Trafalgar Wharf, at Portchester in Portsmouth harbour, is to be the birth place of Project Nelson, a ‘Best of British’ modern take on a classic Gentleman’s Motor Yacht.
The facility which is currently leased by Shemara Refit LLP (for the refit of the 1938, 65m, superyacht MY Shemara) becomes available in June of this year, as does the design team and the production expertise and infrastructure that have supported the aforementioned unique refit; many of the SRLLP team have indicted their willingness to support Project Nelson and ship building at the site.
Burgess Marine and Laurent Giles seek an enthusiastic owner, keen to be integrally involved, with an outstanding passion for all things ‘Best of British’. The project will be structured in an entirely unique fashion and will continue to challenge the conventional way of superyacht building.
Project Nelson fully intends to utilise newly available local ship building labour and regional industry expertise; there is also the potential to utilise excess new build capacity within HM Naval Base Portsmouth.
Nicholas Warren, the MD of Burgess Marine comments in respect to ship building in Portsmouth: 'There is a huge opportunity to capitalise on the expertise and passion for ship building in and around this great maritime city - as an industry we should be able to make this work. Companies like Laurent Giles, Canark Marine, Trimline, and Jack Tighes all have tremendous ship building experience and if we can find an owner or Head of State interested in Project Nelson and ship building in Portsmouth then I am sure that we can deliver a superb product. The work of The Portsmouth Ship Building UK Group has to date been fantastic; all we need is a credible project.'
He goes on to say 'The opportunity presented, especially to the superyacht industry, by the owner of Shemara and the unique organisational "make-up" of the project is phenomenal and one that simply cannot be ignored. It’s been proven that if you have willing and enthusiastic owner anything can be achieved. You can build your own Superyacht, to the very highest of standards, and keep complete control of both the project and all the costs associated with the build; it’s not the normal way of doing things but it really does work. Project Nelson, and the "Best of British" concept is a wonderful opportunity and we are absolutely thrilled to be involved.'
David Lewis, the MD of Laurent Giles, goes on to say: 'The facility in Portchester is unique, as is this approach. We’ve designed a superb yacht, to the very highest of modern standards. With our high level of expertise and experience and with Burgess’s engineering knowledge and know-how the end result is sure to be mind-blowing whether it is built in Portchester or Portsmouth. The opportunity to work so closely with an owner or Head of State and in such an original fashion is hugely appealing too. Project Nelson will be a fantastic experience for all those involved.'
Ship building in Portsmouth is a huge part of British maritime history which Burgess Marine and Laurent Giles remain eager to protect and enthused to re-invigorate. Initial design work has been undertaken by Laurent Giles.