Ipswich-based Spirit celebrates key stage in construction of superyacht

The rollover of the largest hull ever to be built by Ipswich-based Spirit Yachts.
Picture: Mike Bow

The rollover of the largest hull ever to be built by Ipswich-based Spirit Yachts. Picture: Mike Bowden - Credit: Archant

The largest vessel ever to be built by Ipswich-based Spirit Yachts has reached a key stage in its construction.

The rollover of the largest hull ever to be built by Ipswich-based Spirit Yachts.
Picture: Mike Bow

The rollover of the largest hull ever to be built by Ipswich-based Spirit Yachts. Picture: Mike Bowden - Credit: Archant

Designated the Spirit 111 – a reference to its length of just over 111ft, or nearly 34m – the boat is thought to be the largest wooden single-masted yacht built anywhere since the 1930s.

Construction began in May last year and yesterday reached the “rollover” stage, the point at which a hull is turned the right way up ready for the commencement of fitting out work.

Prior to the rollover operation, the Spirit 111 was removed from its “strongback” - the support on which a hull is built upside down – and moved outside where it was then lifted into the air using multiple cranes to rotate it upright.

Spirit chief executive and head designer Sean McMillan said: “As we head into our landmark 25th year in business, the rollover of our largest yacht to date was a moment in history for Spirit Yachts, and a spectacular sight at our yard on the edge of the River Orwell.

The hull of the Spirit111 superyacht makes the short journey back inside following its "rollover".

The hull of the Spirit111 superyacht makes the short journey back inside following its "rollover". Picture: Mike Bowden - Credit: Archant


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“Our world-class team of boatbuilders has been meticulously bringing to life the beauty and style of the 111’s classic lines. Now with the hull settled the right way, work will begin crafting the complex interior.”

The Spirit 111 will have a beam of 21ft (6.4m), a draft of 13ft 3in (4.05m) and a sail area of 450sq m.

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A pioneering deck arrangement means that, when completed in 2019, it will be one of few yachts of its size suitable to be sailed without a professional crew, although it will be able to accommodate up to eight people.

It has also been designed to be as eco-friendly as possible, enabling the owner to spend sustained period of time onboard while using a minimum of fuel.

Innovative features include an electric drive system, supported by four lithium battery banks, which will power the yacht for modest distances or when manoeuvring. Under sail, the system will automatically regenerate the batteries and, with careful consumption, the yacht will be able to operate solely under battery power. For longer distance propulsion, the owner has the option of two back-up generators.

The yacht’s “green” credentials also extend to its air conditioning, galley equipment and water heaters which will minimise fuel consumption and emissions.

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