Why Is The Super-Rich Rushing To Plymouth?

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Credit: Eugene Chystiakov/Unsplash

The first Y95 was showcased at Royal William Yard before being transferred to Asia.

Princess Yachts

The wealthy and well-heeled have been travelling to Plymouth from around the world to view Princess Yachts’ newest and largest boat – the £12m Y95. Haves and have yachts flown in from the USA, Middle East, Asia and across Europe to tour the vessel, which at 95 feet in length is just short of superyacht status.

The first Y95, known in the industry as “slot 1”, was moored at the Royal William Yard marina prior to being collected by its new owner, who will transport it to its new home in Asia on a cargo ship. Princess Yachts took the opportunity to show it off to invited guests – and has already received orders for more Y95s.

Simon Clare, Princess Yachts’ marketing director, said the company hopes to make about nine 95s a year. He said: “The owner is taking this yacht to Asia but allowed us to show key customers before it went. We have had people come from Asia, the USA, the Middle East and Europe. There have been private and exclusive invitations to people looking to buy yachts of this size. We have had orders already.”

Global Business

“Our customers, when they come to our factory, are blown away by what they see, as we make far more of our yachts in Plymouth than any other shipyard does in their brand homes. Our customers are all talking about craftsmanship. The number of customers we have reached around the world from Plymouth is huge. A truly global business at the forefront of the industry.”

He said the Royal William Yard, where the company exhibited several vessels publicly early in 2022, is the ideal setting for the boats. He said: “The RWY is a great location, particularly for international clients. It’s beautiful here and there is so much history here. People realise there is quite a bit of boat-building history in Plymouth.”

Like nearly all Princess Yachts boats, the Y95 is constructed to order. So with a two-year turnaround for each boat, it means vessels ordered now will be ready in 2024 or 2025.

Each boat is priced differently, depending on modifications and layouts which the purchaser decides on in conjunction with Princess’ design team. The first Y95 was priced at about £12m including tax. It would cost about £1.2m to £1.8m a year to run.

It is the sister ship to the X95, which was only launched two years ago but has already become a “runaway commercial success”. The two models share the same hull design but the upper decks vary and customers can choose options such as putting in bars or spa pools, even a cinema room.

Flexible options 

The biggest difference is that the Y95 can be piloted from its enclosed middle deck as well as the open flybridge. The X95 is only controlled from an enclosed top deck position.

The Y95 has five berths and can sleep up to 10 people. Cabins are en suite and have walk-in wardrobes and 65-inch TVs.It has a full-beam cabin with large windows to flood in light, and each deck is on one level so there is less need for steps. There are also quarters for three to five crew.

Mr Clare said: “When you get to this size you have to be more flexible with the options and layout. But we know the sort of things customers want and plan that in, early in the design phase.”

Princess Yachts makes all its vessels in Plymouth, where it employs 3,200 people. It produces about 200 boats a year but is aiming to increase production to between 250 and 280 annually.

Emma Cotton, the firm’s head of communications, said the company prides itself on being a “responsible manufacturer” and said energy saving is high on its agenda. It has an environmental team and has introduced a waste campaign and solar panels and energy-efficient products.

She said: “We are always looking at better efficiencies, right through the business from design to production. For instance, customers can choose sustainable fabrics and our new hull designs are more efficient therefore using less fuel. We are continuing to make further improvements.”

 

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Source: Plymouth Herald

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