Cape Town yard Voyage Yachts this week reached a significant production milestone with the launch of its 10th Voyage 590.

The launch at Cape Town Port’s Duncan dock represents an impressive turnaround from Covid-induced production delays when  the yard was hit by huge supply chain delays. South African yards have also had to grapple with power supply challenges due to the national power utility’s capacity constraints.

Voyage Yachts chief operating officer Kay Oldenburg said the launch of hull number ten was all the more impressive given that hull number one was launched shortly before  the first Covid-19 lockdown which lasted six weeks.   “Then we had all these supply issues because the whole world was on a break and nobody produced anymore – you could buy nothing,” Oldenburg said. “Supply chains just went from four weeks to four months, and to almost a year in some instances – it was chaotic.”

“It slowed production down quite drastically,” he said.

By contrast the yard was now on track to achieve five boats a year, with the fifth boat due to be launched in November. “That is what we are achieving this year, with one more launch to go. That is relatively good going if you think of all the Covid interruptions,” Oldenburg said, adding that the yard benefited from its ongoing partnership with Voyage Charters.

“All our sales at the moment are into charter, and there is still a huge appetite. The sales team are working very hard on getting all these orders in.”

The yard planned on five boats a year for the next two years. “It looks like this is going to happen, which means we need to push out a boat every eight to nine weeks.” The yard is entirely occupied with 590 builds at present, he added. “It’s a nice position to be in considering productivity wasn’t that great seven or eight years ago. But we are back on the map,” he said.

The yard’s success was largely thanks to a core of experienced staff, with some, including himself, nearing 30 years at the job, Oldenburg said.

The 590 was voted Best Charter Boat in Cruising World’s Boat of the Year Awards. It is a model specifically geared for the charter market, with an overall length of 17.7m and draft of 1.59m.

Currently all 590’s are destined to join the Voyage Charters fleet in the British Virgin Islands. Oldenburg said hull #10 was appropriately called ‘Busy Bee’.

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