10 weeks after moving in

Sunseeker are celebrating after the first boat to be built at their new base at Osprey Quay, Portland, rolled off the production line this week.

Sunseeker acquired the site in March and started production 10 weeks ago.

The first boat to be completed is a Predator 108 – as featured in the latest Bond movie Casino Royale – worth around £5 million.

The team working on the site is made up of a mixture of new recruits and local workers who previously commuted to the Sunseeker sites in Poole. There are currently 45 skilled staff employed at the Osprey Quay base and this number is expected to increase to as much as 500 in the next four years.

General Manager Ian Jolliffe said: “It is testament to the team’s hard work, application and drive that it has taken only 10 weeks to get to this stage. During this time the hull, ring deck and superstructure have been moulded, the bulkheads, ring frames and fuel tanks have been made and installed and the ring deck bonded in place.”

The news also won praise from Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, where Councillor Geoff Petherick, Briefholder for Employment and Prosperity, said: “I am really pleased for Sunseeker and would like to congratulate them on such speedy development of one of their prestige yachts. As a world renowned, high-profile organisation they had tremendous vision to locate part of their company to Osprey Quay and I am confident that other businesses will follow suit. In particular we are concentrating on attracting technology-based companies to enjoy the same levels of success as Sunseeker and bring enhanced career opportunities to the local community.”

The Predator 108 has now been towed to the shipyards in Poole for fit-out, which will be completed in September. She will then be shipped to Italy to begin her life on the Mediterranean.