Fitzroy Yachts has released a press statement stating that they will shortly be taking the difficult step of substantially reducing their workforce upon the imminent completion of their only new build project, 37.5m S/Y FY17.

The New Zealand-based yard, which employs 120 people, has been building yachts since 1997 and with several award-winning yachts on the water has forged a name for itself as one of the world's leading sailing yacht builders. Recent launches include 50m Ohana, 50m Zefira and and 47m Salperton IV and work is currently underway on 37.5m FY17 which is due to launch this month and deliver in March. With no further orders signed, the yard has been forced to consolidate their operations with the majority of staff losing their jobs.
This news signifies a huge loss to the superyacht industry; it is all the demonstration that is needed to show that superyacht orders represent significant employment, and that in signing orders owners inject huge levels of investment into local economies.

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Full Statement from Fitzroy Yachts


"Fitzroy Yachts has a long history as one of the world’s leading sailing yacht builders, and has been the recipient of several significant awards. The yard is extremely proud of our fleet of superyachts, and above all of the talented staff who bring these beautiful projects to reality.

Like a large number of our fellow yacht builders, we have felt the effects of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and its impact on the new build order book. Following the imminent completion of our current build, the 37.5m Dubois performance sloop FY17, a substantial reduction of employees, albeit extremely regrettable, will not be avoidable.

The management is currently negotiating with the owner of FY17 a goodwill contribution to support the employees in the form of an incentive linked to a successful and timely completion of his yacht.

Completing the build of FY17 to Fitzroy's high standards is our priority, as is working with other local employers to try and find jobs for as many of the staff as we can. We are optimistic that with the labour market in New Plymouth, and the strong sense of community within the New Plymouth business community, that many of our staff will be able to gain new employment. As their work attests, they are all highly skilled employees."

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Fitzroy Yachts' yard

Whilst this move is not a formal closure of the yard, it symbolises the winding down of the bulk of operations. Speaking to SuperyachtNews.com Rodney Martin, Managing Director, told us that the yard is not ruling out the possibility of maintaining a reduced design and technology team in future, but right now the top priority is finishing FY17 and helping yard staff secure new jobs. Plans for the future, which would see the yard operate in a very different format to now, will come after that. 

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