September 1, 2021

Custom and Series Builder Connection

Custom sportfish yachts and cruisers builders have been a success in the last two decades, not only growing in size and building bigger yachts, but also in order book, with these custom shops having a two year plus waiting list for a new build.  Today custom builders have a good share of sportfish yacht sales, most of which sell in the largest yacht market in the World of the East coast of the USA.  

Seeing this success it is a surprise how the design and expertise of custom sportfish yacht stays in that realm, and is never teased up by the production builder.  In Italy compared to USA a custom designer would over the years enter into production yacht building.  Zuccon started with Baglietto and after some years went with Posillipo and then in 1990 joined Ferretti.  Righini started with Falcon and Overmarine Mangusta and then joined Azimut in 1993.

There is sometimes a couple exception to this rule.  For those with a good memory might remember the last Ferretti Group Bertram stint in 2013, when the company gave custom sportfish yacht specialist Robert Ullberg designer and product development duties which resulted in the fall of that same year for the 60 project. Things turned out differently for Bertram in 2015 with Gavio Group purchasing the brand and the 60 remaining a project and a design.  Robert Ullberg has designed most of Paul Mann and Bayliss custom builds, and is one of the most recognized and appreciated designers for Sportfish yachts.  Another production build coming from a custom designer was the Ocean Yachts 64 Makaira launched in 2014, which was designed by Steve French Applied Dynamics, known for his work for FandS. Unlike the Bertram 60, the 64 Makaira was produced though it made it in the wrong time as a couple years later due to financial difficulty the business was sold.  The model though is still available from the current ownership. 

Year is 2020 and finally we have a new custom-production collaboration from Albermarle, who for its new sixteen meter flagship, join collaboration with renowned Carolina custom builder Spencer.  The new Albermarle 53 Spencer Edition is the largest build by the production boat builder who never went beyond to the 410 flagship model.  Unlike the Bertram 60 the Albermarle 53 Spencer Edition is going to happen with the model currently being in advanced stages of construction.  It will be interesting if following this we will see more Custom-Production collaboration, all depending on the success of the 53 Spencer Edition. 

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