A boat show hosted by Princess Yachts is set to be repeated after attracting wealthy prospects to Plymouth from across Europe and North America to view vessels worth up to £10million.
Bosses of the UK’s biggest luxury boat maker said they were delighted with the response to The Princess Exclusive event, which saw six yachts on display in the marina at Royal William Yard over 10 days – including two that had never been shown before anywhere in the world.
The showcase was held at the eleventh hour after Germany ended Boot Düsseldorf, Europe’s biggest boat show, where Princess Yachts was due to display its new models.
Instead, Princess Yachts showcased eight boats at the Royal William Yard, giving its employees, the public and potential customers the chance to see the boats up close.
The exhibit, curated with the help of developer RWY Urban Splash, included the world debut of the Princess X80, which costs between £5m and £6m, depending on the specification chosen by the buyer. The boat can accommodate eight people and four crew members and is ideal for long stays at sea.
Princess Yachts has also unveiled the all-new V50 for the first time, a smaller vessel intended for day trips but sleeping four and selling for around £700,000.
Joining them in the marina were the Y72, F55, V40, S62, V55 and the gigantic X95, the largest boat at the show, which retails for between £7-10m and can accommodate up to 12 people plus four members including a captain and engineer – and can cost up to £1million a year.
The Princess Exclusive attracted distributors and potential customers from across Europe and North America, including the United States, Russia, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and France.
But it also allowed residents of Plymouth to see the boats up close, and workers at Princess Yachts, who sometimes only work on specific components of the ships, and their families to see the finished product.
Adrian Bratt, General Counsel and Director of External Affairs, said Princess Yachts was delighted with the event and would like to hold more.
He said: “We’re really happy with how it went. Being able to do it after two years of confinement was a breath of fresh air.
“The local impact has been incredible and it was good for our staff to see the boats as well. It shows our commitment to Plymouth in a big way.”
He said Princess Yachts, which has six sites with main manufacturing in Stonehouse and Devonport, can be ‘a bit Willy Wonka’ and said: ‘People walk past the doors and don’t know what’s inside . It took the pandemic to realize what lies ahead. We put it together in two weeks. We are considering more of these events.
He said Princess Yachts exports 95 per cent of its boats, which go to over 100 countries, and is therefore a key part of Plymouth’s economy.
“It brings in £300million a year for Plymouth, money that wouldn’t be here otherwise. And that keeps 3,000 people in jobs in Plymouth,” he said.
Business Live’s South West business reporter is William Telford. William has over a decade of experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. It is based in Plymouth but covers the whole region.
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“These yachts are world-class and world-renowned, which means our staff are world-class as well. The best artisans in the world are here in Plymouth. Our boats are ambitious, inspiring and made by Janners.
Nicola Cope, Marketing Director, said: “Because of Covid, we cannot open (the boats) to the public, but we are looking at what we can do to make it an annual event. It’s nice to give back.
The Princess Exclusive event ran from January 22-30.