GT Yachts was established in 2011 by Chartered Engineer and Naval Architect Conrad Cockburn after realising that the design of cruising yachts in the 30 to 50 foot range had started to stagnate, largely due to demands from the charter market. With a fresh look at what an offshore cruiser should provide in terms of tried and tested features but in a modern style, GT Yachts was born.
A Naval Architect and cruising yachtsman himself, Conrad's professional background is in the commercial shipping world, most recently managing large superyacht refit projects, and prior to that as construction and design engineer in the offshore sector where he spent time at sea. Although Conrad runs GT Yachts, he still consults to the superyacht sector. Whilst the engineering and naval architecture element of the design work at GT Yachts is carried out under Conrad's direct guidance, something special is needed for the sailing design element for a yacht of this standard. Understanding this, Conrad asked world renowned yacht designer Stephen Jones to create the fleet of GT Yachts.
Conrad has recently been joined by Jerry Ramsdale in running GT Yachts. As a keen yachtsman, Jerry saw and liked the GT Yachts ethos and potential and decided to invest to push the business forward.
New investment has enabled us to change our operating model for the better. Up to now we had been following an outsourcing model, but now we have set up home at Mercury Yacht Harbour, a fantastic yacht building location steeped in history on the banks of the beautiful Hamble River, where we employ our own skilled yacht builders.
At GT Yachts our mission is to bring you modern, high performing yachts, the design of which however, does not loose sight of tried and tested traditional solutions. High performance means different things depending upon the type of yacht and this is where we differ.
"To find one's way to lands already discovered is a good thing, and the 'Spray' made the discovery that even the worst sea is not so terrible to a well-appointed ship." Joshua Slocum.
For example our modern offshore cruisers are designed with full offshore capability, not simply designed to meet the minimum requirements to attain Category A status, nor designed with any consideration for racing around the cans with crew on the rail. Performance in this case means possessing the power to stand up to the elements and a vessel that is safe and comfortable to live in.
"To me poor performance in a yacht is like driving a car with flat tyres." Matthew Sheahan, Yachting World.
When engineering our yachts, we try to optimise the design at each stage, rationalising every compromise where necessary. Targetting performance, whether it be sailing performance, structural performance or ergonomic performance, results in greater speed, better handling, superior motion and greater comfort.
The basic values that we aim to preserve throughout the design of a GT yacht are seaworthiness, power, safety and comfort; a GT yacht will satisfy in each and every respect.
Sailing yachts designed by a world class yacht designer and engineered as a seagoing vessel by experienced naval architects and Chartered Engineers, a GT yacht is nothing short of pure engineered sailing pleasure.
Why GT? Well it's simple really. Although the adventure and institution of the Grand Tour (on land) was all but eradicated by the advent of rail travel, it's very much alive and well at sea. This is evidenced by the increasing popularity of events such as the ARC. People are seeking to explore the oceans now more than ever and this was indeed the essence of the Grand Tour; one headed off in search of intellectual awakening. Nowadays of course, it's just nice to be able to find a peaceful anchorage.