YARD UPDATE ‘06: Admiral Yacht Manufacturing...

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YARD UPDATE ‘06: Admiral Yacht Manufacturing...

Yard Updates

The new Admiral 40 and a dozen yachts a year.


Killarney Gardens, Cape Town-based Admiral Yachts offers two distinctive sailing catamaran models — the Admiral 38, soon to be replaced by the new Admiral 40, and the Admiral 50. Angelo Lavranos designed all three in co-operation with Admiral owner David Bird (photo) and his general manager Craig Moore.
Over the past eight to nine years Admiral has sold no fewer than 56 of its Admiral 38 model, which was available with three or four cabins. The original design is probably around 20 years old; 25 or so were delivered prior to the current operation acquiring the tooling.
The first of the new 40s will be shown at Miami Strictly Sail 2007 in February. Around 20 orders were in place long before even the tooling was complete. The Admiral 40 will be similar to the successful 38 formula, but she offers quite a bit more space inside. The hull will be virtually the same shape, only up to 100mm wider. The coachroof will be 250mm higher and 200mm wider. Plus the bridge deck will be an extra 200mm off the water. There will be more than double the window area forward to. She is an altogether more modern prospect than the 38 and should do very well.
The Admiral 50 is a reworking of the old Admiral 47. Only two of those have been built since the first 50 launched in ’02, but two more are on order.
During ’06 Admiral launched between eight and nine boats, all 38s, much the same volume as the previous year. However, owing to the number of orders for the new Admiral 40, probably 12 will complete during ’07 — probably the last two 38s, eight 40s and two 50s.
Just about all Admirals go to the USA, although the models are now CE marked. The company has its own office and service centre in Fort Lauderdale.
Most Admirals go to private owners, but a few end up in charter programmes. A reasonable amount of customization is possible, short of moving bulkheads. The Admiral 40 has a base ‘sailaway’ price of around ZAR3.1 million (US$425,000), although that includes a fairly full specification. Prices for the Admiral 50 start at ZAR5.1 million (US$695,000).
Employing 40, Admiral Yachts’ business is deemed sufficiently good for an imminent move of premises. The company will soon switch to a much bigger purpose-built 6,000m2 facility on the Atlantis industrial park site some 40km outside Cape Town. “It will improve things considerably, says David Bird. “Thus far we have struggled to be efficient.”

For more, www.admiralyachts.co.za.

© Phil Draper