Boat International magazine August 2015 issue
Britannia may once have ruled the waves, but let’s face it, when it comes to superyachting – beautiful though the Hebrides are – Saint-Tropez has the edge. This year, things are different. In June, the Royal Yacht Squadron’s bicentenary drew a fleet of royals to the Isle of Wight, including the Duke of Edinburgh, the King of Norway and the King of Spain, not to mention the likes of Leander and Shemara to support them. This, plus the return of America’s Cup racing to British waters, when the World Series comes to Portsmouth, means Britain is back on the map. To celebrate, we decided to applaud the remarkable yachting talent that springs from our shores. Our little black book of craftsmen and women are all people you need to know and we hope our report on Malahne, plus Sir Charles Dunstone’s account of putting a yard together, will encourage you to head to our green and pleasant lands when building your dream yacht.
Eddie Jordan hits the nail on the head: the quality and number of boats coming out of Britain’s yards isn’t celebrated enough. In fact, mention British boatbuilding to most people, and it probably conjures images of derelict shipyards on the Clyde, rather than pulsing facilities on the south coast pumping out superyachts faster than the Netherlands, Turkey, Germany, China and the US. The UK is second only to Italy in the number of superyachts launched and delivered so far in 2015 – an amazing achievement, but nary an eyebrow does this raise amongst policymakers in Westminster. If it was any other industry, the Prime Minister would be down there for a photo op, making political hay, but for some reason this great manufacturing success story goes unheralded. We’ll do our bit, though, this issue being part
of it. So here’s to you, British boatbuilding.