NORTHROP & JOHNSON’S SALES BROKERS WES SANFORD AND TODD RITTENHOUSE TALK TO THE CANADIAN YACHT BUILDER TIM CHARLES ABOUT THE YARD’S RECENT SUCCESSES AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
Tell us a little about the history of Crescent Custom Yachts:
The story of Crescent Custom Yachts started more than 30 years ago when my grandfather, Jack Charles, who was a successful businessman, was unable to find a yard to build his dream yacht. He decided to take advantage of the local boatbuilding talent in the Vancouver area, utilizing a property on the marina that he owned at Crescent Beach. The result was a 115-foot (35m) yacht named HOTEI. Capitalizing on the experience and the success of this build, he decided to start his own shipyard and so Crescent Beach Boat Builders was born. Focusing on custom-built yachts from 92 feet (28m) to 118 feet (36m), Crescent Beach later became known as Crescent Custom Yachts. The yard had an impressive run of builds and a reputation for quality that lasted until the early 2000s. On my grandfather’s retirement in 2003, the Crescent name was sold to an American investor group who attempted to continue the brand at a new location.
How did you fit into the family business?
I spent my teenage years working in my grandfather’s shipyard. When the brand was sold in 2004, I created Platinum Marine. Utilizing my knowledge and contacts, many of which were former Crescent employees, including talented craftsmen and engineers, Platinum focused initially on yacht services. The brand quickly gained a reputation for quality work and conducted several successful “transformational” refits. As Platinum’s reputation grew, I was able to recruit top talent from Western Canada’s best yards, in addition to several experienced boat builders from other areas around the world. The result was an elite team that rivaled the best in North America.
You re-acquired the Crescent Brand in 2015. How did this come about?
The investment group that had purchased the Crescent brand from my grandfather went bankrupt in the midst of building a 144-foot (44m) motor yacht. This presented me with the opportunity to resurrect our family’s legacy. The partially completed build was included in the acquisition, and along with the fantastic team who moved with me from Platinum, we took on the task of completing the project for a Miami-based couple. The project proved to be a very challenging endeavor and required significant changes to the original design, including the owner’s requirement of the boat being completed under full Lloyd’s Register class and MCA LY3 compliance (she was originally started as ABS).
The entire team took to the challenge, along with designer Jonathan Quinn Barnett, to create MUCHOS MAS. She was successfully launched in 2016, bringing Crescent back into the spotlight. I am proud to say that she was the star of the 2017 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and a finalist in four different categories in the 2018 Boat International Design and Innovation Awards. MUCHOS MAS has since taken on a very successful charter program, drawing rave reviews.
A SLEEK, MODERN DESIGN WITH A CLEAN& CONTEMPORARY FIVE-STATEROOM LAYOUT, SLEEPING 10 GUESTS
Fast forward to 2018, Crescent Custom Yachts is full steam ahead with a full plate of refit projects and new builds. There are two spec projects currently underway at the yard: a 117-foot (35m) Fast Pilothouse and a 110-foot (33.5m) Raised Pilothouse.
The Crescent 117 is a collaboration with renowned naval architect Gregory C. Marshall. A sleek, modern design with a clean and contemporary five-stateroom layout, she will sleep 10 guests.
The performance will be impressive with a 24-knot cruising speed and a top speed of 29 knots. Features include a “country-style” main-deck galley, a large flybridge deck with jacuzzi tub, and a large covered aft deck. She will be delivered this year.
The 110-foot (33.5m) Raised Pilothouse, which is also a Gregory C. Marshall design, has exterior styling that is reminiscent of the classic Pacific Northwest builds that have been popular for so many years. The build is in a finished hull stage with a 2020 launch date.
The Crescent 110 will sleep up to eight guests in four staterooms, including a master cabin with his and her ensuite bathroom. Key features on board include a large open galley with a sweeping 180-degree view, a massive aft deck, and a Jacuzzi on the flybridge deck.
What does the next decade have in store for Crescent Custom Yachts?
In addition to these two spec builds, Crescent is moving forward with the construction of a 112-foot (34m) aluminum expedition yacht. The aluminum build showcases Crescent’s ability to construct yachts in both metal and FRP. Our focus remains “custom” and although we have standards in how we construct our builds, I take pride in the fact that we employ exceptionally talented boat builders and not production workers. We work well with external design and naval architecture teams to help bring their client’s ideas to reality, which is possible by having a small but very experienced in-house design and naval architect team who are able to quickly and capably relay information to and from the shop floor. I believe that the combination of talent, experience, and flexibility to work with a client is Crescent Custom Yachts’ unique advantage in today’s yachting landscape.
In addition, American and European clients can take advantage of a very favorable exchange rate with the Canadian dollar.
In your opinion, how does Crescent Custom Yachts differ to other builders?
We understand that the process of building a custom yacht is elite and special, and the experience needs to be as fun and enjoyable as possible from start to finish.
We take advantage of the geographical region we live and work in. Each time a customer makes a visit, we encourage it to be an experience for them and their family, not just a business trip. Whether it be an incorporated ski trip to Whistler, salmon fishing day trips, adventurous cruising to unique BC locations for lunch or just our world-class dining, we have a lot to offer clients coming to visit the shipyard.