Spirit of Suf­folk

The county’s pres­tige yacht builder cel­e­brates 25 years

EADT Suffolk - - INSIDE - spir­ity­achts.com WORDS: Ross Bent­ley

Es­tab­lished in Ben­hall, Suf­folk in 1993, Spirit Yachts was founded by renowned yacht de­signer Sean McMil­lan.

Now based on the New Cut in Ip­swich Haven Ma­rina, Spirit Yachts is cel­e­brat­ing its 25th an­niver­sary. It em­ploys a 50-strong team of skilled boat builders from all over the world and un­like many yacht builders, con­ducts both the de­sign and build process in-house at its wa­ter­side head­quar­ters. Over the last quar­ter cen­tury, Spirit Yachts has de­signed and built nu­mer­ous el­e­gant wooden sail and power yachts from 37ft to over 100ft, in­clud­ing the yacht on which Daniel Craig sails into Venice in the Bond film Casino Royale. The com­pany can be seen com­pet­ing in clas­sic re­gat­tas and cruis­ing in bays all over the world. It has a range of sail and power yacht de­signs for day sail­ing, long dis­tance blue wa­ter cruis­ing, and per­for­mance rac­ing, but it also takes on cus­tom projects. Spirit Yachts is cur­rently work­ing to a full or­der book and as a re­sult the yard is a hive of ac­tiv­ity. The im­pos­ing yet im­pres­sive Spirit 111’ is a 34m su­pery­acht, is Spirit Yachts’ largest build to date and one of the largest sin­gle-masted wooden sail­ing yachts ever built in the UK. When launched next year, the yacht will boast su­per eco-friendly cre­den­tials putting Spirit Yachts at the fore­front of mod­ern clas­sic yacht de­sign and build.

Also tak­ing shape in the yard is a 21m mod­ern clas­sic power boat, a 15m cruiser-racer sail­ing yacht and a 20m sail­ing yacht. Spirit Yachts flies the flag by ex­hibit­ing at ma­jor UK and in­ter­na­tional boat shows and re­gat­tas.

LEFT: Com­plete de­sign and con­struc­tion in Suf­folkRIGHT: Up­turn­ing the hull, a ma­jor stage of con­struc­tion.FAR RIGHT:Spirit Yachts - the clas­sic cock­pit of the DH63

ABOVE: Spirit Yachts’ DH63 sail­ing out

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