£15m investment plans include a superyacht hanger

Princess has given the clearest sign yet that it plans to focus its resources on building superyachts – not bad for a company that began building 20ft motorboats.

The Plymouth-based boatbuilder has outlined proposals for a £15m redevelopment of its Devonport site, which includes a production hanger to build vessels 100ft and over.

Managing director Chris Gates told BBC News that the development plans are, “a sign of real strength that, in the turmoil of this economic downturn, we are still able to look forward positively”.

“This vast facility has already enabled us to move successfully into the 100ft and superyacht arena and we are now entering the next phase of our redevelopment of the South Yard site,” he added.

The Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership (DRCP) will make the final decision on whether the plans are to go ahead after Princess submits a formal planning application later this year.

Princess Yachts International began making 20ft dayboats in 1966. It was the first company to embrace GRP mouldings with its debut model the Project 31.

In January 2009, Princess announced its entry into the superyacht industry and scale models of the 32M and 40M (pictured above) were presented at this year’s London International Boat Show.

Scheduled for launch late in 2011, the 40M can accommodate 12 guests in six cabins with separate quarters for up to eight crewmembers.