Suffolk-based yacht designer and builder Spirit Yachts has announced development plans for its UK yard to better cater for the superyacht sector.

With approved plans to expand its UK boat yard, and building work due to be completed in early summer 2015, the new space will have capacity for superyachts up to 37m and will provide facilities for the future growth of the existing team.

“We are expanding to allow us to cater not only for our new builds, but also ongoing maintenance support for the existing Spirit fleet,” explains managing director, Nigel Stuart, speaking exclusively to “The expansion plans will also increase flexibility within the yard, for example, keeping certain build processes separate such as painting and construction. Our yachts are all handcrafted so the extra space will allow the team to work to increased capacity.”

Spirit Yachts' managing director Nigel Stuart

The new facilities will also accommodate the increasing enquiries that Spirit Yachts is receiving for its superyacht range. “The high level of interest we have received in recent new designs for a Spirit 110-foot, a Spirit 118-foot and a Spirit Royale 115-foot motoryacht has proved there is a strong demand for sail and power Spirit superyachts,” adds Stuart.

The Spirit Yachts yard in Ipswich, Suffolk

“In our experience, people with larger yachts (power or sail) often like to have a smaller yacht just for fun. Our 37 foot fits the sector nicely so we never know if the person visiting is going buy a small Spirit before going for something much larger.  We are also responding to demand for superyacht tenders with our stylish new 40-foot power yacht.”

Spirit 110'

The decision to expand the yard comes shortly after the opening of Spirit’s new Hong Kong office. “Hong Kong is an important part of our expansion process and is key to keeping our enquiry base as wide as possible,” says Stuart. “We feel strongly about being close to our customers and having sales offices in the right location for sales and support is vital. We would like to see the Hong Kong office adding 25 per cent to the company turnover.

Spirit 100 Gaia. Credit: Tim Wright

“Asia is a relatively new market to sailing where mass-production, fibreglass boats have been introduced and our handcrafted, modern classic Spirit yachts are a world away from these. However, Asia is a market with consumers who appreciate high quality, beautiful craftsmanship, which means our yachts are perfectly positioned to appeal to a discerning audience. We intend to work hard at increasing awareness of our portfolio and giving consumers more opportunities to learn more about Spirit.”

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