By Craig Ritchie

Crescent prelaunchFollowing a 10-year hiatus, Richmond, BC-based Crescent Custom Yachts is once again launching new-build superyachts on Canada’s Pacific coast

Gord Downie may well have had Crescent Custom Yachts in mind when he wrote the lyrics to the Tragically Hip classic, Long Time Coming. It has been a long time coming indeed, but the Richmond, BC-based yacht builder is once again launching new-build superyachts on Canada’s Pacific coast following a 10-year hiatus.

The rebirth of the legendary yacht builder began in 2014, when Tim Charles, the grandson of Crescent Custom Yachts’ founder, Jack Charles, purchased the Crescent brand back from the U.S. investors who had owned it for the previous decade. Now operating from its original manufacturing facility in Richmond, Crescent Custom Yachts is nearing completion ofa Crescent 145 – a 44metre, Lloyds-classed, custom fibreglass yacht designed by Jonathan Quinn Barnett for a buyer located in the U.S. Launched in late October, completion of the vessel is expected soon. “We’ll have it reviewed, photographed, and we’ll shoot some videos around it,” says Charles. “That will give us something more tangiblefor prospective clients who prefer to wait and see what that first yacht looks like before making a deeper commitment.”

Crescent 1 long timeAs the Crescent 145 nears completion, the company is set to begin construction of a second new build– aCrescent 110 ordered by a California-based client. With an exterior designed by Luiz Debasto, this aluminum vessel will be the first all-metal yacht launched bythe builder.

A third new-build yacht – a Crescent 155 – is in the design stage and, like the 110, will be built from aluminum.

Finally, the hull of an expedition-style 115, also designed by Jonathan Quinn Barnett, is now ready for a prospective buyer.

From zero new builds in 10 years to multiple new yachts inproduction at once, thechange in ownership seems to have injected completely new life into the once-prolific Canadian yacht builder.


Yachtbuilding In The Blood
With such a strong start out of the gate, it is little wonder that Tim Charles is in such positive spirits these days. After all, he grew up in a boat-building family and the passion for building yachts runs in his blood.

Crescent Custom Yachts was originally launched in the 1980sas Crescent Beach Boatbuilders, named for its location on Boundary Bay, between Vancouver and the U.S. border. A successful businessman in the trucking industry, Jack Charles began producing yachts as a sideline project after purchasing a custom yacht of his own. Initially sourcing hulls from American shipyards and completing them in Canada on a custom-order basis, Crescent soon outgrew its original production space and moved to a state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility in Richmond, rebranding as Crescent Custom Yachts to better reflect the unique, high-end products it created.

Tim Charles joined the family business as a young man, quite literally bypushing a broom. Shortly after he graduated from business school, financial pressures from a soft market led the family to close the business in 2004. Charles was among those laid off, but his passion for boat building remained undiminished. “I really wanted to be in the yacht business, so I started Platinum Marine Services, specializing in yacht refits and transformational overhauls,” he says. “I immediatelyhired many of the former Crescent employees, who were exceptionally skilled and talented. I leased service bays from the new owner of the building that Crescent Marine had formerly occupied. Within a year I had the entire facility, and I have had it ever since.”

With the benefit of an experienced, skilled workforce able to handle projects in fibreglass, aluminum, and steel, Platinum Marine soon grew to more than 100 employees, operating a six-bay, fully enclosed shipbuilding facilitycomplete with a 330-ton Marine Travelift. Sister companieslaunched since include CCY Marine, a boathouse construction company also based in Richmond, and Milltown Marine Services, a full-service boat repair company located at Milltown Marina in Vancouver’s historic Marpole neighborhood.

Crescent Yacht 1 RolloutAll In The Family
As Tim Charles established himself in the marine industry, Crescent Custom Yachts was sold to WorldSpan Marine, a Florida-based investment group, which had previously acquired another Canadian yacht builder, Queenship Marine Industries. The group’s intent was to build yachts under the Crescent banner but,for a variety of reasons,none were ever launched. WorldSpanultimately filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011.

That event opened the door to Tim Charles. Once the smoke from the WorldSpan breakup cleared, he was able to re-acquire the Crescent brand and intellectual property, and bring it back to Richmond where it shares facilities withthe existing Platinum Marine operation. Today, the two businesses operate side-by-side from the same shipyard with the same employees – Crescent focusing on new builds, Platinum on refits.

“I saw an opportunity to bring Crescent Custom Yachts back to life by utilizing the capabilities of our exceptional craftsmen,” explains Charles. “Crescent is a collaboration of the talents of these people and others who have worked at some of BC’s best shipbuilders such as Rayburn Yachts, McQueen Yachts, Richmond Yachts, Queenship, and West Bay Yachts. We are fortunate to have the best craftsmen available in the Pacific Northwest and it shows in our work.People come to see Crescent and they’re not walking into a start-up operation, they’re meeting with an established, experienced company that isn’t rife with unknowns. We have established capabilities and a long history of managing major projects, and that instills a certain level of confidence in any buyer.”

It also provides the company with the benefit of being able to leverage existing relationships with major yacht brokers, a key consideration in an industry where word-of-mouth endorsement remains critically important. “Having Platinum Marine allowed us to walk before we ran,” explains Charles. “Our new 145 will go a long way towards demonstrating what we’re truly capable of today. We’re not sitting here waiting on an order; we have current work, a long history of strong customer relationships, and a track record of successful industry partnerships. That definitely helps.”


Enviable Timing
What helps even further is an incredible sense of timing. Charles acquired the Crescent nameplate just aseconomic recovery in the U.S. – oneof the world’s key yachting markets – beganto hit full stride. According to data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), sales of yachts larger than 40 feet remain one of the industry’s fastest-growing categories.

One effect of the strengthening U.S. dollar is that it now provides Crescent withthe benefit of an extraordinarily attractive currency exchange rate. With the Canadian dollar presently trading in the area of 73 cents U.S., the company enjoys a significant cost advantage when competing against U.S. or European yacht builders. That was not the case three years ago, when the Canadian dollar was trading at par with the U.S. dollar.

“The Canadian dollar has held long enough at a low enough position where a lot of U.S. dollar currency-based clients are now looking at this opportunity as exactly that – an opportunity to leverage the exchange rate and get more yacht for the same price,” says Charles. “We sell everything in Canadian dollars, so that represents a huge opportunity for a buyer. By operating in Canadian currency we obviously have to pay more money for some equipment, but the way we’ve structured it, materials are set-priced with minimal to no markup. We make our money in the labour rates. We’re very excited as we start the boat show season this year because it looks like the currency rate will remain at a fairly steady and consistent level for some time yet.”

Charles Crescent 1While the timing for the relaunch of Crescent Custom Yachts has been a bit of a happy accident, the same can be said for the company’s location. The entire British Columbia coast is a popular cruising route, and particularly so for the protected waters separating Vancouver Island from the mainland. Because the city of Vancouver is a cosmopolitan Pacific Rim city, Charles’ Platinum Marine operation deals with a diverse, global client group – many of whom elect to leave their boats in the Pacific Northwest year-round. This customer pool – half based in the U.S., perhaps a quarter located in Canada, and the balancesituated elsewhere in the world, are all prospective future customers for Crescent Custom Yachts, according to Charles. With such a large proportion of its client base located outside of Canada, the competitive advantage represented by Crescent’s currency exchange rate situation cannot be overstated.


The Best of Both Worlds
Today, Crescent Custom Yachts finds itself with the wind solidly at its back. Between economic recovery in key markets and the ability to leverage an attractive exchange rate, business for both new builds under the Crescent nameplate and refits under Platinum Marine is booming.With all the pieces now in place, the future for Crescent Custom Yachts should be busy – and profitable.

Gord Downie may well have had Crescent Custom Yachts in mind when he wrote the lyrics to the Tragically Hip classic, Long Time Coming. It has been a long time coming indeed, but the Richmond, BC-based yacht builder is once again launching new-build superyachts on Canada’s Pacific coast following a 10-year hiatus.

The rebirth of the legendary yacht builder began in 2014, when Tim Charles, the grandson of Crescent Custom Yachts’ founder, Jack Charles, purchased the Crescent brand back from the U.S. investors who had owned it for the previous decade. Now operating from its original manufacturing facility in Richmond, Crescent Custom Yachts is nearing completion ofa Crescent 145 – a 44metre, Lloyds-classed, custom fibreglass yacht designed by Jonathan Quinn Barnett for a buyer located in the U.S. Launched in late October, completion of the vessel is expected soon. “We’ll have it reviewed, photographed, and we’ll shoot some videos around it,” says Charles. “That will give us something more tangiblefor prospective clients who prefer to wait and see what that first yacht looks like before making a deeper commitment.”

As the Crescent 145 nears completion, the company is set to begin construction of a second new build– aCrescent 110 ordered by a California-based client. With an exterior designed by Luiz Debasto, this aluminum vessel will be the first all-metal yacht launched bythe builder.

A third new-build yacht – a Crescent 155 – is in the design stage and, like the 110, will be built from aluminum.

Finally, the hull of an expedition-style 115, also designed by Jonathan Quinn Barnett, is now ready for a prospective buyer.

From zero new builds in 10 years to multiple new yachts inproduction at once, thechange in ownership seems to have injected completely new life into the once-prolific Canadian yacht builder.



 

Related Articles

Wednesday, 01 May 2019 03:00

Designed and built to cruise the world’s oceans, the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge offers abundant outdoor spaces with the protection of a fully-enclosed flybridge for perfect comfort in any weather.

Thursday, 24 January 2019 00:36

This past decade has been a real up-and-down ride for the companies who make boating equipment. When the recession hit in 2008/2009, new product development for most manufacturers ground to a sharp...

Monday, 10 December 2018 11:23

While the basics of boat hull design hasn’t changed that much over the years, the same cannot be said for marine electronics. Indeed, the explosive growth in this market has changed the way we go...

Thursday, 06 December 2018 02:01

Yamaha targets the Canadian big-water market with its high-torque 425 horsepower V8 XTO outboard, innovative Helm Master digital control, and an all-new 25 horsepower kicker – creating what it says...

Monday, 26 March 2018 03:17

Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal found on outdrives, shafts, rudders, and other metal components that dangle under the boat.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020 09:31

The April issue of Canadian Yachting magazine marks the start of Summer 2020 and spring launch for all those Canadians not fortunate enough to already be out in the Pacific!  

 

 

Viko S35

By Katherine Stone

I am lucky to have the opportunity to helm many types of boats. I am even more lucky to sail boats on champagne fall days when many boats are either being hauled for the winter, or are already under shrink-wrap.

Not only are there great winds – usually offshore, but welcome sunshine and open waters with few boats out enjoying the last days of September. Joining me for the test sail of the Viko S35 was the former publisher of Canadian Yachting, Greg Nicoll, and the Canadian Viko Yachts representative, Eric Beauregard, who had driven down from Montreal.

Read More

 

 

Four Winns H4

 

Four Winns H4By Andy Adams

The well-known Four Winns brand is now a part of the international boatbuilder Groupe Beneteau and the new H4 is a great example of how the design and engineering resources of Beneteau can up the game even for a brand like Four Winns that has a long and distinguished history.

The Cadillac Michigan-built H4 is a brand-new design this year and we think it's especially handsome. The vertical stem bow is all new and innovative. It is a design feature that was chosen to give Four Winns and the H4 a sense of modern and contemporary look while the stern remains more traditional. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul ...
Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a ...
Instant towns have sprung up in the past, especially on the BC coast. In the late 1850s, Victoria ...
Following the War of 1812, a battle that Canada narrowly won against the United States, the ...
You’ve weathered COVID and you’re ready to book your charter to paradise. You’ve done some ...
If you are looking for an interesting destination for a weekend trip or longer, Quebec City will ...
A holiday often is defined by the experiences we make in unique and beautiful settings. But what ...
St Vincent and the Grenadines is open to tourists and Horizon Yacht Charters are looking forward to ...

West Side Story

by Jennifer M. Smith, drone photos by Alex Nikolajevich

It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul out was still over a month away. The question was: where to now? Friends in Meaford often suggested we sail in for a visit. We never had because we’d always moved north-south on the east side of Georgian Bay. This year we were up for something different. This was the perfect opportunity to cruise the west side of the bay.

We made the 10 a.m. bridge out of Little Current and motor-sailed east southeast in light northerlies. We’d often sailed past Snug Harbour, a nearly land-locked anchorage on the north side of Lansdowne Channel because the chart suggested we’d never make it in there with our six-foot draft. 

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
This week’s Photo of the Week comes from BC. The 99th Grey Creek Regatta was held at the Lakeview ...
Back in 2019 (I believe) your magazine used a pic of Sweet Love, a Ranger Tug 31, in a photo ...
a few shots of my wife Maggie practicing her silks routine on our 1982 C&C in the North Channel ...
Last issue, we took a look at boat names. Little did we know we would get what probably will be the ...
Boat names and puns go together like …. Well, like nothing else. Here’s a couple shared by our pal ...
Frequent Windsor racing contributor to Sailing in Canada Roger Renaud, caught this gorgeous ...
The Kingston Yacht Club (KYC) celebrated its 125th anniversary in the summer of 2021, in all the ...
A study on water levels projects an unprecedented drop of water levels on Lakes Michigan-Huron and ...
Ahoy me hearties. June is Sailpast month, so Keelly and her pal Tracey were themed out as (not ...
You’ve invested thousands and thousands of dollars into your boat so naturally, you want to find ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Do you have abnormal engine vibration; rubber dust around engine mounts; telltale signs of possible ...
As Thanksgiving heads our way, it tends to be the ‘last hurrah’ on many fronts:  the last long ...
As the busy season starts to wind down, many boaters turn to the maintenance that has been ...
Unlike a car that moves (and requires control) left and right (and perhaps, if you’re an ...
Our boats are now on the water after a couple of really unusual years – if we did get out it was ...
Last issue of CYOB, we discussed stay and shroud tension and how these adjustments can affect ...
I was recently reading a number of Facebook posts from sailboat owners’ groups, wondering why their ...
After 27 years of sun and traffic, the cockpit floor on Aquaholic was starting to look faded and ...
Sails are attached to the sailboat rig using several different systems. Let’s begin with mainsail. ...
I’ve always thought that where safety is concerned aboard, it should be the same whether the boat ...

Supplies and Colour Matching

by Marc Robic

After 27 years of sun and traffic, the cockpit floor on Aquaholic was starting to look faded and had many small pinholes and minor surface cracks. These pinholes are mostly caused by small air pockets that lay just below the gelcoat surface. Of course, this is exacerbated by particles such as small rocks or debris under shoes, dropped winch handles, etc.

Luckily, Catalina Yachts is still very much in business and are very helpful when owners have questions or need parts. I ordered a small quantity of original formula Catalina grey and white gelcoat for my model and year.

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
What happened. Where did our summer go? Well, never mind that, it’s time to start thinking about ...
Cruising boaters visiting new destinations can face challenges when the marina's shorepower system ...
Worn plastic hatch covers can detract from a boat's appearance and its functionality, especially ...
The first builder of electric boats, founded in 1893, Elco now introduces new designs of its EP-6, ...
More than 3/4 of all recreational boats (power and sail) are under 26 feet and towable.
One of the top requests in the electrification of water transport is for a jet ski that can deliver ...
Many boat toilets have dimensions similar to a five-gallon bucket—and are nearly as uncomfortable. ...
Working alongside a US-based designer and boat building company, Burlington ON-based MarsKeel ...
It’s still vacation time and that means calories don’t count. The Boat Galley Cookbook: 800 ...
Words of exasperation wafting across a marina often signal a boat owner fighting with a jammed ...

News

  • Prev
Parks Canada advises that the Kirkfield Lift Lock will begin single-chamber lockages for through ...
The Four Winns TH36 Catamaran had its world premiere at the Cannes Yachting Festival, September ...
After borrowing boats for a couple of years, longtime J105 fanatic and many-year organizer of the ...
Due to ongoing mechanical issues, the Kirkfield Lift Lock will remain closed for the foreseeable ...
BCI Marine is announcing that it will become Canada's distributor of OXE Marine's ...
US Team Zing’s increased boat speed and improved crew work were no match for the extraordinary crew ...
Vision Marine, founded in Montreal and currently based in Boisbriand QC, in partnership with ...
On Sunday, August 21, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) held its fourth annual ...
While there’s still some good weather left, let’s take a moment to celebrate this summer. Sunny, ...
Light air conditions prevented racing on Saturday, which meant there were three fleet races on ...

RS Electric BoatsSailGP, the international racing series featuring high speed F50 wingsailed catamarans, is partnering with RS Electric Boats – sister brand of sailboat manufacturer RS Sailing – to use the Pulse 63 electric RIB as chase, coach and support boats.

RS Electric Boats will supply SailGP with four Pulse 63s, which were designed to be electric boats from the outset. The unique aerodynamic hull form is designed to support the weight of the batteries while allowing rapid acceleration, functional speeds up to 23 knots and ample range.

 

 

Read More