Strong rumours are circulating that McMullen & Wing has sold the partially complete 50m Big Star. Although the sale has not been officially announced, clues and rumours all suggest that work on Big Star will imminently resume, as quickly as within the next fortnight. An industry source, who wished to remain anonymous, told SuperyachtNews.com that Big Star has definitely sold and the contract signed one week ago. In a very real indication that the rumours are true, the yard has advertised for several jobs on local job-hunting websites in the past week and is promoting their job hunt on social media. SuperyachtNews.com spoke to Michael Eaglen, Commercial Manager at McMullen & Wing, who told us that he was unable to reveal whether the yacht had sold, but he confirmed that the yard was advertising with the intention of taking on a significant number of staff.


McMullen & Wing job listings onFacebook  (above) and local job website (below)


Initially in build as 50m Star Fish, the successor to 45m Big Fish, the yacht fell victim to a yard fire in August 2012 when it was 75 per cent complete. Although the yacht sustained significant interior and superstructure damage, the steel hull and engine room were largely untouched. After a detailed survey Germanischer Lloyd declared it class approved and fit for completion as a brand new yacht (for more detail see a detailed article on Big Star as a business proposition in issue 142 of The Superyacht Report).


Rendering of Big Star

With Star Fish the yard's only new build project at the time, McMullen & Wing was forced to make significant layoffs, although maintained the core skill base of its workforce by taking on a number of commercial projects, refit work and superyacht tender work. All the while, the yard undertook a dedicated marketing campaign to sell and complete the yacht, rebranded as Big Star, and it seems a new owner may now have been found. The yacht is listed for sale with Burgess, at an asking price of US$30,000,000 (€21,741,000).
 
This move to employ skilled marine staff will come as very positive news for New Zealand’s marine industry, which suffered a huge setback in January when Fitzroy Yachts announced its closure and mass redundancies. Should Big Star be back underway, she bolsters the New Zealand order book and joins Alloy Yachts’ 44m M/Y AY54, which is in build and due for delivery in 2015. Alloy Yachts is also completing work on 56.4m Dubois ketch Mondango 3.

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