Funny how quickly an entire segment of an industry can change dramatically over a relatively short period of time. In the early 1990s, yachts in the 70- to 100-foot range were rare enough to raise plenty of eyebrows, and they were overwhelmingly custom-built. These days, their numbers total in the hundreds, and nearly all are production-built.
Except at Queenship. “It’s fun for us — it’s not building the same boat over and over,” explains Lee Taubeneck, president and CEO of Worldspan Marine, Queenship’s parent company. It may take longer and therefore limit production to customize each launch, but Queenship sits confidently within the niche it has carved out for itself.
The owners of Meriweather are also sitting — and cruising — confidently. The 73-foot-10-inch yacht they commissioned from Queenship certainly reflects a lot of their input. Equally important, she embraces a build philosophy that’s uncommon among yachts smaller than 100 feet.
Even the way Meriweather ended up being commissioned is uncommon. According to Taubeneck, the owners had planned to order a West Bay 68 a few years ago, but not surprisingly they changed their minds when that yard filed for bankruptcy. Their broker, Jerry Todd, had known Taubeneck for several years and had reached out to him to see if Queenship had anything suitable. Taubeneck recommended the Gregory Marshall-designed hull form that had been incorporated on 29 deliveries to that point, and explained that the owners’ input into the design was welcome.
Now, several yards build to order, but how many are willing to adapt their normal construction method? In this case, Queenship did. The British Columbia-based yard ordinarily employs vacuum-bagged, foam-cored hulls, but the owners expressed a preference for a solid-fiberglass hull, since it made them feel more comfortable. Queenship agreed to build it.