UK yacht-builder Fairline announced today at the Cannes Yachting Festival that it is buying a new waterfront site to develop a new-build facility for yachts larger than it can currently build.
Russell Currie, managing director of Fairline, said: “We have acquired a new waterside site at which we plan to develop a new facility to build larger yachts. I cannot say where it is at the moment, but we will give you details in a couple of months.”
Currie told IBI that the multimillion-pound project would take around four years and would create some 200 jobs. He would not say what size of yachts would be constructed, but hinted at 30m-45m (100ft-150ft) or larger. He confirmed that work was already underway on the designs of the new superyacht models.
Fairline’s current manufacturing plant at Oundle in Northamptonshire can only build up to around 24m (80ft). The Oundle facility will continue to operate and will build boats up to 21m (70ft), while those over 70ft will be built at the new site with testing, commissioning and customer handover also taking place there.
The acquisition of the waterfront production facility represents a monumental shift in circumstances for Fairline, going from administration and uncertainty to investing heavily in the brand’s future in just 18 months. Fairline has a waterside site in Ipswich which is used as a commissioning base, but when the new facility is up and running the future of this may be in doubt.
Currie commented: “This is the next big step in the upward journey of Fairline Yachts and proves our commitment to investing in British boatbuilding. Part of our promise when we launched the new company in January 2016 was to build boats that our dealers want to sell and their customers want to own, and clearly we are achieving that goal.
“However, the global market is constantly changing and many key yachting territories demand yachts larger than we are currently able to create,” he added. “We don’t want our growth to be hampered by the restrictions on our build capabilities at our existing Oundle site.”
Currie confirmed to IBI that since the change of ownership the number of orders placed had reached 135 and that its forward order position meant the company was full for 2017, well-filled for 2018 and, as regards the Targa 43, the order book runs to June 2019.
At Cannes, Fairline performed a global launch of the Targa 63 GTO. It announced an upgrade for its 13.6m (48ft) range including the Targa, Squadron and 48 Open as well as releasing images of its new Targa 43 which is set to be debuted next spring. It also gave information of the new Squadron 64, which will premiere at Cannes 2018.