Following the launch of 44.1m motoryacht Hey Jude at the end of last year, Auckland-based shipyard Alloy Yachts is yet to sign another contract and, as a result, has been forced to make compulsory redundancies, with only a core team of 20 staff remaining.

Alloy’s situation is reflective of the challenges being faced by New Zealand's yacht building industry following a period of strong currency, which has made the option of a Kiwi yard for offshore clients less attractive due to pricing.

During a visit to New Zealand last week, was shown around the shipyard by business development manager Chris Brown. The yard is currently empty, with minimal staff left to keep operations going, but Brown reassures that the yard will continue to operate for the foreseeable future.

The launch of AY54, Hey Jude

“We have had to let staff go due to the lack of new contracts,” he explains. “But the company is in a very good financial position; all the facilities and infrastructure is freehold and we currently have warrantees to fulfil, requests for refits, and are working closely with more than one potential customer for new builds.

“We are taking this period of downtime to organise ourselves and make sure that everything is as efficient as possible so that when a new order comes in we can hit the ground running.”

Following redundancies at the end of last year, a core team of 20 staff remains at the yard

Brown adds that they currently have 115 employees on their database that have expressed the wish to be kept abreast of any changes and any work that might open up. “So we are very confident that if we get a new contract we will have the right staff in no time,” he says.

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