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The Spirit Team

Led by managing director Karen Underwood, 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.

We are recruiting!  See below for current opportunities.

Every Spirit yacht is customised to suit an owner’s preference, and each design evolves to incorporate the latest technology, so no two projects are the same.  With a yard full of sail and motor yachts in build and a healthy pipeline of new and innovative commissions, it is an exciting time to join the Spirit Yachts team.

If you are looking for a new challenge in boat building, electrics, engineering, naval architecture or design we are keen to hear from you.  Please send your C.V and brief summary of experience to [email protected].

Sean McMillan

Sean McMillan

CEO & Head of Design

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.

Karen Underwood

Karen Underwood

Managing Director

Having worked for high profile boat building companies for over twenty years, Karen has a wealth of experience in the yachting industry. A highly organised multi-tasker, Karen oversees the running of the company, consistently delivering exceptional customer service to Spirit owners, clients and guests.

Aaron Woolf

Aaron Woolf

Project Manager

Having worked in the marine industry throughout his career to date, Aaron has a natural instinct for yacht building and operations.  Aaron originally trained as a sailmaker with Spirit’s sail partner OneSails and previously managed yacht logistics at a large independent marina for several years. As a result, Aaron is knowledgeable, efficient, and an effective problem solver.  As a keen sailor, Aaron spends his spare time racing and cruising, which allows him to draw on his own experiences when liaising with Spirit owners.

Adrian Gooderham

Adrian Gooderham

Yard manager

Having joined  Spirit Yachts over 20 years ago, Adrian manages all projects in the Spirit yard and ensures each build is produced to the highest standard. 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 superyacht projects, 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 interiors and custom pieces for their yachts.

Alan Boswell

Alan Boswell

Naval Architect

Having worked in the marine industry for nearly 40 years, Alan brings a wealth of design and naval architecture experience to Spirit Yachts.  From renowned cruising yachts to high profile superyachts and large scale restoration projects, Alan’s knowledge spans across a wide range of yacht styles, construction methods and design software programmes.  A keen sailor, Alan has extensively cruised and raced both dinghies and yachts.

James Weller

James Weller

Head Electrician

A highly experienced marine electrician, James has a passion for detail and quality.  Having overseen projects on racing and cruising yachts, as well as large motor yachts, James has experience of installing an extensive list of onboard systems.  James continually researches the latest technology and works with suppliers to innovate and deliver effective solutions for Spirit’s custom yachts.  Having sailed since he was a young child, James is also a keen motorsports fan.

Matthew Dorrell

Matthew Dorrell

Head Engineer

Matthew’s engineering experience extends across new and brokerage yachts in the UK and abroad.  Having overseen the fit-out of luxury cruising yachts and a range of different motor cruisers, Matthew is well-accustomed to working on projects from development and initial design to construction and installation.  Whilst managing Spirit’s team of engineers, Matthew collaborates with suppliers to deliver the most effective solutions for Spirit’s sail and power yachts.

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 has overseen the first phase of numerous Spirits.  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 and enjoys cruising along the east coast.

Kevin Houghton

Kevin Houghton

Senior Boat Builder

With training in cabinetry, Kevin started working at Spirit Yachts nearly 20 years ago.  Learning from those around him, Kevin has progressed to the role of senior boat builder and is now well-accustomed to overseeing the builds of large cruising yachts to an exceptional standard.

Jerôme Borghgraef

Jerôme Borghgraef

Senior Boat Builder

Having studied, woodwork, carpentry, and antique furniture restoration in his home country of Belgium, Jerome went on to attend Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy in the UK.  Passionate, motivated and diligent, Jerome has worked his way up to the role of senior boat builder at Spirit Yachts.

James Witherley

James Witherley

Operations Assistant

Calm, professional and practical, James is an invaluable member of the Spirit team.  Well organised and a good communicator, James liaises between all departments to ensure the yard is run safely and efficiently.  James’ role includes day to day operations in the yard, yacht movements, event support, commissioning, and health and safety.

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 since 2014, Helen can be seen alongside the Spirit team at events and boat shows worldwide.  A keen sailor, Helen also joins the team on the water at regattas.  For any media or supplier PR and marketing queries, contact [email protected].