VIDEO: Wave of new boats on the horizon as Fairline Yachts' flagship has final sailing today
A luxury boat maker has vowed the future is buoyant for nearly 400 workers as the last of the company's flagship yachts rolled off the production line.
The Squadron 78 has been the star of the fleet at Fairline Yachts for 16 years during which 115 of the models have been built at the company’s factory in Oundle.
The yacht, which has a price tag of about Â£1.5 million, left Oundle on its way to Ipswich where it will be fitted out and launched.
Fairline’s marketing manager Miles Moorhouse said a replacement model would be unveiled later this year.
But he said the new model will be 80 feet long and made at the firm’s new production hub in Hythe, Southampton.
He said: “The world market is demanding larger boats.
“Any boat we build that is more than 60 feet long will be made at our premises in Southampton where it can be put straight into the water.
“At the moment transporting the larger boats is a logistical nightmare.”
Fairline has invested Â£30 million in the construction of a production hub at Hythe.
But Mr Moorhouse said there would still be plenty of boat building at Oundle, where it has three factories employing 380 plus people.
He said: “Boats of under 60 feet will still be built at Oundle. We plan to launch a new 43ft Targa in September and a new 33ft long model in January.
“There will also be new models in the 48ft and 53ft ranges.
“I don’t think we will take on many more staff. Our current number is right for the volume of boat manufacturing here.”