New Sunseeker Yacht Yard Being Considered


All Sunseeker yacht models have been built in Poole, England for about 40 years. That may change in the future, however. Sunseeker is evaluating several yacht-construction sites in Southampton, England to handle additional operations.

The UK-based Daily Echo newspaper confirmed the details with the builder. Sunseeker—whose 75 Yacht debuted at this week’s London Boat Show—occupies three acres in Poole. However, it has limited capacity for big boats and megayachts there. Among the 23 models in the entire Sunseeker yacht lineup, 13 are megayachts.

Stewart McIntyre, Sunseeker’s managing director, tells the Daily Echo, “Our interest has been to find out what is happening in Southampton, from Mayflower Park all the way across to Centenary Quay.” He does say that for the foreseeable future, Sunseeker yacht operations will remain where they are. But, he adds, “clearly the sites in Southampton have capacity for building bigger boats.” McIntyre also says that when and if Sunseeker yacht operations expand, the Poole facility will remain in use.

The Daily Echo divulged details about one specific facility that Sunseeker has evaluated. It’s part of the former Vosper Thornycroft property in Woolston, Southampton. Vosper Thornycroft built a good number of naval and other military ships. In addition, it constructed the famed 247-foot (75-meter) sailing superyacht Mirabella V (now M5) from 2001 to 2004. It also built the 117-foot (36-meter) Gentry Eagle, one of the world’s fastest yachts, in the 1980s. Vosper Thornycroft vacated the Woolston location in 2003.

There’s no word as to how many additional people would be employed if Sunseeker yacht construction expanded into Southampton. The builder currently has about 2,300 workers in Poole. “We are open minded as to the future and are keeping our eye on real estate that is suitable for yacht building in the south coast, and we have had discussions with the city council in Southampton and different developers in the area,” McIntyre says. “But this is part of a longer term plan for us.”

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