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The Spirit Team

Led by managing directors Karen Underwood and Mike Taylor, 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 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 & Head of Operations

Having worked for high profile boat building companies for over twenty years, Karen has a wealth of experience in the yachting industry. As well as the management of the company, Karen is responsible for the operations side of the business and ensures Spirit Yachts runs as efficiently as possible. A highly organised multi-tasker, Karen oversees the logistics of all projects and events, consistently delivering exceptional customer service to Spirit owners, clients and guests.

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Director & Head of Production

With over 30 years’ marine industry experience and having project managed over 70 blue water cruising yachts, Mike has a wealth of technical boat building knowledge and management expertise.  As well as the day to day running of the company, Mike oversees all new build and refit projects, ensuring Spirit’s world-class reputation for quality is maintained. Having sailed classic wooden yachts from an early age, Mike has also raced dinghies and keelboats across Europe.

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.

Glen Machan

Glen Machan

Senior Boat Builder

Glen is a highly experienced boat builder with experience in superyacht refits and he has been a key member the Spirit Yachts team for over 10 years.  With a raft of skills, Glen has managed the build of Spirit yachts ranging from large cruising yachts to motor yachts, race yachts and a superyacht tender. A sailor as well as a skilled boat builder, Glen has sailed 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 nearly 15 years and has managed the construction of several Spirits, including CR (crusing range) yachts. 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 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 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 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.

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].