New Zealand Millennium Cup 2015 Wants Competitors


Trophy case looking a little sparse? Feel like racing in some of the most renowned waters on earth, then remaining for the season? Point your bow south for the New Zealand Millennium Cup, being held January 21 to 23.

The New Zealand Millennium Cup, initiated in 2000, takes place on the Bay of Islands, a first. The Bay of Islands features 144 islands and many sheltered anchorages. It’s further where Opua is located, where most megayachts make their first port of entry. Anchorages will be arranged for attendees of the New Zealand Millennium Cup as a result. Also a first, it’s being held in conjunction with the Bay of Islands Sailing Week. That weeklong regatta, celebrating its 13th anniversary in 2015, attracts quite the crowd and competition.

The New Zealand Millennium Cup also has a good reputation for competitiveness. Captains and owners who’ve raced in previous editions have great stories. Capt. Gerhard Ruether of Zefiro (pictured), who is also her owner, has raced in a number of regattas worldwide. He says of last year’s race, “We had a lot of fun. The regatta was well-organized, and the atmosphere easy and pleasant.” Capt. Blair Macleod of Silvertip says, “You don’t need to spend thousands flying in rock-star crew; there are plenty of world-class guys locally who will jump at the chance to help you get ‘round the track in one piece.”

Of course, the organizers want megayachts to stay for the season and cruise. Ruether says it’s worth it. “I would recommend any captain and/or owner planning cruises in the Pacific to arrange to visit the beautiful country New Zealand as a must and organize their stay timewise os that participation in the Millennium Cup is not missed.” The race organizers further want owners and captains to learn more about refit and new-build opportunities. Various industry companies will be on hand as a result.

To register, download the New Zealand Millennium Cup invitation to race.

April 2014 Motoryacht Video: Sunseeker 40 Metre Yacht


Though she’s no longer the flagship, the Sunseeker 40 Metre Yacht is still a head-turner. Her angular, even aggressive styling hints at her 25-knot top speed. Given her 131’5″ (40.05-meter) LOA, that speed is quite a thrill. Commodious alfresco areas invite owners and guests to soak up the scenery as it passes by. Of course, everyone can appreciate the coastlines at a more leisurely pace. The megayacht is said to see a 1,500-nautical-mile-range at about 10 to 12 knots.

Any proper megayacht makes the most of alfresco space. The Sunseeker 40 Metre Yacht is the first model in the UK builder’s lineup to include automatically deploying balconies. Further aboard is the customary hot tub, surrounded by a plethora of pads to soak up the sun. This video gives you a good look at all of these spaces, and a few quick looks at others. Some of those other spaces include a cocktail-bar-equipped skylounge. The bar is situated just inside the doors from the aft deck space, in fact, quite convenient. You also see the main-deck, full-beam master suite.

Additional highlights of the RINA-classed Sunseeker 40 Metre Yacht include accommodations for 10 guests. All Sunseeker clients are able to put their own imprint on the interior. The 40 Metre Yacht shown here features high-gloss wood, but you can request satin finishes instead. With the Sunseeker interior-design team, you can also select from a wide assortment of joinery, stones, and other materials. Regardless of how you arrange your yacht, you can have a crew of nine take care of everything.

Fitzroy Yachts Shuts Down

PHOTO: Facebook

PHOTO: Facebook

UPDATE, APRIL 14, 2014: Fitzroy Yachts’ last sailing superyacht, Escapade, was reportedly christened within her build shed on Saturday. She was then transported to the port via a truck. Escapade is being finished in Auckland in preparation for delivery.

Read on for the original story about the closure.


It’s a sad day in yachting circles, as Fitzroy Yachts’ last remaining workers finished their final day. This, coming just before the builder’s final megayacht, Escapade, is set to leave her shed.

Located in New Plymouth, New Zealand, just off the Tasman Sea, Fitzroy Yachts had been in business since 1997. It focused on sailing superyachts, delivering 10 to date. This past January, however, Fitzroy Yachts issued a statement warning of layoffs. “Like a large number of our fellow yacht builders, we have felt the effects of the 2008 global financial crisis and its impact on the new-build order book,” the statement read. “Following the imminent completion of our current build, the 37.5m Dubois performance sloop FY17, a substantial reduction of employees, albeit extremely regrettable, will not be avoidable.”

That substantial reduction of employees unfortunately turned out to be all craftspeople. Fitzroy Yachts employed 120 staff earlier this year. It had been negotiating with a potential client late last year, but did not get a contract. Layoffs began, and on April 3, the last employees were notified that April 11 would be the final day of employment.

Fitzroy Yachts’ first project was Spirit of Fitzroy. The 24.7-meter sailing yacht started construction in 1997. Impressive builds followed in subsequent years. Here’s the full list of its sailing superyachts:

* Spirit of Fitzroy: 81 feet (24.7 meters), launched in 2000

* Midnight (now Moonbird): 121’9” (37.15 meters), launched in 2003

* Neptune: 87’4” (26.65 meters), launched in 2004

* Helios (now Ludynosa G): 122’10” (37.48 meters), launched in 2004

* Zulu (now Ganesha): 127’6” (38.9 meters), launched in 2006

* Salperton III (now named Artemis): 148 feet (45 meters), launched in 2007

* Inmocean: 134’5” (41 meters), launched in 2008

* Salperton IV: 147’6” (45 meters), launched in 2009

* Zefira: 163 feet (49.7 meters), launched in 2010

* Ohana: 163 feet (49.7 meters), launched 2012

* Escapade, a.k.a. FY17: 123 feet (37.5 meters), launching 2014

On a related subject, Fitzroy Yachts contributed to the build of Emirates Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup contender last year.

Escapade will be launched in the next few days via a small commissioning crew. Upon delivery, her owners will race in regattas and enjoy private cruises. She has a fixed keel and a draft of 13 feet (4 meters). Dubois Naval Architects, which collaborated with Fitzroy Yachts on several yachts, is responsible for naval architecture. Inside, Design Unlimited is overseeing the general arrangement and decor. There are two guest staterooms, an aft master, and an extra guest stateroom/day room forward, along with the crew cabins and galley. Escapade also has a raised saloon and sliding windows in the cockpit. Overall beam is 27’9” (8.5 meters).

Even with the layoffs, some of the craftspeople and their families try to remain optimistic. The wife of one craftsman established the Supporting Fitzroy Yacht Workers Facebook page. There, news of opportunities is shared. She also established the We Need Work website. It allows companies to post job openings and review resumes. As our colleagues at put so eloquently, “When the outside world looks at a superyacht and questions the appropriateness of it, they too often do not see the jobs behind it.”

Nearly four dozen former Fitzroy employees are still seeking jobs. Some are willing to relocate. If you are in the industry and have openings, please visit the We Need Work website and Supporting Fitzroy Yacht Workers page. Of course, feel free to post openings here as well, and we’ll get it to the right people.

Destination New Zealand Superyacht Attraction Initiative

Destination New Zealand Superyacht Attraction Initiative

If you’ve always wanted to cruise in New Zealand, you’ll be welcomed with open arms more than ever. Tourism New Zealand, the country’s marine industry, and more are jointly producing a promotional campaign to attract megayachts. It’s known as the Destination New Zealand Superyacht Attraction Initiative.

NZ Marine, the yachting-trade organization, has long had a Destination New Zealand campaign. It provides information for yachts and megayachts alike. Some other organizations have had similar programs over the years. So, they’ve all combined forces for the Destination New Zealand Superyacht Attraction Initiative. Besides the above-referenced groups, the partners are New Zealand Trade and Enterprise as well as Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED).

Destination New Zealand Superyacht Attraction Initiative partners will attend boat shows and send media updates. The cruising grounds and superyacht-sector companies will be promoted. A number of superyacht builders, refit yards, and other manufacturers are based in New Zealand, for example. They include Alloy Yachts, Yachting Developments, and Southern Spars. In addition, the famed Millennium Cup regatta is held in New Zealand. The next race is from January 21 to 23, 2015 in Auckland. Auckland is where most overall megayacht activity occurs in the country.

The refocused promotional efforts make financial sense. NZ Marine estimates that visiting megayachts contributed NZ$95 million (about US$82.4 million at press time) to the country’s economy last year. Overall, megayacht expenditures accounted for NZ$185 million (about US$160.5 million) within just the marine industry. Furthermore, 35 megayachts visited New Zealand. Destination New Zealand Superyacht Attraction Initiative partners want to double all those numbers by 2018.

They feel confident for a few reasons. One is the growth of the yacht-transport sector, which includes New Zealand in various itineraries. New Zealand builders and other marine companies are sought after particularly among sailing superyacht owners. Adventure-seekers have touted heading to the Southern Hemisphere and seeing the diversity of the New Zealand coastline. Further helping is the extension of the Temporary Import Entry. It’s a customs regulation governing non-consumable goods, including yachts. Visiting yachts can receive a temporary import entry to exempt their owners from paying duties if they aren’t used commercially or sold, and if they depart the country within a set time period. Until last December, that period was 12 months. It was extended to 24 months, retroactive to last July. NZ Marine heralded the move as a bolster to New Zealand’s marinas, refit yards, and more.

3rd Truly Classic 90 in Build at Claasen Shipyards

Claasen-Truly-Classic-90-MCM-mgtCome springtime 2016, the third Truly Classic 90 will be ready for delivery from Claasen Shipyards.

The Truly Classic 90 is one of a dozen in the “Truly Classic” semi-custom series from Hoek Design. The series stems from one particular sailing yacht that the design studio was involved in, named Truly Classic. The yacht, delivered in 1994, won the Spirit of Tradition class at Antigua Classic Week for three consecutive years. The yacht also cruised well. Other yacht owners took notice, and they requested similar projects from Hoek Design.

The most notable aspect of the Truly Classic 90, as with her fellow series designs, is the elegance of 1930s-era yachts. Note the low deckhouse, the sheer, and the long overhangs both fore and aft. Those styling elements are mated to a modern hull form. The hull and deck lines for each are set in stone. LOA is 90 feet (27.5 meters), while beam is 19’7” (6 meters). Owners can then choose the sail plan, keel configuration, performance parameters, interior layout and design, and more. They can also choose to build in either fiberglass or aluminum.

A client of Marine Construction Management (MCM) acquired the third Truly Classic 90 earlier this year. The hull had been completed under a previous owner. Interesting enough, two MCM clients built the first two Truly Classic 90 sailing yachts. Both were also built at Claasen Shipyards. Those yachts are Atalante, from 2009, and Kealoha, from 2008. (On another related note, a further MCM client has a Truly Classic 126 in build at Claasen Shipyards.) The third Truly Classic 90 will be a sistership, with a fixed keel and aluminum hull. Draft is 11’1” (3.4 meters). The yacht will further have, as pictured, a black hull, with a white bootstripe.

The mast will rise about 117 feet (35.6 meters) high. It, and the 37’4″ (11.4-meter) boom, are being made of carbon fiber, by Hall Spars. The Truly Classic 90 will also have a mainsail, yankee, staysail, MPS/asymmetrical sail, and storm jib. The interior will feature raised-panel mahogany. That will complement the traditional styling. Other highlights include an aft cockpit, full-beam owner’s stateroom, and a single cabin adjacent to the master. Another guest stateroom is forward, near the three crew cabins. The in-house joinery department of Claasen Shipyards is executing the interior.