Spirit Yachts | The Team | The Spirit Yachts team


Spirit Yachts’ founder and designer Sean McMillan was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 Classic Boat Awards.

Sean McMillan co-founded Spirit Yachts in 1993 with his friend Mick Newman (who sadly later died in 2007), and he went on to become renowned for Spirit’s acclaimed modern classic sail and power yachts.

When they began Spirit Yachts, Sean and Mick set out to design and build beautiful yachts in wooden from responsibly-managed sources. That goal remains at the heart of Spirit’s ethos today.

From award-winning yachts to Bond films, royalty, and sailing successes in his own Spirit R52, Sean has a raft of accomplishments to his name. Along with Mick, he took Spirit from its early days in an old farm building in rural Suffolk to a world leader in modern classic yacht design and build.

Sean commented, “I have been lucky throughout my career to work with some of the most talented craftsmen and women, passionate owners, and experts in their fields. I have stood on the shoulders of giants and I share this award with all of them.”

Hosted by Classic Boat magazine at the historic Royal Thames Yacht Club in London, the annual awards celebrate the best new yachts, restorations, and people in the classic boat world.

Classic Boat described it as the founding of ‘a company that left an indelible imprint on sailing.’ And that Spirit ‘continues to remind the world that Britain was once a great boatbuilding nation…. (and) she still is.’