Cape Town’s Cape Racing Yachts has added a new dimension to South African boatbuilding with the production of four Class 40 racing yachts, with the prospect of many more to come.

Company founder Andrew Thomson reports encouraging and sustained growth, buoyed by the success of its recent build projects, with a fifth class 40 build currently under negotiation. The yard already has a staff of 15 and a six-year track record. The first two Owen Clarke-design boats were sold into Europe, with the second boat earning a top ten finish in the Transat Jacques Fabre race (the famous TJV).  The company operates out of a facility in the Parow industrial area and is looking to expand into other build projects, including in the luxury leisure sector.

“We have proven our capability and we are now looking for other projects, not only class 40s,” Thomson told International Boat Industry News in a recent interview. “We have an ethic of building light strong boats, and we are happy to look at any projects in any resin format – we’ve had experience with epoxy infusion and we’ve now got the skills to take on any projects.”

Industry sources believe South Africa is well placed to expand its footprint in the Class 40 build market due to the relatively low build cost, coupled with the growth of a sizeable pool of world-class boatbuilding expertise. Racing yacht production could be a major boost for job creation, particularly with the necessary investment and public sector support.

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