Boatindustry.com

Spirit Yachts : Owners commit to the future of the shipyard

who owns spirit yacht

The British shipyard Spirit Yachts is taken over by a pool of owners of these exceptional yachts. An investment that allows the shipyard to project itself into the future, with the gradual withdrawal of the founder.

Briag Merlet

Owners at the helm of Spirit Yachts

Spirit Yachts, the British shipyard specializing in high-end sailing yachts, announced on February 27 a change in its management and capital structure. 30 years after Sean McMillan created the shipyard in 1993, the founder has decided to gradually step back, leaving his role as CEO and becoming a designer consultant and brand ambassador. He also sold a part of his shares. The majority in the capital is now held by a group of Spirit Yachts owners, passionate about the brand.

The transition was recently anticipated with the arrival of Karen Underwood as Chief Operating Officer, assisted by a new Production Manager and Helen Porter as Head of Marketing.

Ensure the future development of the brand

With the arrival of these new investors, Spirit Yachts hopes to continue its growth trajectory, while maintaining its DNA of exceptional boats, as explained by its director Kern Underwood. "Today, the challenges are greater, with a complex supply chain, lack of manpower, and the need to remain nimble in the face of global events, but our commitment to beauty, quality, and lowering the carbon impact of our boats remains at the heart of Spirit Yachts. With a full yard, a strong order book, and secure investments, the team and I are well equipped for a prosperous future."

who owns spirit yacht

who owns spirit yacht

Spirit Yachts reveals new owners and management team

who owns spirit yacht

GAIA, Sail n: , Nationality: SWE, Length: ”30,62”, Class: B, Designer: Spirit Yachts, Builder: Spirit Yachts Day 1

Sailing superyacht builder, Spirit Yachts has revealed a new ownership structure and management team.  Company co-founder, Sean McMillan, has stepped down as CEO with a group of Spirit Yacht owners taking majority ownership of the UK-based shipyard.

McMillan will continue at the firm with the role of consultant designer and brand ambassador. The company will continue to be run by its MD, Karen Underwood. She will be assisted by a newly-appointed production and design director and Spirit Yachts’ marketing director, Helen Porter.

“Sean has instilled his creativity and vision into the DNA of the business,” said Underwood. “ From humble beginnings in the Suffolk countryside to multiple award wins, yachts in two Bond films and over 80 bespoke yachts located worldwide, Spirit Yachts is a unique success story that continues to push the boundaries .”

The Suffolk-based shipyard was founded in 1993 by McMillan and Mick Newman, who originally set out to offer yacht owners a “ sustainably-sourced alternative” to fibreglass production boats.  The firm said that this remains at the core of the company’s ethos today.

McMillan will now continue to be closely involved in the design of Spirit Yacht’s custom yachts alongside designer Tom Smith. According to the firm, the new owners have committed significant capital to strengthen future business growth.

Spirit Yachts is known for building sailing superyachts up to 30.5m (100ft). A 2007 Spirit 100 yacht (pictured) is currently on sale with McMaster yachts for a cool €2.95m.

Underwood noted that the challenges of supply chain hurdles, staff shortages and the need to remain agile in the face of global events are greater than they have ever been. “But our commitment to quality, beauty and lowering the carbon footprint of our yachts remains at the heart of Spirit Yachts,” she said.

“With a full yard, a strong sales pipeline, and secure investment, the team and I are well-equipped to deliver a prosperous future.”

who owns spirit yacht

© Specialist Insight, 2024. All rights reserved. Website design and development by e-Motive Media Limited .

who owns spirit yacht

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.

  • Leisure Marine
  • Maritime, Commercial & Defence
  • Boats and Outboards
  • Construction Materials
  • Engines and Propulsion Systems
  • Marina and Yard
  • Marine Electronics
  • Safety Equipment
  • People on the move
  • Shows & Events

SIBS 2023: New breed of owner for Spirit Yachts

Monday, September 18th, 2023

Written by: Zella Compton

who owns spirit yacht

Spirit Yachts says it’s noticing a marked change in its new customers, who increasingly have no sailing experience.

Karen Underwood, MD at Spirit Yachts , says: “We’ve seen a high increase in younger people who want to buy and go off sailing and come back to land three years later.

“These are clientele who have sold businesses, or done well throughout covid. They have spent their working life between 20 and 40 building a business, but now want to spend time with friends and family nurturing themselves.”

who owns spirit yacht

Underwood (pictured centre), speaking at Southampton International Boat Show , says the majority are couples who’ve taken stock after covid and are taking care of their mental health. Now they want to sail together and work from the yacht – which can, as she points out, fully function from anywhere.

She believes that this new type of owner is exciting for the entirety of the marine industry.

While some are fresh out of box – or sailed dinghies when they were five – Underwood doesn’t see their lack of sailing experience when they start the build process as a barrier.

Chairman Robert Gillespie (pictured seated) says that people like these find their way to Spirit because they’re concerned about diesel engines, aesthetics and are looking for sustainability. He notes that Spirit Yachts are 100 per cent recyclable. “That matters to people who are outside the industry more than people who are used to the evolution within it,” he says.

Gillespie became chair in March 2023 . He’s one of a collective of Spirit owners – all passionate sailors – who bought the company from Sean McMillan when he decided to retire. This process was reported as good.

Given that each Spirit build is lengthy, most owners develop a close relationship with the company – they are already totally invested. McMillan remains a shareholder and consultant designer.

“It became clear when Sean decided to step back that the aspiration of a number of owners to invest wouldn’t happen unless someone managed the process,” Gillespie says. “It was really a question of establishing what was needed to make the business sustainable for the future. The theory of all the new shareholders is evolution not revolution. In any business, it’s important to understand known costs and have a buffer for the unknown. Spirit now has a group of passionate owner-investors, who have provided that buffer.”

Making its UK debut at the show, the 22.1m Spirit 72 is a Bermudan sloop designed for regatta racing and occasional cruising. The yacht displays long overhangs, flush decks, and curved deckhouse with integrated fan windows. Underwood says it “epitomises where we are, doing what we do best: customised sailing yachts for the owner’s criteria.”

  • Marine environment news ,
  • Sustainability in the marine industry ,
  • Spirit Yachts' news ,

who owns spirit yacht

Technical key account manager

Specialty chemicals company Sika is looking for a technical key account manager to drive business growth and foster strong relationships with key accounts within the marine sector.

who owns spirit yacht

BIA partners with Australia’s oldest battery producer

Borrow a Boat team announce trading shares

SIBS 2023: Borrow A Boat joins London share trading venue

Comments are closed.

This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

who owns spirit yacht

MIN magazine

Dive into MIN’s print edition which is now online for your convenience. More stories, more in-depth features, more product news and more exclusive interviews. Enjoy thoughtful analysis of the marine trade sector from across the world and get onboard with new trends.

Southampton international boat show logo

  • Buy a Classic Boat
  • Print Subscription
  • Digital Subscription
  • Single Issues

Your special offer

who owns spirit yacht

Falcon Study by Spirit Yachts: New Q-Class Yacht Planned

Spirit Yachts

Spirit Yachts announced in April that it has been commissioned to build a contemporary version of a Q-Class yacht, alongside Dykstra Naval Architects.

Q-class yachts.

Sometimes known as the ‘mini J Class’ and steeped in sailing heritage, Q-Class yachts were first built to the Universal Rule in the early 1900s, developed by Nathanael Herreshoff in the same period that Europe adopted the International Rule, AKA the Metre yachts. The Universal Rule was adopted by the New York Yacht Club in 1903 to determine entry criteria for the America’s Cup and facilitate competitive racing. It is best known today for the J-Class yachts, but at least 16 Q Class boats were built in the 1920s and 30s, some of which can be seen racing today, after a revival in their fortunes over the last two decades.

The ‘Falcon Study’

Spirit’s current project (named ‘The Falcon Study’) has been commissioned by the owner and founder of Q7 Yacht Designs, Peter Silvester, who owns the original 1926, Herreshoff-built, Q-Class yacht Falcon (sail number Q7). Falcon was recently re-launched on the west coast of the USA following an extensive restoration ahead of her centenary anniversary in 2026.

Peter Silvester commented: “The ‘Falcon Study’ is a unique partnership of world-class industry leaders set up to honour the history and legacy of Falcon and to celebrate her centenary with a new commission launching in 2026. The ‘Falcon Study’ will re-imagine Falcon ’s original design using the best systems, materials, and craftsmanship available today.”

Peter added: “Imagine taking the beauty, sailing pleasure, and race-winning pedigree of an original Q-Class like Falcon and refining her to deliver optimum performance combined with modern maintenance characteristics and ease of use.”

Dykstra Naval Architects was appointed to adapt Falcon ’s original Burgess, Swasey and Paine line drawings for modern-day sailing and contemporary manufacture. Dykstra was tasked to retain the original hull lines, full keel, and fractional rig, while introducing state-of-the-art rigging, systems, and deck hardware. The design brief from the client was to “create a ‘modern masterpiece’ that could inspire generations of sailors for the next 100 years.”

Thys Nikkels, CEO of Dykstra Naval Architects said: “We love to focus on projects that make our hearts beat faster and the Falcon Study is certainly one of those. Being part of a team creating a new, reimagined version of a Q-Class Yacht is time well spent.”

Spirit Yachts MD Karen Underwood said: “Our roots are embedded in wooden yacht construction, marrying timelessly classic design with modern technologies. The Falcon Study is a perfect fit for our in-house skills and fulfils our passion for custom projects commissioned by visionary owners.”

The project is in the final design stages with the build due to start this spring leading up to launch in 2026 to coincide with Falcon ’s centenary anniversary.

For more info on Spirit Yachts go to their website .

  • Classic Races & Regattas 2024: Classic World Events Guide
  • Classic Boat Awards Tickets: 2024 Exclusive Offer!
  • Western Flyer Restoration: The John Steinbeck fishing seiner

RELATED ARTICLES MORE FROM CLASSIC BOAT

Westerly-Centaur-26-Centaur-photo

Westerly Centaur 26: Can this 1969 GRP boat be considered a true classic?

pen-duick-vi-371370103474

Passing on the flame: How Marie Tabarly re-wrote history with Pen Duick VI

antigua-classic-yacht-regatta-2024-The-40_-Carriacou-sloop,-Navasana

Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 2024: Diverse fleet celebrates 35th year

Recently added to the directory.

Classic Boat cover

Classic Boat is the magazine for the world’s most beautiful boats. Packed with stunning images, we have the inside stories of the great classic yachts and motorboats afloat today, as well as fascinating tales from yesteryear and the latest from the wooden boat building scene around the world.

  • Awards 2017
  • Telegraph.co.uk

Classic Boat Logo

ADVERTISING

Chelsea Magazine Company logo

© 2024 The Chelsea Magazine Company , part of the Telegraph Media Group . Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy

facebook

  • CLASSIFIEDS
  • NEWSLETTERS
  • SUBMIT NEWS

MBW Newsletter Sign-Up

Spirit Yachts announces Q Class commission

who owns spirit yacht

Related Articles

who owns spirit yacht

Boat logo

The global authority in superyachting

  • NEWSLETTERS
  • Yachts Home
  • The Superyacht Directory
  • Yacht Reports
  • Brokerage News
  • The largest yachts in the world
  • The Register
  • Yacht Advice
  • Yacht Design
  • 12m to 24m yachts
  • Monaco Yacht Show
  • Builder Directory
  • Designer Directory
  • Interior Design Directory
  • Naval Architect Directory
  • Yachts for sale home
  • Motor yachts
  • Sailing yachts
  • Explorer yachts
  • Classic yachts
  • Sale Broker Directory
  • Charter Home
  • Yachts for Charter
  • Charter Destinations
  • Charter Broker Directory
  • Destinations Home
  • Mediterranean
  • South Pacific
  • Rest of the World
  • Boat Life Home
  • Owners' Experiences
  • Interiors Suppliers
  • Owners' Club
  • Captains' Club
  • BOAT Showcase
  • Boat Presents
  • Events Home
  • World Superyacht Awards
  • Superyacht Design Festival
  • Design and Innovation Awards
  • Young Designer of the Year Award
  • Artistry and Craft Awards
  • Explorer Yachts Summit
  • Ocean Talks
  • The Ocean Awards
  • BOAT Connect
  • Between the bays
  • Golf Invitational
  • Boat Pro Home
  • Superyacht Insight
  • Global Order Book
  • Premium Content
  • Product Features
  • Testimonials
  • Pricing Plan
  • Tenders & Equipment

Spirit 46 yacht James Bond film No Time to Die

No Time To Die: How Spirit Yachts became the official boat of James Bond

Related articles.

With a Spirit 46 making an appearance in the latest James Bond film, No Time To Die , Spirit Yachts founder and CEO Sean McMillan gives an insight into the 007 filming process. 

In the recently-released James Bond film No Time To Die , Daniel Craig’s 007, now retired from active service, is cruising the waters of Jamaica on board his own Spirit 46 sailing yacht . Bond is well known for appreciating the finer things in life and his choice of a Spirit 46 aligns the builder with the likes of Aston Martin cars and Omega watches.

“I think it suits the Bond character very well,” says Spirit Yachts chief executive Sean McMillan. He emphasises that, unlike the gadgets Bond is given on the job, the yacht he sails reflects the agent’s personal taste.

“While appreciating the very best of everything, and having had on many occasions access to the very best of everything, when it comes to making his own personal decisions [I think] he would choose to have something that was exquisitely good, that was probably very beautiful, but there was nevertheless an extremely practical expression of what he wanted to do in his life,” he says.

Casino Royale

So how did the Ipswich-based shipyard become a staple of James Bond’s discerning taste? The journey began back in 2006 when production company Eon Productions was working on Daniel Craig’s first foray into the Bond role - Casino Royale . “We just got a telephone call one morning which was a little surprising,” recounts McMillan. Once he was reassured that no yachts would be harmed in the making of the film, McMillan was on board.

“As luck would have it, we happened to have one yacht that was brand new and fitted the bill, so off we went,” remembers McMillan.

The yacht McMillan refers to is the 16.4 metre Spirit 54’ Soufrière, which hosts Bond and Vesper Lynd as the couple cruise through Venice. Filming took a total of six months and involved shipping and cruising the yacht to various locations. The yacht even made history as the first sailing yacht to go up the Venetian Grand Canal in 300 years.

During filming McMillan was charged with directing Craig on board and ensuring Bond appeared a convincing experienced sailor.

At times, this involved McMillan lying on the floor – out of shot – barking instructions up to Craig as the cameras rolled. “By the time you've got cameras, cameramen and soundmen on a very small boat, there's not much room,” says McMillan. He adds however that “everybody just muddles on and gets along with it. There's no real difficulty about it at all because everyone wants the same end goal.”

Technicalities of the Casino Royale filming process also involved removing and replacing the yacht’s rig 10 times to ensure the yacht could fit under multiple canal bridges. “That was tricky, but the end result was two minutes in the film, and it did absolute wonders for us,” says McMillan.

The spotlight cast on Spirit Yachts thanks to Casino Royale affected the company “very favourably”, says McMillan. As a direct consequence of the 2006 film, the company sold three boats and benefited from “considerable” interest. One buyer even contacted Spirit immediately after watching the film. “He told me he stayed right through the credits to find out who made the boat and rang us up the next morning,” says McMillan. The story has a happy ending, directly resulting in the sale and delivery of a Spirit 60.

No Time To Die

It wasn’t long after work got underway on the much-anticipated No Time To Die that McMillan received a familiar phone call. It was Eon Productions approaching McMillan for Spirit’s involvement in Daniel Craig’s Bond finale. “The whole process started again,” McMillan says.

The production team wanted a boat small enough to be sailed independently by Bond but still looked “used and well-loved”. They landed on a 14m modern-classic Spirit 46, which was due to undergo a winter refit. “[Eon] said, ‘no, leave it like that, with that slightly end of season, slightly used look about it’,” McMillan says. “They didn't want her to be pristine, although we did of course.”

The yacht was shipped over to Jamaica where McMillan once again joined Craig at the helm. “He hadn’t forgotten anything at all,” he says, describing Craig as a “capable chap.”

“I think once he’s learned something, he doesn’t have to relearn it at all,” added McMillan. The Spirit founder reminisces fondly on the experience, recounting that, with the sailing instruction in hand, he was even able to “enjoy the sunshine and drink a bit of rum.”

The Spirit 46 is now back with her owners, who recently cruised her around the Long Island Sound. Spirit Yachts, meanwhile, has been enjoying the attention from the film release, with McMillan suggesting that it will once again have a positive impact on enquiries and brand awareness.

As for the future, McMillan hopes the partnership will mean more appearances on screen “I think it would hopefully mean that every now and again, we will certainly be involved,” hints McMillan, adding that the partnership “is a very nice accolade to have.”

Similar yachts for sale

More stories, most popular, from our partners, sponsored listings.

Sail Universe

Spirit Yachts Announces New Contemporary Q Class Yacht Project

Spirit Yachts Q Class

Known as “mini J Class” yachts and steeped in sailing heritage, Q Class yachts were originally built under the Universal Rule of Measurement in the early 1900s. This rule was developed by the renowned naval architect Nathanael Herreshoff and adopted by the New York Yacht Club in 1903 to set entry criteria for the America’s Cup and facilitate competitive racing. In the 1920s and 30s, at least 16 Q Class boats were constructed, some of which still compete today.

Spirit’s current project, “The Falcon Study,” is commissioned by Peter Silvester, the owner and founder of Q7 Yacht Designs. He owns an original Q Class yacht named Falcon. Built in 1926 by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and raced under sail number Q7, Falcon recently relaunched on the U.S. west coast after extensive restoration, ahead of her centenary anniversary in 2026.

Peter Silvester commented, “ The ‘Falcon Study’ is a unique partnership of world-class industry leaders set up to honour the history and legacy of Falcon and to celebrate her centenary with a new commission launching in 2026. The ‘Falcon Study’ will re-imagine Falcon’s original design using the best systems, materials, and craftsmanship available today. ”

Peter added, “Imagine taking the beauty, sailing pleasure, and race winning pedigree of an original Q Class like Falcon and refining her to deliver optimum performance combined with modern maintenance characteristics and ease of use.”

Dykstra Naval Architects were engaged to adapt Falcon’s original line drawings by Burgess, Swasey, and Paine for modern sailing and contemporary construction. Their task was to preserve the original hull lines, full keel, and fractional rig, while incorporating state-of-the-art rigging, systems, and deck hardware.

Sean McMillan

The design brief from the client Peter Silvester was to “create a ‘modern masterpiece’ that could inspire generations of sailors for the next 100 years”.

Thys Nikkels, CEO Dykstra Naval Architects said, “ We love to focus on projects that make our hearts beat faster and the Falcon Study is certainly one of those. To be able to be part of a team that creates a new, re-imagined version of a Q Class Yacht is time well spent. ”

After extensive research into wooden boatbuilders worldwide, Spirit Yachts was selected as the chosen yard tasked with creating the yacht, which will be named ‘Q7 Victoria’ / the ‘Victoria commission’.

Spirit Yachts Managing Director Karen Underwood said, “ Our roots are embedded in wooden yacht construction, marrying timelessly classic design with modern technologies. The Falcon Study is a perfect fit for our in-house skills and fulfills our passion for custom projects commissioned by visionary owners. ”

Julian Weatherill, Head of Design and Production at Spirit Yachts, added, “ It has been a pleasure working with the talented team at Dykstra to realise the dream of a passionate and committed owner. Re-imagining a yacht with such historical sailing significance is both an honour and an exciting new challenge. Working closely with Peter and Dykstra, we will retain the authenticity of the Falcon whilst bringing our expertise in modern wood construction, sailing performance, electric propulsion, and luxury interiors to the project. ”

The project is in the final design stages with the build due to start this spring leading up to launch in 2026 to coincide with Falcon’s centenary anniversary.

New 23.5-metre Explorer Sailing Yacht Amundsen Launched

Mishi 88, the bluewater composite carbon superyacht from turkey, ice yachts unveils the advanced and sleek ice62, the new crossover clubswan 43 has been launched, live your passion, subscribe to our mailing list.

SPIRIT YACHTS ANNOUNCES Q CLASS COMMISSION

This month, Spirit Yachts has announced it has been commissioned to build a contemporary version of a Q Class yacht.

Sometimes known as a ‘mini J Class’ and steeped in sailing heritage, Q Class yachts were first built to the Universal Rule of Measurement in the early 1900s. Development of the rule was led by the famous naval architect Nathanael Herreshoff and adopted by the New York Yacht Club in 1903 to determine entry criteria for the America’s Cup and to facilitate competitive racing. At least 16 Q Class boats were built in the 1920s and 30s, some of which can be seen racing today.

Spirit’s current project (named ‘The Falcon Study’) is being commissioned by the owner and founder of Q7 Yacht Designs, Peter Silvester, who owns an original Q Class yacht named Falcon. Built in 1926 by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and raced under sail number Q7, Falcon recently re-launched on the west coast of the USA following an extensive restoration ahead of her centenary anniversary in 2026.

Peter Silvester commented, “The ‘Falcon Study’ is a unique partnership of world-class industry leaders set up to honour the history and legacy of Falcon and to celebrate her centenary with a new commission launching in 2026. The ‘Falcon Study’ will re-imagine Falcon’s original design using the best systems, materials, and craftsmanship available today.”

Peter added, “Imagine taking the beauty, sailing pleasure, and race winning pedigree of an original Q Class like Falcon and refining her to deliver optimum performance combined with modern maintenance characteristics and ease of use.”

Dykstra Naval Architects were appointed to adapt Falcon’s original Burgess, Swasey and Paine line drawings for modern day sailing and contemporary manufacture. Dykstra was tasked to retain the original hull lines, full keel, and fractional rig, whilst introducing state of the art rigging, systems, and deck hardware.

The design brief from the client Peter Silvester was to “create a ‘modern masterpiece’ that could inspire generations of sailors for the next 100 years”.

Thys Nikkels, CEO Dykstra Naval Architects said, “We love to focus on projects that make our hearts beat faster and the Falcon Study is certainly one of those. To be able to be part of a team that creates a new, re-imagined version of a Q Class Yacht is time well spent.”

After extensive research into wooden boatbuilders worldwide, Spirit Yachts was selected as the chosen yard tasked with creating the yacht, which will be named ‘Q7 Victoria’ / the ‘Victoria commission’.

Spirit Yachts Managing Director Karen Underwood said, “Our roots are embedded in wooden yacht construction, marrying timelessly classic design with modern technologies. The Falcon Study is a perfect fit for our in-house skills and fulfils our passion for custom projects commissioned by visionary owners.”

Julian Weatherill, Head of Design and Production at Spirit Yachts, added, “It has been a pleasure working with the talented team at Dykstra to realise the dream of a passionate and committed owner. Re-imagining a yacht with such historical sailing significance is both an honour and an exciting new challenge. Working closely with Peter and Dykstra, we will retain the authenticity of the Falcon whilst bringing our expertise in modern wood construction, sailing performance, electric propulsion, and luxury interiors to the project.”

The project is in the final design stages with the build due to start this spring leading up to launch in 2026 to coincide with Falcon’s centenary anniversary.

Top black and white photo: June 1934, ‘Falcon’ sailing in Marblehead. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

RELATED ARTICLES

Spirit founder honoured with lifetime achievement award.

Spirit Yachts’ founder and award-winning designer Sean McMillan was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 Classic Boat Awards.

SPIRIT C72 WINS PRESTIGIOUS CLASSIC BOAT AWARD

The Spirit C72 ‘Gwenhyfar II’ was crowned Spirit of Tradition yacht of the year at the 2024 Classic Boat Awards.

SPIRIT C72 ON DISPLAY PALMA BOAT SHOW

The Spirit C72 charter yacht Anima II will be on show at this year’s Palma Boat Show from 25th – 28th April

ENTRY OPEN FOR SPIRIT YACHTS REGATTA 2024

Entry for the 2024 Spirit Yachts Regatta in partnership with Locate Guernsey is now open. Taking place from 15th – 22nd June, the regatta will see a fleet of Spirit yachts take on a competitive six race series in the Channel Islands.

STAY IN THE LOOP

" * " indicates required fields

Yachting Monthly

  • Digital edition

Yachting Monthly cover

ON TEST: Spirit 44e – the sustainable future of sailing?

  • Theo Stocker
  • November 1, 2020

A wooden boat that blazes a trail for modern technology and sustainability sounds too good to be true. Theo Stocker went to see if the Spirit 44e is as good as promised

Product Overview

Spirit yacht 44cr electric.

  • Most sustainable yacht available today
  • Sails beautifully
  • Stunning looks
  • Limited accommodation for length
  • Upkeep of wooden boat

Manufacturers:

Price as reviewed:.

Boats have been built out of wood since Noah first put axe to tree, but when it comes to cutting-edge yachts, timber is right back at the top.

Spirit Yachts have been building head-turningly pretty wooden yachts with stiff, lightweight laminated wooden hulls since 1993, including the largest wooden yacht built in the UK since the 1930s in the shape of the Spirit 111 , launched this year.

But away from all the fanfare, the Ipswich-based yard has also just launched Avvento , smaller sister to its 47 and 55 Cruising Range yachts.

Far from being a lesser vessel, however, the Spirit 44 Cruising Range Electric Boat (44e for short) hides advances in sustainable technology under its gleaming topsides that offer a glimpse into the future of boat building.

Unrecyclable fibreglass and sails, toxic antifoul, and fossil-fuel propulsion are replaced by sustainably sourced timber, self-sufficient electric propulsion and zero-carbon emissions.

who owns spirit yacht

The proud new owner is Vincent Argiro, a retired technology entrepreneur who lives and sails in British Columbia in Canada.

Explaining his motivation to go for such a radical concept, he said: ‘My first sailboat was also the first of its kind to be built all-electric. I have never owned anything else, nor will I.

‘To me, it is a terrible corruption of the beauty and simplicity of sailing to add internal-combustion propulsion to it.’

who owns spirit yacht

She is built, Spirit claims, to last a hundred years and to be largely recyclable when the time does come. In the intervening century, she will burn no hydro-carbons whatsoever with not even a backup generator on board, or, for that matter, any obvious renewable energy sources. I was curious to see how she worked.

who owns spirit yacht

THE TEST VERDICT

The Spirit 44e is a fabulously expensive boat given her limited accommodation and shorter than average waterline length, if you are going to judge her by volume.

As managing director Nigel Stuart says: ‘You need to think about her volume relative to her waterline rather than overall length.’ That’s a nice idea, if you have the luxury of not worrying about marina fees.

who owns spirit yacht

You can get a lot of boat for this kind of budget, so why would you buy the Spirit 44e? Firstly, she is drop dead gorgeous. From her sleek lines to her dovetail joints, there is no part of the boat that is not a pleasure to look at.

Then, she is utterly engaging to sail. Lightweight, powerful and responsive, helming her will put a smile on your face, while she should cope equally well with the rough stuff. Finally, she is light years ahead of most production yachts in terms of environmental impact.

who owns spirit yacht

I would opt for the smaller rig and higher boom, and I’d like narrower cockpit seats. Most owners would opt for a backup diesel generator for peace of mind, though with new battery tech on its way, unlimited range is within reach.

The Spirit 44e goes a very long way to prove that yachts can be built and run in a sustainable way.

who owns spirit yacht

Would the Spirit 44e suit you and your crew?

This boat isn’t about mass-market appeal, but who wouldn’t fall in love given half a chance? In reality, for the kind of cruising most sailors really do, weekends and a few weeks here and there, she is luxuriously comfortable for a cruising couple with occasional guests. Liveaboard cruising is more of a stretch, but entirely feasible, while she’ll also do well racing round the cans.

There’s plenty of entertaining space, particularly on deck once you’re in harbour, and if you don’t mind the stares, she turns heads wherever she goes.

Very few boats out there could hold a hydrocarbon-free candle to the Spirit 44e. Even Noah might have been tempted to leave his animals for this boat.

who owns spirit yacht

Enjoyed reading this?

A subscription to Yachting Monthly magazine costs around 40% less than the cover price .

Print and digital editions are available through Magazines Direct – where you can also find the latest deals .

YM is packed with information to help you get the most from your time on the water.

  • Take your seamanship to the next level with tips, advice and skills from our experts
  • Impartial in-depth reviews of the latest yachts and equipment
  • Cruising guides to help you reach those dream destinations

Follow us on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram.

IMAGES

  1. Read caption to learn who owns these two mega yachts One of the world

    who owns spirit yacht

  2. Who Owns Founders Factory Africa

    who owns spirit yacht

  3. SMYRNA Yacht Club Spirit Jersey Longsleeve Shirt Striped Size Medium

    who owns spirit yacht

  4. SMYRNA Yacht Club Spirit Jersey Longsleeve Shirt Striped Size Medium

    who owns spirit yacht

  5. A Famous Rock Star Who Owns Hundreds of Exotic Cars Gave His Ferrari

    who owns spirit yacht

  6. 51 ft Island Spirit 2025 525

    who owns spirit yacht

COMMENTS

  1. Spirit Yachts in new ownership as founder Sean McMillan steps back

    Spirit Yachts has announced a new management and ownership structure, with founder Sean McMillan taking a step back from his CEO role to become a consultant designer and brand ambassador. As the company marks its 30th anniversary this year, it now becomes majority-owned by a group of Spirit yacht owners, who have committed significant capital ...

  2. Spirit Yachts CEO steps down following change in ownership

    The 34m Geist from Spirit Yachts was awarded the Neptune for Sailing Yacht of the Year at the 2021 World Superyacht Awards 28 February 2023 • by Gabrielle Lazaridis Spirit Yachts, a shipyard originating from Suffolk in England, announced a new management and ownership structure to accompany the company's 30th year.

  3. Spirit Yachts Announces New Management in its 30th Year

    This month, leading yacht design and build company Spirit Yachts has announced a new management and ownership structure. In the company's 30 th year, its original founder Sean McMillan has taken a step back from his CEO role to become a consultant designer and brand ambassador. As part of this transition, Spirit Yachts is now majority-owned by a passionate group of Spirit yacht owners, who ...

  4. Spirit Yachts announces new ownership structure and ...

    Yacht design and build company Spirit Yachts has announced a new management and ownership structure. Following its original founder Sean McMillan taking a step back from his CEO role to become a consultant designer and brand ambassador, Spirit Yachts is now majority-owned by a group of Spirit yacht owners, who have committed significant capital to strengthen future business growth.

  5. Spirit Yachts : Owners commit to the future of the shipyard

    Owners at the helm of Spirit Yachts . Spirit Yachts, the British shipyard specializing in high-end sailing yachts, announced on February 27 a change in its management and capital structure. 30 years after Sean McMillan created the shipyard in 1993, the founder has decided to gradually step back, leaving his role as CEO and becoming a designer consultant and brand ambassador.

  6. Q&A with owner of Spirit 111 sailing yacht Geist

    The daily pattern of natural light was balanced with the responsive lighting system so the interior would always feel peaceful and never interrupted by harsh, bright lights. The Spirit 111 combines classic beauty and green technology with beguiling grace. Credit: Mike Jones/Waterline media.

  7. On board the Spirit Yachts flagship sailing yacht Geist

    Geist is the largest wooden sloop-rigged yacht to be built in the UK. From her carbon mast with its non-metallic rigging, to her advanced sail- handling systems, her classic looks conceal a very advanced technical specification. For example, a bank of four BMW lithium batteries and a 100kW Torqeedo propulsion system capable of regenerating ...

  8. Spirit Yachts reveals new owners and management team

    Spirit Yachts is known for building sailing superyachts up to 30.5m (100ft). A 2007 Spirit 100 yacht (pictured) is currently on sale with McMaster yachts for a cool €2.95m. Underwood noted that the challenges of supply chain hurdles, staff shortages and the need to remain agile in the face of global events are greater than they have ever been.

  9. Spirit Yachts announces new ownership as founder Sean McMillan steps

    Spirit Yachts was founded by McMillan and Mick Newman in 1993. The pair set out to o er yacht owners an alternativ­e to fibreglass production boats, using modern technology married to a classic aesthetic. Today the company is the leading Spirit of Tradition builder in the world and has also led the marine industry on sustainabl­e boat ...

  10. About Spirit Yachts

    Today, Spirit Yachts comprises a team of yacht design and build specialists from all over the world. Based at waterside premises in Ipswich, Suffolk, Spirit Yachts designs and builds custom wooden sail and motor yachts for day sailing, performance racing, blue water cruising and occasionally a combination of all three. Every Spirit is unique.

  11. Geist Makes History for Spirit Yachts

    July 30, 2020By: Diane M. Byrne. Until recently, the famous J-Class sailing superyacht Shamrock V reigned as the largest single-masted wooden yacht to spring from UK shores. Her 90-year reign has ended due to Spirit Yachts sea trialing Geist. This 111-footer (33.9-meter), bearing wood epoxy composite construction on a stainless steel space ...

  12. NOVA SPIRIT Yacht • Jim Pattison $25M Superyacht

    The Nova Spirit yacht is a Trinity-built yacht, crafted in 1999. It can accommodate up to 12 guests and a crew of 9. Powered by two Caterpillar Engines, it reaches a top speed of 20 knots and has a cruising speed of 16 knots. The yacht's owner is Canadian billionaire Jim Pattison.

  13. SIBS 2023: New breed of owner for Spirit Yachts

    Spirit now has a group of passionate owner-investors, who have provided that buffer." Making its UK debut at the show, the 22.1m Spirit 72 is a Bermudan sloop designed for regatta racing and occasional cruising. The yacht displays long overhangs, flush decks, and curved deckhouse with integrated fan windows.

  14. SPIRIT Yacht • Italian Millionaire's $30M Superyacht

    The yacht SPIRIT was built by Amels in 2011. She is designed by Tim Heywood Design Design. Specifications. The yacht is powered by MTU engines. Her max speed is 16 knots. Her cruising speed is 14 knots. She has a range of more than 3000 nm. Interior. The luxury yacht can accommodate 12 guests and a crew of 13.

  15. Falcon Study by Spirit Yachts: New Q-Class Yacht Planned

    The 'Falcon Study'. Spirit's current project (named 'The Falcon Study') has been commissioned by the owner and founder of Q7 Yacht Designs, Peter Silvester, who owns the original 1926, Herreshoff-built, Q-Class yacht Falcon (sail number Q7). Falcon was recently re-launched on the west coast of the USA following an extensive ...

  16. Spirit Yachts Unveils Spirit 111 Superyacht

    This month, Spirit Yachts unveiled its highly anticipated 34m sailing yacht, the Spirit 111. With eco features throughout and a stand-out interior design, the sloop-rigged yacht is the largest single-masted wooden sailing yacht to be built in the UK since Shamrock V in the 1930s.

  17. Spirit Yachts announces Q Class commission

    Spirit's current project (named 'The Falcon Study') is being commissioned by the owner and founder of Q7 Yacht Designs, Peter Silvester, who owns an original Q Class yacht named Falcon. Built in 1926 by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and raced under sail number Q7, Falcon recently re-launched on the west coast of the USA following an ...

  18. No Time To Die: How Spirit Yachts became the official boat of James Bond

    With a Spirit 46 making an appearance in the latest James Bond film, No Time To Die, Spirit Yachts founder and CEO Sean McMillan gives an insight into the 007 filming process. In the recently-released James Bond film No Time To Die, Daniel Craig's 007, now retired from active service, is cruising the waters of Jamaica on board his own Spirit 46 sailing yacht.

  19. Spirit Yachts Announces New Contemporary Q Class Yacht Project

    In the 1920s and 30s, at least 16 Q Class boats were constructed, some of which still compete today. Spirit's current project, "The Falcon Study," is commissioned by Peter Silvester, the owner and founder of Q7 Yacht Designs. He owns an original Q Class yacht named Falcon. Built in 1926 by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and raced ...

  20. Spirit Yachts

    Spirit's current project (named 'The Falcon Study') is being commissioned by the owner and founder of Q7 Yacht Designs, Peter Silvester, who owns an original Q Class yacht named Falcon. Built in 1926 by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and raced under sail number Q7, Falcon recently re-launched on the west coast of the USA following ...

  21. Owner of the Yacht Spirit • Italian Millionaire • Net Worth • House

    Launched in 2009, SuperYacht Fan transitioned from a gallery of yacht imagery to a pivotal resource, culminating in the Super Yacht Owners Register —a meticulously compiled database featuring over 1,500 yacht owners. The allure of luxury yachts and their affluent proprietors has captured global interest, making our compilation a valued asset ...

  22. ON TEST: Spirit 44e

    Far from being a lesser vessel, however, the Spirit 44 Cruising Range Electric Boat (44e for short) hides advances in sustainable technology under its gleaming topsides that offer a glimpse into the future of boat building. Unrecyclable fibreglass and sails, toxic antifoul, and fossil-fuel propulsion are replaced by sustainably sourced timber ...

  23. Geist Yacht

    Geist is a sailing yacht with an overall length of m. The yacht's builder is Spirit Yachts Ltd from United Kingdom, who launched Geist in 2020. The superyacht has a beam of m, a draught of m and a volume of . GT.. Geist features exterior design by Spirit Yachts Ltd and interior design by Rhoades Young Design. Geist has a wood hull and a wood superstructure.. In the world rankings for largest ...