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Our Team

The finest yacht designers and builders in the world

Led by managing director Nigel Stuart, Spirit Yachts comprises a world-class team of designers, naval architects, boat builders, finishers, cabinet makers, joiners and mechanical and engineering experts.

The Spirit team is diverse and international, but they have core attributes in common: skill, passion, dedication and a meticulous eye for detail.

If you are looking for a new role we would be keen to hear from you. Please send your C.V or brief summary of experience to [email protected].

Sean McMillan

Sean McMillan

CEO & Head Designer

World renowned yacht designer Sean McMillan founded Spirit Yachts in 1993 following a decade of experience designing and building classic yachts. A legendary sailor on the classic racing circuit, Sean is at the forefront of modern classic design. A true master of his craft, Sean is passionate about creating beautiful modern classic yachts to suit every lifestyle.  Today, Sean keeps a close eye on the builds in the yard and draws new and updated concepts from his design office.

Nigel Stuart

Nigel Stuart

Managing Director

With 30 years’ marine management experience, Nigel joined Spirit Yachts as managing director in 2014. Working both at home and overseas, Nigel has successfully raised the profiles of yachting companies on a national and global scale.  Nigel oversees all activity at Spirit Yachts working closely with the design and build teams to ensure Spirit’s world-class quality is maintained.  A keen sailor with an engineering background, Nigel is passionate about sustainability both in the work place and onboard Spirit’s yachts.

Karen Underwood

Karen Underwood

Office Manager & PA to the directors

Having worked for high profile boat building companies for nearly twenty years, Karen has a wealth of experience in the yachting industry. As well as management of all aspects of the Spirit office, Karen is responsible for customer liaison and hospitality, as well as overseeing all client events and boat shows. A highly organised multi-tasker, Karen supports the management team as well as assisting with the logistics of yacht launches and deliveries.

Lawrence Peckham

Lawrence Peckham

Naval Architect

With a degree in naval architecture and marine engineering as well as shipwright’s experience and eleven years at Spirit Yachts, Lawrence works alongside Spirit’s designers and the team in the yard on every Spirit yacht.  Whether it be hull form performance analysis and refinement, to stability and structural analysis, or appendage designs, Lawrence is precise, thorough and has a meticulous eye for detail.

Adrian Gooderham

Adrian Gooderham

Yard manager

After fifteen years at Spirit Yachts, Adrian manages all projects in the Spirit yard and ensures each build is produced to the highest quality. With previous experience in classic aeroplane restoration and cabinet making, Adrian has a remarkable eye for detail and is a highly skilled craftsman. Having worked on an extensive portfolio of Spirit builds, including Spirit’s famous 100ft yacht Gaia and the latest Spirit 111 superyacht, Adrian has a wealth of experience in modern classic yacht construction.

Tom Smith

Tom Smith

Designer

With a natural talent for creativity and a first class Master of Design degree, Tom is a strong asset to the Spirit team.  Tom has previous experience designing yachts in Italy and was selected as a finalist in Boat International’s Young Designer of the Year Awards.  Tom works closely with Sean McMillan and Spirit’s naval architect to create interior and exterior visualisations to bring projects to life.  With his artistic flair and a meticulous eye for detail, Tom liaises with Spirit owners to design beautiful custom pieces for their yachts.

Glen Machan

Glen Machan

Senior Boat Builder

Glen is a highly experienced boat builder with experience in superyacht refits and he is now in his tenth year at Spirit Yachts.  Having previously managed the build of Spirit Deckhouse 65 Snoozle, Spirit Classic 65 Chloe Giselle and 52 foot racing Spirit Oui Fling, Glen is now overseeing the construction of Spirit Yachts’ largest motor yacht to date, the P70.  A sailor as well as a skilled boat builder, Glen was invited to join the owner of Snoozle on the 4800 Nm sail from Valencia to Antigua via the Canary Islands, crossing the Atlantic in just 15.5 days.

Darren Gee

Darren Gee

Senior Boat Builder

Darren has worked at Spirit Yachts for over twelve years and has managed the construction of the six Spirits, including the award-winning Spirit of Callisto (Spirit’s first gaff-rigged yacht) and the Spirit 47CR cruising yacht.   Currently overseeing the build of the new Spirit 50CR, Darren can regularly be seen welcoming visitors onboard Spirit’s yachts at boat shows across Europe.  A member of a local yacht club, Darren is passionate about grass roots sailing and part-owns a cruising yacht with fellow Spirit boat builder Jon Bell.

Jon Bell

Jon Bell

Senior Boat Builder

Jon joined Spirit Yachts in 2010 after training at the International Boatbuilding Training College in Lowestoft and working at a traditional boatyard on the River Deben in Suffolk.  As a specialist in Spirit’s wood-epoxy hull construction method, Jon helped build the hulls of the 34m Spirit 111 and the 19m Spirit P70.  Jon also brings a wealth of expertise in deck laying and steering installation, mentoring younger members of the Spirit team as he goes.  A keen sailor, Jon part-owns a yacht with fellow Spirit team member Darren Gee and enjoys cruising along the east coast.

Kevin Houghton

Kevin Houghton

Senior Boat Builder

With training in cabinetry, Kevin started working at Spirit Yachts 15 years ago.  Learning from those around him, Kevin has progressed to the role of senior boat builder and managed his first build, Spirit DH63 Gwenhyfar, in 2017/18.  As a yawl rig designed for cruising and racing, with several personal touches incorporated, Gwenhyfar was a complex build.  Her owner commented, “Kevin did a fantastic job and the craftsmanship on the boat is world class.”  Building on the success of Gwenhyfar, Kevin is currently managing the build of a new hybrid Spirit DH65.

Helen Porter

Helen Porter

PR & Marketing

Helen is a freelance marine PR and marketing consultant based in-house at Spirit Yachts.  Having worked closely with Spirit for over four years, Helen can be seen alongside the Spirit team at events and boat shows worldwide.  For any media or supplier PR and marketing queries, contact [email protected].