Yacht yards keeping their bays busy with custom newbuilds
With five major shipyards accounting for the bulk of the private yacht construction in North America, new yachts over 100 feet in length continue to hit the water — albeit at a more leisurely pace than the boom years a decade ago. While the production of spec boats from Westport continues at a healthy clip, these four yacht builders report that business on the custom side also is trending upward.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Seattle-based shipyard continues to see its bays filled with newbuild and refit projects in composite, aluminum and steel, the details of which are few and far between.
News only recently came out about the 236-foot Albatross, which slipped quietly into the water in early 2016 and claimed a position as one of the 50 largest yacht builds in the U.S. Among the exceptions to the taciturnity is the 161-foot Endless Summer, a project that began at Christensen Shipyard in Vancouver, Wash., and was completed at Delta in late spring.
Among the refit projects completed this year at Delta was the 151-foot After Eight, built in 2007 by Northern Marine and designed by Jonathan Quinn Barnett (JQB), who was on hand to incorporate a new design into the six-month refit. JQB is also the designer for a 174-foot newbuild at the yard that is scheduled to launch in 2018.
Two all-composite builds are currently in progress at Christensen’s Vancouver yard, both sister boats to the recently launched Silver Lining and Chasseur.
New projects at British Columbia-based Crescent Custom Yachts, which reopened for business in 2015, include a 108-foot composite yacht designed by Gregory C. Marshall. The boat has a pair of Caterpillar C32 ACERT engines that deliver 3,850 horsepower.
Courtesy Crescent Custom Yachts
At 580 gross tonnes, Hull 38 (sister to the 164-foot Silver Lining) is being built to American Bureau of Shipping standards and will display some firsts for the builder, including a “glass bridge” in which all monitors and most controls are hidden from view until activated. It is on schedule for a summer 2018 launch. The second yacht, Hull 42 (sister to Chasseur), is a 164-foot, full Maritime and Coastguard Agency/ABS spec boat due for a summer 2019 launch.
Both of the newbuilds will benefit from an advanced insulation application that further reduces the entrance of heat into the yacht’s interior. The yard conducted an exhaustive study of potential “hot spots” in the hull and superstructure and developed a heat reduction program that includes modern foam spraying under horizontal surfaces not typically protected.
The yard estimates that its heat mitigation efforts will reduce heat loading by as much as 20 percent, which can in turn reduce the need for larger generators and air conditioning systems and, ultimately, reduce tonnage.
Crescent Custom Yachts/Platinum Marine
Just across the border in Richmond, British Columbia, the Crescent Custom Yachts yard and its refit facility, Platinum Marine, have been bustling with activity over the past 12 months.
The first newbuild for Crescent after its doors reopened in 2015 is the 145-foot Muchos Mas, an all-composite motor yacht that was delivered to its Florida-based owner and will debut at the 2017 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. A 112-foot, aluminum tri-deck motor yacht designed by Luiz de Basto is under construction for a U.S. owner, and the yard is ready to begin work on a 108-foot, Gregory C. Marshall-designed composite yacht currently for sale.
This year, the yard also launched Tactical Custom Boats, a new line of high-performance, aluminum-hulled, all-weather boats designed by Gregory C. Marshall. Available in four hull lengths (30, 40, 50 and 60 feet) and in six configurations (Sportfish, Express Yacht, Crew Transport, Landing Craft, Search & Rescue, and Military), the boats are designed to meet the needs of commercial, government and military customers, but also will appeal to the recreational market. One 40-foot recreational yacht is under construction, with sea trials expected in December.
Nearing completion at Burger Boat in Manitowoc, Wis., is a 103-foot, long-range explorer yacht designed by Luiz de Basto of Miami, Fla. The boat will be powered by twin Caterpillar C18 mains and have a range of 4,000 nautical miles at 9.5 knots.
Courtesy Burger Boat
This Wisconsin-based yacht builder continues to keep its work force busy with two custom newbuilds at its Manitowoc shipyard.
The first is a 103-foot steel and aluminum long-range explorer yacht designed by Luiz de Basto that was scheduled to launch in the late summer. The second, a 48-foot aluminum cruiser developed in collaboration with Vripack Naval Architects from the Netherlands, is intended to appeal to a new generation of yachting enthusiasts. It is powered by twin 600-hp Volvo IPS drives and features Vripack’s patented slide hull design.
Burger’s team also builds custom commercial vessels, provides refit and repair services, and handles various custom joinery projects.
The company also is the U.S. builder for PRIME Megayachts, a new yacht build company that provides clients with a proven 164-foot (50-meter) platform upon which they can choose a superstructure and interior layout from a selection of naval architects’ designs. The hull and superstructure package is then built at one of two custom yards, with Burger Boat being the sole U.S. option.