Sunseeker to build in aluminium and steel at Pendennis
SuperyachtNews spoke exclusively with Andrea Frabetti, CEO of Sunseeker, during MYS 2019 about the broadening of the British builder's core range…
At Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) 2019, Sunseeker announced the launch of the Sunseeker Superyacht Division, which will see the British superyacht building stalwart venturing into building metal vessels at the Pendennis facility in Falmouth, as well as the 161 Yacht flagship product at Icon Yachts in The Netherlands. SuperyachtNews spoke exclusively with Andrea Frabetti, CEO of Sunseeker, at MYS about the new superyacht division and the developments that we can expect to see.
“Despite the fact that rumours have suggested that we are exiting the superyacht market, we are, in fact, doing the exact opposite,” began Frabetti. “We have decided to increment our share of the market by expanding our superyacht range. We will continue to construct the 116 Yacht at our facilities in Poole. The 131 and 133 projects will be constructed at our Osprey Quay facility and then completed at Pendennis. However, aluminium and steel superyachts from 36-49m will be designed by Sunseeker and built at Pendennis. As well as the 161 flag ship vessels being built at Icon Yachts.”
Sunseeker’s decision to build in metal is born out of a desire to provide their current clients with greater flexibility in terms of the product range, as well as making the Sunseeker brand more appealing to the many superyacht owners, and potential owners, that wish to build in metal.
“Clients are now demanding greater flexibility..."
“Clients are now demanding greater flexibility when it comes to the design of their superyachts, even where production and semi-custom models are concerned,” continues Frabetti. “A number of clients prefer flexibility when it comes to the superstructure and layout, building in fibreglass, unfortunately, is not as flexible. In order for Sunseeker to build in metal, we would have needed to build the tools and amend our facilities at the cost of our core product range. However, by designing at Sunseeker and building at Pendennis and Icon we are able to maintain our core business between 50-133ft and provide our clients with greater flexibility and options in terms of the range of products, as well as leveraging the expertise and quality of our two strategic partners.”
Over the course of the next three years, Sunseeker will launch an additional 23 models, aided by a £50million CAPEX investment, shifting and increasing the range of the core portfolio and, in order to do so, Sunseeker requires more space.
The first of this new range was introduced to the market during Cannes Yachting Festival 2019. The new 133 Yacht has been described by Sunseeker as “radical” and, with its new round-bilge semi-displacement hull form, is an indication of the direction that the new designs will be heading in. Indeed, the new 133 Yacht is the first ever Sunseeker designed with a vertical bow and, thanks to its 9.5m beam, offers 27 per cent more interior volume that her sistership, the 131 Yacht.
The current agreement between Pendennis and Sunseeker will see Sunseeker projects take over one of Pendennis’ main sheds. However, the exact make-up of the partnership is yet to be confirmed. “My first presentation to Pendennis was made in June, so the project is moving incredibly fast,” explains Frabetti.
"...we are one of the most efficient yards in terms of investment versus the realisation of projects."
“Over the last three years, Sunseeker has lost market share when a number of our competitors have grown consistently. Sunseeker didn’t grow because there wasn’t a clear strategy in place for product development, but this is no longer the case. I have been in the business for a long time and I know the numbers. What I can tell you about Sunseeker is that, as well as being one of the most prolific quality superyacht builders in history, we are one of the most efficient yards in terms of investment versus the realisation of projects. When information is provided by other yards, sometimes the numbers are astronomical, hundreds of millions even, but the output does not necessarily match the size of the investments. What I can tell is that we are investing, we have the full support of our shareholders (Wanda Company) and they are fully behind the introduction of new models to our superyacht division.”
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