GliderBy David Robinson

UK yacht design start-up Glider Yachts is to launch its four innovative sports yacht and superyacht design ranges this year with a marketing campaign that will peak at the Monaco show in September. The company has reached this stage after seven years of design and engineering development work, plus new technology that has resulted in the four ranges – two for smaller yachts and two for superyachts between 30m-80m (98.5ft-263ft) in length.

“The SS18 (a five-seat, high-performance day sports craft) is unlike any other yacht seen in the market, with unparalleled design and technological capabilities,” Rob McCall, founder and managing director of Glider Yachts, told SB. “We’re sure she is going to be a game-changer and make a real splash in the superyacht market. I’m excited to see the reaction and introduce her to the world at boat shows this year.”

The SS18 will be made from 85% composite, 10% aluminium and 5% stainless steel/titanium.

Introducing the Glider designs to the yacht market recently took a major step forward with the signing of a £100m, five-year strategic alliance with Burgess Marine, which will build the yachts.

As for the £100m, McCall said: “The funding is being sourced from an external investment group.”

This valuation relates to the cost of building a full range of two sales fleets comprising one of each in the Glider Yachts range. SB understands that Glider, which has invested £700,000 in developing these ranges, is inviting second-tier funding investors to support further product development and marketing.

As for the role of Burgess Marine, McCall told SB: “Burgess Marine’s existing facilities at Southampton will be sufficient for the S and XS ranges and initial builds of the smaller GT & SX-E ranges. However, it is anticipated that the GT & SX-E ranges will require the use of other Burgess facilities on the south coast of England.”

Nicholas Warren, Burgess Marine’s managing director, adds: “Initial assessment and schedules should allow our Southampton facility to build the smaller Glider range, with the larger Gliders initially being built in one of our other south coast of England facilities. However, should the build rate require it, alternative options are available to us due to our size and scope.”

The four ranges share a common shape, with two long, gliding shallow hulls and a raised platform deck for varying accommodation according to craft size. These craft are said to be 50% faster and 60% more fuel-efficient, with unprecedented comfort and stability in choppy seas. The first yacht to be built will be an 18m (59ft) XD18, a demonstrator model made of 60% aluminium and 40% composite that will provide potential clients with a feel of what the craft can offer and how it performs.

The XD18 will be launched publicly at the Monaco Yacht Show in late September.

The four ranges include:

– The S range, which includes the 18m (59ft) Glider Super Sport (SS) and Hyper Sport (HS) sports yachts with speeds of up to 70kt (SS) and 100kt (HS)

– The XS Sports Limousine range from 22m-24m (72ft-78.8ft) is designed as a 12-seater high-speed tender/day sports/cruising yacht

– The GT Grand Tourer range will offer a totally new type of sports superyacht between 30m-80m and speeds in excess of 40kt.

–  The SX-E Range – Sports Extreme Xtream Elite – is a new class of high-performance 30m-80m turbine-powered sports superyachts offering a 30kt cruising speed and 50kt-plus full speed. The cost of the GT and SX-E ranges varies from £7m to £25m for 30m-45m (98.5ft-148ft) models. For the drafted 50m, 60m and 80m designs, it is POA.

An agreement has been reached with a leading British superyacht broker to oversee sales of the two superyachts in the 30m-80m range.