Yachtie

News: Warren Yachts waiting for better times.

July 6, 2009 by Yachtie
View large version of image: Warren Yachts waiting for better times.

Warren Yachts a superyacht builder in Australia which is part of the larger Shipworks Group is ceasing new build operations to await better economic times and stronger new build luxury yacht demand. Warren yachts had focused on the construction of luxury motor yachts and superyachts in the $5.5 to $20 million range.

It has been reported that in response to cancellations and a dearth of new orders Warren Yachts has reduced its permanent staff down to 35. The yacht building company is to focus its efforts on refits and will be leasing some its sheds.

Mr. David Price is the managing director at the Brisbane based luxury yacht company Warren Yachts. He says Warren Yachts will ‘be shelved for a period of time until the market comes back’.

Fortunately, says Price, the refit business is going well. ‘Refit Australia, which is a separate company but housed in the same premises, is working on two superyachts now and involved in some ferry builds. There is still a market for transport boats and maintaining them.’ ‘As far as servicing goes, we’re full through Q1 2010.

‘Our sheds are impressive. One is 90m and the other 110m and we have 30m under gantry. They’re the biggest single storey sheds other than the Qantas hangar.’

However he also said: ‘We are just finishing up our last boat, which will be wrapped up in August-September, then there’s no next boat to build. We had three boats under construction, but their owners – two US and one Italian buyer – went out of business in the middle of the builds. So they are now mothballed.

‘Instead we have to concentrate on refits and contributing to other jobs, attempting to make sure our people are working. We are finishing up a boat, then scaling right back to deal with the market.’

According to Price, ‘the wind down was gradual and calculated’.

‘In the boom times, we had around 300 people and we built four boats per year. Now there are just 35 people here. Some are staying, some are going on to opportunities in other industries. We are placing some guys now. Until this market turns around, we’re not building on spec. We have brokers and dealers around the world flying the flag for Warren, but we are not planning to seek new work.’ Says Price.

In 2003, the Shipworks Group acquired Warren Yachts, retaining Dave Warren as its master builder. Its eight-acre shipyard in Brisbane, Australia is the most advanced boatbuilding operation in the region, with C&C computerized cutting machines, 100-ton crane, 650-ton travel lift and a quarter mile of deep-water frontage. It used to have a workforce of 275. Warren Yachts currently maintains fulltime service networks in the U.S., Europe and Australia.

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