Our history

Navigating through time:
Unveiling our journey

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A chronicle of

1983: The company's foundation was laid in 1983 when Lloyd Stevenson constructed a Davidson 40 fast cruising yacht called Teddy Bear for an American client. This early lead into the international market helped establish New Zealand's export credentials and was delivered just one year after Lloyd completed his boatbuilding apprenticeship at the then renowned shipyard Vos & Brijs.

Teddy Bear was a great example of Lloyd's strong work ethic, willingness to adopt new technology, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. This winning combination led to a steady stream of local and international clients keen to own a custom-built Lloyd Stevenson Boat.

<p>A chronicle of</p>

Elite by name
Elite by nature:

1990s: In the mid-nineties, our relationship with designer Bill Upfold (Elite Marine Design) began, resulting in a substantial fleet of custom-designed Elite motor yachts.

The sophistication of these boats has evolved over the years, and many of the features we developed and implemented have become the standard for all Elites. 

<p>Elite by name</p>
<p><strong>Elite by nature:</strong></p>

A Great American:

1993: SAIL magazine selected Corroboree as one of North America's 100 Greatest Sailing Yachts, calling it a “unique, new-age cruiser.” Corroboree.

a 10.6m (35ft) wood-epoxy sloop was completed in 1987. Her free-standing carbon fibre mast is her major unique feature; additionally, she is constructed of Western Red Cedar and very rare New Zealand Kauri. Commissioned by an American owner, she sailed the Great Lakes for 27 years, after which her designer, Eric Sponberg, purchased her to undertake a global circumnavigation, completing this in 2023.  

<p>A Great <strong>American:</strong></p>

Theme Park rafts for
a magic kingdom:

2004: These passenger rafts were commissioned by one of the world's largest theme park operators for the new park they were constructing in Hong Kong. This unique project was a precursor to establishing our superyacht tender business. Completed under rigorous quality and systems control, the rafts are designed to carry up to seventy-five passengers and operate virtually nonstop. With a requirement that maintenance downtime be kept to a minimum, they were built to ensure the ultimate in reliability.

<p>Theme Park rafts for</p>
<p><strong>a magic kingdom:</strong></p>

The artistry and
expertise that
defines us:

2006: We opened our purpose-built (link to “About us”) boat-building facility. The space provided by this new facility increased capacity and allowed us to grow the business; we are now able to work on multiple projects concurrently.
It was also around this time we received our first fully custom superyacht tender commission. Superyacht tenders have grown to become an integral part of our business, with each vessel designed to fit the requirements of the super yacht, its owner and its crew exactly. We have built a global reputation as one of the best, delivering exceptional and enduring quality tenders.  

In addition, the increase in space has afforded the opportunity to grow the refit and repair side of the business, with a dedicated team to service boats at any of the local marinas or to truck vessels back to our facility for bespoke maintenance and upgrades such as hull/superstructure repaints, hull and cockpit extensions, interior and exterior re-modelling, swim platform additions, engine replacement or a full refits – renewing your boat from stem to stern.

<p>The artistry and</p>
<p>expertise that</p>
<p><strong>defines us:</strong></p>

Connecting the past
with the present:

2016: Starting in 2016, a collaboration with the Okeanos Foundation had us deliver a number of ocean voyaging vaka, to be used by communities in the Pacific and Micronesia. These vaka connect the vast history of Pacific Ocean voyaging with modern boat-building materials and technologies.

<p>Connecting the past</p>
<p><strong>with the present:</strong></p>

new pathways:

2015 - 2017: Building the four superyacht tenders for Sailing Yacht A between 2015 and 2017 was a benchmark moment. These four boats established our global reputation in the super yacht market as one of the world's best custom superyacht tender builders. Additionally, they reinforced our credentials as custom boat builders of the highest quality.

<p><strong>new pathways:</strong></p>

The fast and the….
well, just fast

2019: America’s Cup Catalyst catamarans find a new home:
In 2019, we became the home of the Catalyst America’s Cup chase boats, taking over from Salthouse Boatbuilders. Originally designed as a high-performance support boat for the Emirates Team New Zealand America’s Cup campaign, the Catalyst has proven to be a highly adaptable design, excelling at every task they have been asked to perform. Produced in a range of sizes from 40 to 55ft, Catalyst’s have not only been built for America’s Cup racing teams but also as tenders to Super Yachts, tenders for private resort islands and custom luxury, highspeed motor yachts. 

<p>The fast and the&hellip;.</p>
<p><strong>well, just fast</strong></p>

Big, bold and

2019: What started out as a simple email enquiry received in 2019 became the biggest boat we have built to date. Christened Wind Spirit, she is a 23.9m (78ft) blue water expedition ketch built for a European client. Even her construction was unique, using a mix of traditional and contemporary boat building skills and technology – her hull is six layers of cold moulded, longitudinal and diagonal planked yellow cedar, with an outer skin of e-glass and Kevlar. Building her was an adventure in itself, allowing our team to utilise their traditional boat building skills, not often required in this day and age and, of course, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.

Launched in late 2022, Wind Spirit undertook her first epic adventure in December 2023 – sailing to her home port in Brest, France. With a crew of two, the voyage's first leg was an impressive 77 days at sea, non-stop from Auckland, New Zealand, via Cape Horne to Horta in the Azores, where a quick stop and go to pick up a third crew member and re-provision, set them up for the short jaunt home, a mere 2,000km away. After 86 days at sea, Wind Spirit tied up in her home port in Brest, France. 

<p>Big, bold and</p>

Crafting people
as well as boats:

2020: Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders prides itself on training the next generation of boat-building craftspeople, continually training apprentices since its inception.

In 2020, Tracey became a foundation board member of MAST Academy, New Zealand’s leading marine and composites training academy.

<p>Crafting people</p>
<p><strong>as well as boats:</strong></p>

Today and beyond:

You have just enjoyed a snapshot of our 40-plus-year journey. A journey that narrates a tale of innovation, dedication, and an enduring commitment to crafting exceptional maritime solutions.

View our impressive portfolio of motor yachts, sailing yachts, carbon fibre race yachts and cutting-edge custom super yacht tenders and you will see a testament to the skilled artisans who make up our team and our ability to build almost anything. The in-house expertise and the wealth of knowledge available to us in the wider New Zealand marine fraternity enable us to quickly adopt innovative technologies yet retain the ethos and quality of traditional boatbuilding. With our purpose-built factory, we are able to undertake any custom project up to 30m (100 ft).

Empowered by the latest ideas, we continue to establish and build relationships with local and international naval architects and designers - building our brand and introducing the quality and luxury of Lloyd Steveson Boatbuilders to the world.

If you are ready to join the exclusive fraternity of Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders owners, contact us now. 

<p>Today and <strong>beyond:</strong></p>