SMS launches superyacht after major three-year restoration

MY Alicia
SMS Group

Southampton-headquartered ship repairer and marine engineering services provider SMS yesterday (Tuesday) launched the classic superyacht Alicia from its covered 60m dry dock in the heart of the city, after a three-year restoration.

In recent years, SMS has completed refits for Sir Charles Dunstone on Shemara, Lord Sugar on Lady A and now on Alicia for another distinguished British owner.

Peter Morton, CEO of the SMS Group said: “As a company we are genuinely thrilled to have had the inspiration and support of another truly exceptional British businessman; and whilst the project has been challenging the end result is simply outstanding.  MY Alicia is unquestionably beautiful”.

He added: “MY Alicia, MY Shemara and MY Lady A were all managed by SMS in a totally transparent and honest way – working directly with the owner.  This ensures the very best value for money and complete control of the project; owners are therefore ‘masters of their own destiny’ which is so very important to all those involved.  In this case it was the owner’s vision that has inspired the growth and creation of a business as opposed to just another project; we’re extremely grateful and look forward to very many future successful projects.”

He concluded by saying: “I’d like to take this opportunity to formally thank our supply chain here in Southampton and further afield.  We wouldn’t be able to complete such significant and bespoke projects without the likes of Canark Marine, Design Unlimited, SEC Marine, WRS and others, to include our own Sister companies Yacht Tec and Global Services.  It’s been a team effort from the outset and both myself and the Owner are extremely grateful and very, very proud; the project has seen the best of British design, innovation and engineering and we now look forward to a successful period of trials pre-handover.”

With regards to working with the SMS team, the owner of Alicia commented: “The team and management have been superb to work with from day one.  They’ve demonstrated flexibility, focus and commitment – and a real eye for the detail.  I’m humbled by the energy and enthusiasm from the Guys on the tools.  I couldn’t have asked for a better, more engaging, team.  Refitting Alicia in the UK was the right call and it has been an absolute delight; the end result will be something that we can all be very proud of – she’s fantastic, she’s British – and she’s truly unique.  For many years to come she’ll be a big part of our family.”

Alicia is a 50m classic motor yacht; she was built in the United States of America by Defoe in 1930 and launched as Janidore (the ex RS Eden).  She was one of eight yachts to be built by the East Coast yard.  In 2015 she arrived in Southampton to begin an extensive period of restoration works intended to return her to the splendour of the 1930s.

Chris Norman, MD of SMS said: “Having worked in the refit industry both here in the UK and in Holland, for many, many years I can safely say this project has been nothing short of huge.  We practically rebuilt MY Shemara from the keel up, and we, as a project team, assumed that would be a one off.  Not so.  MY Alicia has proven to be an equally challenging programme of works over a three-year period.  The owner’s aspirations stem from the vessels true form as MY Janidore; his attention to detail and passion have helped not only lead an inspired team but also restore a truly unique and genuinely wonderful classic to her former glory”.

He added: “We’ve had to be very innovative in the installations too – we’ve managed to install an equipment package suited to a 1000T vessel into a 400T one; a tremendous amount of thought has gone into the machinery space, pipe verticals (due to limited headroom) and the ships tank configuration.  It’s been a challenge that we’re proud to have overcome.  Thankfully the owner has been passionately ‘hands on’ both operationally and commercially; he’s been a real big part of not only the project but also the business.  By working in a genuinely transparent and honest fashion we’ve not only built a beautiful yacht we’ve also created a wonderful business.  It’s been an honour to work with the owner, a real honour”.

Alicia will undertake her commissioning and sea trials in and around the Solent before leaving the Ocean Quay yard for the Mediterranean were she will then join over 300 of the world’s most beautiful modern and classic yachts for the 20th Les Voiles de Saint Tropez in September.