South African boutique catamaran producer the Knysna Yacht Company has been sold. New owner Grant Boshard has taken over from long-time industry stalwart Kevin Fouché, who founded the company in 2002.

Fouché teamed up with naval architect Angelo Lavranos to create the popular Knysna 500, and the company is currently busy with the first of a new 55ft model due to be launched in 2019.

Fouché and his wife Rika will remain part of the company until the 55ft model (K550) is complete, as per the sale agreement finalised late last year, Rika Fouché told IBI. “Part of the agreement is that Kevin stays onboard for at least two years until the new 550 is completed. This is part of our retirement plan and he [Kevin] will enjoy the project. Kevin also bought the first K550 with partner Danie Malan,” Fouché said.

“Kevin and myself will continue with the marketing and sales at least for the next few years. We will always be part of KYC and our amazing team of workers and boat owners, many of whom became good friends over the years,” Fouché said.

Kevin Fouché said the 550 project was sparked partly by the global trend towards bigger cruising models. “The 2017/2018 international boat shows confirmed the growth in the bigger size market and we started doing research to design both a timeless and elegant catamaran to complement the very successful Knysna 500 SE,” Fouché said.

He said the initial impetus stemmed from a request for a bigger boat from an existing Knysna 500 owner who wanted a larger cat with a flybridge. The new model was an extension of the previous model, retaining the same exterior styling and profile. “I am very much an ‘ideas’ man and the thought of extending our current production line with a 55-footer was very attractive,” Fouché said.