British yacht designer and manufacturer Glider Yachts has launched a new funding round, following what it described as receiving overwhelming interest at the 2017 Monaco Yacht Show. The unique configuration of the vessel offers increased levels of comfort and space so much so that the new SL24 model is generating interest from outside of the industry. We speak to the CEO of Glider Yachts to find out more.
“When we displayed the 18m Glider at Monaco last year, we also visually launched the new Sports Limousine model and we were overwhelmed with the response,” says McCall. “Several superyachts identified that they would like the model as a chase boat and several government organisations and tourist boards are looking to have the boats as shuttles for private island resorts.”
The new funding round aims to attract investors to support the next stage in Glider Yachts’ development programme, which is centred on materialising the SL24 Sports Limousine model. “The boats have been in development since 2007, then we started building the first one in 2015 and it was on the water in early 2016,” continues McCall.
The recently unveiled model has the capacity to carry up to 12 passengers with two crew and can comfortably reach speeds of up to 50 knots. With a huge amount of allocated space on board, there are a number of interior configurations available to best suit the client’s needs and the specific purpose of the vessel. “Inside a Glider limousine, it makes a conventional tender look like a dinosaur and cramped,” says McCall. “It has a proper head, shower and breakfast bar. In terms of its interior styling, it would even put the top jets to shame. Gliders are more like an aircraft, and we’re working with the people that lead the world in business jet interiors.”
However, the true stand out feature is the model’s performance and stability due to its interesting hull configuration. “It performs astonishingly well in rough water,” says McCall. The best seas we had out in it were when we had six to seven-foot seas and we were out with a 7.5m Rib. When I looked over, the guy in the rib was completely airborne, but I wasn’t going up and down at all – it is like it’s on rails.” In fact, according to the boat builder, Gliders reduce wave motions felt on board by up to 70 per cent in comparison to a conventionally hulled boat.
The first Glider model was built at Burgess Marine, however the models are now to be built at Hoverwork in Southampton. In addition to the current 18m tender and now the new SL24, there are also plans to create further models in the larger ranges right up to 80m, which the company plans to start building in 2019.
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