It comes just 13 months after the brand was ‘rescued' from an earlier receivership

of the biggest sailboat names in British boat building, Southerly Yachts, has
folded again, writes Barry Pickthall.

latest debacle comes just 13 months after the brand had been ‘rescued’ from an
earlier receivership with debts of £1,972,520.

builder, which once employed 165 people at Itchenor Shipyard and its moulding
operation in Havant, went down with the loss of 50 jobs.

creditors meeting held at the Gatwick Hilton Hotel on 22 August was told that
efforts to refloat the building arm of the business had failed and that once
three yachts currently under construction for customers were completed,
production of the Southerly brand would cease.

Stephens from FRP Advisory was once again appointed receiver but, like last
year, when the assets available to offset debts amounted to little more than
the office furniture and a database of potential clients, there are precious
few pickings.

spokesman for FRP Advisory refused to divulge the list of outstanding creditors
for Southerly Yachts Ltd or its level of indebtedness to Boating Business,
stating that this will eventually be published by Companies House.

land and buildings at Itchenor are owned by Sunchalk Ltd and the mouldings,
intellectual property rights to the Southerly, Fisher and Vancouver yacht
brands together with equipment and machinery, all remain outside the grasp of
the receiver.

Yachts was formed in 1971, and purchased by Lester Abbott from founder Bryan
Moffatt for a reputed £4.5m in 2003. Mr Abbott invested heavily in expanding
the Southerly range, building two new factory buildings – the latest of which
was opened by Princess Anne in 2010.

this crash, Mr Abbott also faced criticism from within the marine industry for
leaving key suppliers high and dry. Their reluctance to supply the new
Southerly Yachts business with vital parts forced Mr Abbott to pay off past
debts, and companies like Iron Brothers which manufactured Southerly’s unique
swing keels, and was owed £59,000, is owed just £38.00 this time.

from Tek Tanks, Houdini Windows, Holman Rigging and IPC Media, which all took
considerable hits in the 2013 bankruptcy, also reported that they have been
paid off.

first sign of problems came at the beginning of August with the removal of
mould tools that had littered the Itchenor foreshore ever since Northshore’s
moulding facilities in Havant were wound up and moved suddenly to a field
behind the Northshore production facility.

week later, staff arriving for work found the yard locked and a note posted on
the door telling them to return home.

small team of builders was later recalled to complete the three remaining
yachts in construction.

before the creditors meeting, the Itchenor facility had re-opened for business
under the name of Northshore Shipyard Ltd. A
new sign on the gate proclaimed ‘repairs, storage, moorings and all types of
work carried out – at competitive rates.’

Pictures credited to: Barry Pickthall/PPL