What started out as an ambitious project to build a 28m aluminium yacht by a group of New Zealand boat builders in the early 1980s led to the creation of Alloy Yachts just two years later.
During the 1980s, a 12-13m yacht was considered large by New Zealand standards where the focus was on light displacement, relatively austere, high performance sailing yachts. The use of aluminium for the 28m Chanel (right) and the greater attention to the owner’s desired luxurious finish created a new level of skill and performance amongst the local boat builders involved.
The Chanel project took place on a leased site on the banks of the Henderson Creek in West Auckland, and when completed in 1985, the decision to keep the team together led to the purchase of nearby land and the establishment of Alloy Yachts Ltd.
With the next project – the tender launch for the 1987 New Zealand America’s Cup challenge – the foundations for today’s highly-rated aluminium superyacht building team were laid.
Many people involved in those first two projects remain as key members of the Alloy Yachts team, including Tony Hambrook who joined the company as production manager and was asked to take over as managing director in 1989.
Through the ‘90s Tony led the team through a period of massive expansion. A series of innovative developments in technology and engineering moved the company up the hierarchy of the world’s superyacht builders. Several yachts mark the advances achieved by the Alloy Yachts team, including the completion of their first yacht over 100ft in length in 1991.
With the first carbon-fibre mast and an efficient fully-battened mainsail, 32.6m Esprit featured the transfer of technology from America’s Cup design into the superyacht cruising domain. Sailing performance on 33.2m Espada was enhanced with pioneering in-boom furling systems. Alloy’s ground-breaking marine power system featured on 33.6m Imagine, allowing the use of any shore power system around the world and for long periods of total quiet onboard. Launched in 1994, 34.75m Corinthian was the first to have a concealed anchoring system.
Increasingly, the yachts being completed by Alloy Yachts won awards from various organisations. The 1996 ShowBoats International best interior award for Atlanta and her divine inlaid cherrywood interior demonstrated the new levels of finish and quality being achieved. Clever ideas for the seamless integration of telecommunications and computer technology combined with increasingly sophisticated interiors for owners seeking, and receiving, only the best.
Having continued to build progressively longer craft, the new millennium was marked in style with the handover of the then-largest sloop in the world, the 48.48m Georgia, to her owner on the stroke of midnight. Not long after, 54.27m Tiara (right) was launched. With an aft-deck helipad – the first on a sailing yacht – Tiara won the 2004 ShowBoats International highest technical achievement award.
The magnificent motor yachts built by Alloy Yachts earn their own share of accolades. In 2005, the 40m Ad Lib scored both a Boat International world superyacht award and an International Superyacht Society design award. The following year 41m Como took out a Boat International exterior styling award as well as an International Superyacht Society design award.
Alloy Yachts marked 21 years of operation in 2006, just months after the Dubois-designed 39.7m Janice of Wyoming won the 2005 ShowBoats International best sailing yacht award.
In 2007, the dramatic VvS1 was named the best motor yacht under 500GT at the Boat International world superyacht awards and took out the World Yachts Trophy.
2008’s Red Dragon, a 52m sloop, featured Alloy Yachts’ SeaTouch monitoring and alarm system. Six touch-screen monitors are located throughout the yacht, linked to numerous sensors and monitors to manage every aspect required for optimum performance.
The fifth yacht over 50m built in the Alloy Yachts’ yard, the 51.7m ketch Mondango, features a unique solid glass curved rear window – another Alloy Yachts first – in the impressive aft cockpit. At a touch of a button, the enormous glass window, and the complimentary side windows, open and shut.
Both Red Dragon and Mondango were finalists in the 2008 Boat International world superyacht awards. And in 2009 another motor yacht made headlines – the Dubois Naval Architects-designed Allogante is the first Alloy Yachts’ craft to feature its own design of at-rest stabilisers offering exceptional comfort for extended cruises.
Led by managing director Tony Hambrook, ONZM, Alloy Yachts enjoys the confidence of leading naval architects, interior designers, project managers, captains and a growing worldwide community of repeat and new satisfied owners. Vessels built by Alloy Yachts enjoy an international reputation for reliable operation and world-class quality.