Cannes 2023: Sunseeker commits £40m to product development
UK boatbuilder Sunseeker International has revealed its product development plan and shipyard development strategy during a press reception at Cannes Yachting Festival 2023.
Sunseeker’s chief executive officer, Andrea Frabetti, revealed the company has a retail forward order value of £625m (€730m), representing a continued bounceback following a downturn in 2020 brought on by the pandemic. The yard has committed a £40m investment to new product development, employee training and production advancements until 2026.
During the press reception, Sunseeker provided an update on new products in the Ocean range. The Ocean 182, named after its gross tonnage, has already arrived in the United States, where it will debut at the Newport Boat Show in Rhode Island later today (Thursday 14 September 2023.)
The 7.16-metre-wide yacht has 2,060 square feet of interior space with four new layout options, spanning three decks.
Sunseeker revealed new CGI imagery of the all-new Ocean 156. This 80-foot Sunseeker will feature a new selection of interior finishes and adopt an open penthouse style with expansive glazing and freestanding furniture on the main and upper decks.
Sunseeker also unveiled the concept details of two new performance-led models, the Predator 55 and the 55 Sport Yacht. As part of the four-model 55-foot range, starting with the Superhawk 55 launched earlier this year, the two new models each encompass a different style of boating. The 55 Sport Yacht continues a legacy of Sports Bridge models with its driving position on the upper deck. The Predator 55 is characterised by its retractable glass and carbon fibre sunroof integrated into the hardtop.
The new Sunseeker Skills Academy, launched in partnership with Bournemouth and Poole College, offers individuals the opportunity to learn a new skill in boat building whilst being fully paid. So far this year, Sunseeker says 90 people have been enrolled on to the boat building course, where individuals learn trade skills across five boatbuilding specialisms: Carpentry, Plumbing, Composite bonding, Engineering and Electrical installations.
Following this intensive training programme, candidates will join colleagues at the Sunseeker Shipyards in Poole to further develop competencies and achieve a nationally recognised qualification over 12 months.
Sunseeker also revealed it has been making improvements to its shipyards. The expansion of its main shipyard facility in the Port of Poole has reached completion. Shed Y offers an additional production footprint and is the dedicated production facility for the all-new Ocean 156. The first stage of production is now underway.
The Technology Centre has undergone a significant refurbishment with an investment made into new machinery to support Sunseeker’s growth in the product range. The Technology Centre is a Centre of Excellence with a focus on the manufacture of interiors, upholstery, joinery, complex electrical systems and console assembly.
“We enter the 2023/24 boat show season in a strong position,” says Frabetti. “We have made significant investments in our facilities and technologies, training programmes and new product development, all of which have contributed to our very strong forward order retail value of £625m.
“We look forward to displaying our exceptional fleet of yachts at several upcoming boat shows in Europe and the United States over the coming weeks.”
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