Yachting Developments has moved to a new larger facility located next to its former Hobsonville yard. The new location comprises a 50m shed and a larger commercial space.

Now that the new yard is operational, work is continuing on the latest project, the 33.5m Frers performance ocean cruising sloop, Hull 1012, the construction of which has demanded the recruitment of additional staff.

In an exclusive conversation with SuperyachtNews.com, managing director Ian Cook discussed the rationale for moving to a larger facility in the midst of the challenging industry climate.

“We will continue to target superyachts of 50m and under,” Cook explained. “This new facility gives us more opportunities to chase refit work that we would have previously lost due to the height limitations of the former facility.

“The availability of the new yard was a timely opportunity to move into a bigger, more modern facility after consultation with Auckland City Properties over the vacant premises that they had acquired in the Yard 37 precinct.”

Hull 1012 under construction.

Cook said that the yard’s specialty – carbon construction – had become an asset as the emphasis for sailing yachts increasingly moves towards speed and performance. So while he acknowledged that “the past few years have undoubtedly been tough for New Zealand’s new build sector,” he is also confident that this expertise will serve Yachting Developments well moving forward, with the new 10,000sqm facility facilitating three simultaneous projects up to 50m.

“In recent years we have completed a lot of projects for customers who are time-poor and keen to take fast delivery of their new build”, Cook explained. “Projects such as 30m Antares III, which completed in just 400 days, are a good example of what Yachting Developments can achieve for customers looking for a quick build time.”

Of the Kiwi market as a whole, Cook also feels the worst is behind them. He says market rhetoric indicates a number of “serious enquiries” for various yards, which will trigger “growth in the country’s order book”. And with the value of the Kiwi dollar finally depreciating after a burgeoning two-year period, the prospect of a new build contract in New Zealand might prove a little more attractive in 2015.

Yachting Developments MD, Ian Cook.

“New Zealand’s industry is fortunate that it has a passionate and very qualified workforce and it would be a great shame to lose any number of them to other industries due to lack of superyacht work”, Cook concluded. “I am sure I am not alone in hoping that New Zealand shipyards soon see an increase in new build orders over the coming months; 2014 has been a much healthier year for the global industry, with good movement in the new build and second hand markets, and we have high hopes for what 2015 will hold.”

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