3 new yachts to look out for from British builders


Sunseeker 131 Yacht

The latest Sunseeker superyacht

British boatbuilding is back. The UK is a major force in series superyacht production, and here's our guide to three new yachts to look out for from British builders.

1. Sunseeker's latest: the 131 Yacht

Designed with client feedback in mnd, Sunseeker's new 131 Yacht, whose interiors were recently revealed, is a progression of the successful Sunseeker 40 Metre Yacht. This is no rebadge, however: the naval architecture platform is the same, but the changes run deep. The 131 has longer overhangs, extended decks and larger exterior deck areas, larger hull ports, a hardtop, oval section cap-rails and increased interior volume forward thanks to the relocation of the rescue tender, which has meant more accommodation space and, in turn, removed the step down to the en suite in the owner's cabin.

Perhaps most significant is the increased glazing throughout to maximise natural light reaching the interior, complemented by cutaways in the bulwarks and full-height windows on the main and upper decks. The master cabin, too, now features full-height windows creating, as Sunseeker's Sean Robertson, puts it, "a master's cabin with a wow factor".

It's clear that the new model has generated interest, with the first three having already sold early in 2015. You'll be able to see for yourself soon enough: the first 131 Yacht is scheduled to be displayed at the January 2016 boat shows.

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Oyster 118

The largest Oyster-Humphreys Yacht Design collaboration

"The Oyster 118 was an opportunity," says David Tydeman, CEO of Oyster Yachts. "We'd been talking to the client for about three years. A 100-footer (30m) is quite difficult because to be LY3 compliant you need five or six crew. You therefore need 110 feet to get the required accommodation in. Our discussions led to her being stretched to 115 feet and then, with an extra three feet just on the transom, the 118 was born."

The result is a 35 metre yacht that marks the largest yet drawn by Oyster in collaboration with Humphreys Yacht Design, and she features several distinct elements. There's an enclosable sedan hardtop over the cockpit, while her low-profile styling and signature teardrop deckhouse windows are complemented by three sets of three vertical hull ports aft - great for flooding the voluminous interior with light.

The first model will carry a five-cabin, four-head aft accommodation arrangement, with a closable crew area forward. The tooling for the first hull is almost complete and she is expected to launch early in 2018.


Princess 35M

The new star in the Princess M Class range

Princess has developed a new model in its M Class range: the 35M, whose plush interiors were revealed. "What we saw was a marketplace below the 40m - volume, separate crew routes, low noise levels - and put them in a 35m yacht," explains Chris Gates, managing director at Princess.

One result is the 35M - a raised pilothouse yacht with class-leading interior volumes, a layout that makes for efficient crew operation without disturbing the owner and guests and, as Gates puts it, "phenomenal value for money". With prices starting at £8.3 million, you get a lot of boat and and the experience that led the 40M, superyacht Imperial Princess, to receive a number of accolades, including a World Superyacht Award in 2013. The first 35M is undergoing sea trials and the aim is for her to debut at the Cannes boat show in September, after which she will be at all the main shows in the autumn.

Meanwhile, Princess is launching the 30M. It's a natural evolution of the popular and long-standing Princess 98 flybridge yacht - a classic springboard for existing customers ready to take the step from production to semi-custom yachts.

"She's a genuine crossover boat," Gates says, "and she links our flybridge range with the M Class range. She's got the M Class DNA and the standards and attributes of that class." The 30M starts at £5.7 million. The first 30M should emerge from the yard in September.