Spirit Yachts reveals new owners and management team


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.”

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