Spirit News

New yard doubles current premises and allows workforce expansion

Spirit Yachts invests in new boat building facility

Nigel Stuart


Modern classic yacht designer and builder Spirit Yachts unveiled its new, energy efficient facility his month at its waterside headquarters in Ipswich, Suffolk. Rt Hon Ben Gummer MP opened the new building at a ceremony attended by local business owners and marine industry members.


L-R: Spirit Yachts managing director Nigel Stuart, CEO of ABP James Cooper, Spirit Yachts CEO Sean McMillan and Ben Gummer MP.

Located adjacent to Spirit Yachts’ current premises, the new yard has LED lighting, modern heating systems, and efficient insulation and extraction.  In anticipation of the extra build space, Spirit Yachts has already hired ten new team members and is recruiting two finishers and additional boat builders.

Spirit Yachts managing director, Nigel Stuart, comments, “The marine industry has experienced a tough few years since the recession.  British boat builders have in the most part done well as they have continued to produce quality boats; which the UK is known for worldwide.  Since Brexit the industry has seen a slight upturn, but it is yet to be revealed whether this will last; the outcome of international trade deals will be crucial.  Following a long term investment and marketing plan, we have enjoyed a successful 12 months with a steadily growing order book and positive interest for the future.  We intend to sustain that growth by continuing to invest in our facilities and workforce.”


The new facility

New builds at Spirit Yachts have recently started on a 63foot Deckhouse and a 70foot motor yacht, with an order confirmed for a 52foot sailing yacht and strong interest in both the cruising range and a superyacht.

Spirit Yachts CEO and head designer, Sean McMillan, adds, “The additional space will house production mezzanines and a mechanical testing area.  It will double the size of our existing lamination table, which allows us to increase the number of ringframes that can be built simultaneously and in turn increase efficiency.

Sean continues, “Spirit started in a derelict farm building in Suffolk in 1993; to open the new premises today makes me extremely proud of how far we have come and everything the team has achieved.”

With access via a 7.5m x 8m rolling door, the new 750m₂ facility will allow Spirit Yachts to work on yachts up to 150feet long.  The vast entrance will also permit refit and repair work on existing modern classics with their keels on, meaning all projects will be protected from the elements.


The Spirit Yachts team