Specialists in Classic Yachts
We at Yachting Elegance are true lovers of classic sailing and motor yachts as they were originally designed. Without compromise we seek to build authentic replicas or restore classic yachts to their true form without modernisations or optimisations that would in any way compromise their aesthetic appearance or their sailing performance as it would have been intended with the original design. Together we have over 60 years of experience in both sailing, rebuilding and restoring classic as well as modern yachts from 10 to nearly 50 metres length in wood, steel as well as aluminium and composites.
We have first hand experience and a very good understanding of the rules as followed by the various race organisers of the major classic regattas and can ensure that your own yacht would not encounter any difficulties entering this prestigious circuit. Thus eliminating costly and complicated alterations such as have occurred with other restorations and replica's before they were allowed to compete.
Our knowledge of the complications involved in restoration or new building of classic yachts is extensive. A restored or new built classic yacht will often incorporate nearly all the technical features of a modern yacht. Our combined experience covers all aspects of the project including systems design, engineering, insulation, electronics, deck and rig design, interior design, mast and rig restoration, specifications & purchase of all machinery, winches etc. and as necessary with a true restoration or replica, the detailed work of restoring or re-making hundreds of fittings to the original design.
We have a good broad knowledge of main engines and generator plants, exhaust and fuel systems, shafting, hydraulics, ventilation, fire fighting systems, deck machinery, as well as the rules that classification societies, MCA and ISM impose, and the complications that accompany them.
Our passion for classic yachts has ensured a level of knowledge, historical as well as technical and aesthetic, that will ensure that your yacht will be judged and rated as a true classic from the moment she is launched. Only those who share the real affection of traditional yachts with extensive knowledge can give the right advice and help create a great yacht.
Ron built his first boat at the age of 9 and managed not to drown on the Maiden voyage down the Bremer River in Ipswich, Australia. Restored his first serious boat at the age of 17. Redesigned and rebuilt the keel and rig of a long-keeled, under-rigged wooden Van de Stadt design making her fast and seaworthy. Next came the near total rebuild of a 43 foot 1937 Burmester 50 m2 followed by the restoration and optimising of the rig of a 1936 Hillyard that had been destroyed in a yard fire. In 2001 he did the restoration and another redesign of the rig of a Swedish 8 Metre Cruiser Racer. Imported, restored and sold on various Swedish sailing and motor yachts when the hobby became a business. In 2004 he project managed the restoration of Emilia in the south of France when she was transformed from her 74 year old schooner setup back to her original 12 Metre configuration. In 2005 he prepared the S&S 8 Metre Connewago for her total restoration.
Parallel to these activities he worked as crew on charter yachts in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean and did deliveries and world trips traversing both the Suez and Panama Canals in between. As crew or skipper he has participated in practically every classic regatta in Europe in a wide range of yachts from diminutive cruisers to the racing schooner Eleonora.
With his study as a history teacher as a basis he has expanded his knowledge of classic yachts becoming an authority on this subject with a large number of publications to his name. He is a yachting journalist with over 25 years experience and this in combination with his various jobs in the marine industry (o.a. sales rep for Meissner Classic Winches) has given him the opportunity to sail on and gain intimate knowledge of an incredibly large number of yachts in the classic fleet as well as giving him first hand knowledge of practically every boatyard in Europe engaged in building or restoring classic yachts.
He is presently based in Holland.
Mike started as apprentice boat-builder at J.I. Thornicroft, Hampton in 1973, and went on to captain sailing yachts for 30 years. During these years, he was fully involved in the building & commissioning of the Ocean 70 and 75 yachts from Poole UK, and the Nicholson 70 from the Camper & Nicholson yard in Southampton. He sailed on Shamock V when she was known as Quadrifolio, and the 'old' Velsheda.
He was responsible for many refit projects in USA and Europe, and undertook many yacht deliveries. He participated in all the classic regattas on the big gaff-rigged schooners Altair, Puritan, Shennandoah, Adix & Orion, and classics like Shaula, Halloween, Sheevra, Merrydancer, Tigris & Rosalind. In the late 80's, he supervised the full restoration of the 121' Camper & Nicholson ketch Sylvia, 1925, and also assisted in the full restoration of the 1904 yawl Rosalind. In 1995, he was owners' project manager for the 132' ketch Anakena at Royal Huisman Shipyard, and was sea trial captain for the schooner Borkumriff III and 34mt Saudade.
In 2002 headed up a restoration team to rebuild the 1910 Camper & Nicholson 129' schooner Orion. His specialised knowledge of traditional techniques and the 'way it was done' is invaluable in restoration work.
He works as an independent surveyor and in the supervision of all kinds of new and classic yacht projects.
He is presently based in the south of France.