It is undeniable that the process of boat building is a long, detailed and complex one; requiring the highest level of standards, the most experienced of craftsmen and the “desire to produce the best possible product in the best possible time, to the exacting requirements of the client”: the ethos of build manager, Glen Machan.
Having spent his early career in his native Australia as a cabinet maker, Glen’s desire to turn his skills to boat building stemmed from his honeymoon in Majorca, where he became immersed in superyachts. Glen then spent five years boat building in Spain before returning to the UK, meeting a now-colleague in Woodbridge and from there, securing his place at world-leading Spirit Yachts.
Receiving the design requirements from Lawrence, Glen and his team begin with the ‘skeleton’ of the yacht: the ring frames upon which the hull is laminated. This process alone takes on average 3-9 months, depending on the size and design of the yacht. Once the hull is complete, the spectacular task of rolling the hull over is undertaken outside in the boatyard.
The interior of the yacht is ‘fleshed out from the bilges up’; starting from the very bottom of the yacht where the curved sides meet and installing the necessary systems for lighting, electricity, heating and other discreet technology. The bulkheads – like walls of a house – are then installed to define the interior areas, as well as provide structural integrity. Following this, shapes start to take form: creating the unique design of each room as specified by the client, with Sean’s eye for styling guiding the build as it progresses.
Giving the yacht its personality and flair, beautiful mahogany veneer and luxury cladding add the finishing touch to furniture and units, whilst bespoke lighting, Wi-Fi and USB sockets provide the final 21st century necessities to deliver Spirit’s ‘Ultimate Modern Classic’ trademark.
Glen credits his time with Spirit (coming up to his 10th anniversary) to job satisfaction. He encourages self-management within his team; giving them specific areas of each build to take ownership of. With an average of 10 craftsmen per boat, teamwork and pre-emptive problem-solving is crucial to avoid production delays – Glen has even been known to create ‘Blue Peter-style’ models of yacht parts to highlight any potential issues before they occur! With his wealth of expertise and desire to astound the client, it’s no wonder Glen was invited by the owner of one of his builds to sail her across the Atlantic.