A recent Crowdfunding launch by Discovery Yachts Group has been overfunded. Discovery currently has nine yachts in build and has grown its order book by more than 300% this financial year to more than £11m.

via Boating Business | Oyster Yachts goes into liquidation.

French yard launches luxury cruiser | Yachting News Update | The Business of Boat Ownership and Marina Berths

French yard launches luxury cruiser


This French yard, part of the Beneteau group, has a long-standing reputation for producing well thought out large yachts at prices that make other boat builders shudder.

The latest model, the CNB 66 is a 66-footer designed by Phillipe Briand to be the largest sailing yacht that can be handled by a family crew, without professional crew. A hydraulic roller-furling boom, developed in an exclusive partnership with Hall Spars, helps to make sail handling easy, without having to resort to a performance sapping in-mast furling mainsail. Code Zero reaching sails and asymmetric spinnakers can be set from the carbon bowsprit to enhance speed under sail in light airs.

The hull shape offers an impressive amount of below-decks volume which interior designers Jean-Marc Piaton and Rafaël Bonet have used to great effect. The full width (5.5m) saloon is flooded with light and has a modular three-metre long settee that can be adapted in different ways around the table, This, in turn, can be configured in a number of different ways, for use as a coffee table, or for a varied number of diners.

The queen size bed in the forward master cabin is offset to one side, so the bed cannot be seen when the door is open. There are two further en suite double cabins plus, a twin with bunk beds. The standard layout includes an impressively large and well-appointed galley aft of the saloon on the port side of the boat.

The deck layout follows the now standard formula of a guest cockpit forward and crew / helm area aft. The latter has more space than many, which will make working the boat easier, while the forward area has a clear walk through to the main companionway, even with the table in use. Right forward is a large sail locker, while the transom houses a large tender garage with space for a 3.2m RIB.

The first CNB 66 to leave the factory will be revealed to the public at the Dusseldorf boat show in January 2018. It fits into the company’s production models between the Bordeaux 60 and the CNB 76 and CNB 94. Seven owners from Europe, Australia and Mexico have already placed orders based only on seeing the plans.

Length overall 20.61m

Beam 5.51m

Draught 2.95m

Upwind sail area 215sq m.

Water capacity 1,000 litres

Fuel capacity 1,300 litres

Air draught 28.76m



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via French yard launches luxury cruiser | Yachting News Update | The Business of Boat Ownership and Marina Berths.