In the relatively sleepy Cornish coastal town of Falmouth, the Pendennis shipyard is a hive of activity. The 27-year-old business builds bespoke superyachts for private clients from around the globe, and runs a thriving refitting and repairs business.
To date, the shipyard has created 30 custom-built boats and undertaken more than 200 refits. Its client base is a closely guarded secret, but there are a few names in the public domain: Kirsty Bertarelli, a former Miss UK and now Britain’s richest woman as the wife of Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, is frequently spotted aboard her 305ft Pendennis motor yacht, Vava II.
A superyacht is defined by Pendennis as any yacht measuring more than 24 metres (78ft). The company has seven superyacht projects in the works, a mixture of custom builds and refits. A new superyacht can take between two and four years to build, and Pendennis aims to launch at least one new boat each year.
The firm caters to the exacting demands of the super-rich, and no two superyachts are the same. Some of the work has been extremely challenging: during the refit of the world’s largest single-masted sailing yacht, the M5, the owner reconfigured the stern so that he could install his seaplane on the boat. When the sailing yacht Adela, originally built in 1903, was brought back for a refit in 1994, Pendennis cut the vessel in half and then extended her by 15ft.
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