Dutch yard recently doubled its production quality to accommodate refits, new build and conversion project

For Icon Yachts, the deal to build Sunseeker’s next flagship – the Sunseeker 161 – in aluminium cements its exit from bankruptcy in 2014. And it lets Britain’s luxury yacht builder catch up with rivals building ever larger superyachts.

“Every restart takes three years,” Marcela de Kern Royer, head of business development at Icon Yachts, told IBI at the Monaco Yacht Show. “We are very proud of our [post-bankruptcy] timeline. We have been through hard times. The Sunseeker deal has made us stronger.”

In a surprise development this week, Sunseeker picked Icon Yachts of the Netherlands to build its Sunseeker 161 in aluminium. CEO Sean Robertson says his yard’s move into metal hulls (all Sunseekers are made of composite material) means there is “no ceiling as to how big we can go in the future.”

Icon Yachts has recently doubled its production quality to accommodate refits, new build and conversion projects. It will build about five Sunseeker 161s a year, starting next spring.

“We see a growing market for refits and reconversion projects as well new builds,” says Icon CEO Jen Wartena. Icon announced it will build a 19-guest, 84m superyacht in only two years. It is also reconverting a multi-purpose supply vessel into an explorer superyacht with a certified Ice Class A1 hull.

Icon Yachts can build eight Sunseekers simultaneously. It recently added a new floating shed of 130m x 30m x 28m, doubling its capacity. Icon will build Sunseekers from the hull up, including all finishing.