The Vermeulen family for over 40 years grew West Bay SonShip Yachts, Ltd. into one of the world’s top yacht brands. However market conditions and economic factors lead West Bay SonShip Yachts, Ltd. into temporary protection from creditors in 2006. A Plan of Reorganization has since been approved by stakeholders and West Bay SonShip continues to build boats.
Founder and Chairman Ben Vermeulen in an August, 2006 address to SonShip owners expressed regret, “Our family would like to take a moment to apologize to SonShip owners, employees and suppliers personally for any hardship you have experienced in recent months resulting from our reorganization.”
West Bay President Wes Vermeulen acknowledged, “In addition to our many successes we have been faced with many challenges during our 40-year history, the current reorganization being one of the most difficult. Despite the difficulties, we continue to be proud of our heritage, of our yachts, of the craftspeople who build them, and of the distinguished customers who own them. We will persevere.”
Despite industry rumours of West Bay’s demise, on July 1, 2006 West Bay SonShip Yachts was fully functioning outside the umbrella of court protection and with the patience and understanding of several of the new build owners, West Bay completed the five yachts at the yard in 2006.
The Vermeulens and everyone at West Bay SonShip take pride in the quality and attention to detail put into each and every yacht they build. As recently as October, 2006, Vagabond, a West Bay Custom 88’ Pilothouse and one of the five yachts completed during the restructuring period, was featured as a Dream Boat in Sea Magazine. West Bay has never failed to deliver a single new SonShip in it’s 40-year history.
The road ahead
West Bay Marine Services
In August of 2006 West Bay Marine Services, part of West Bay SonShip Yacht Builders Ltd. opened the shipyard, complete with indoor facilities, 250 ton marine ways, and 4,500 sq. ft. floating covered service bay, to yacht repair and refit work for SonShips and other major yacht brands from 40 – 100+ feet in length. This facility will dedicate itself to servicing yachts with the same level of excellence and attention to detail that West Bay prides itself on in the boatbuilding business.
Partially completed 110-foot hull for sale with equipment and moulds
West Bay SonShip Yacht Builders Ltd. is seeking a purchaser for hull 110-5 that includes bulkheads, stringers, lower deck soles, roughed in plumbing, fuel tanks, water tanks, some interior cabinetry, stabilizers, 2-40 KW generators, cable masters, bow and stern thrusters, other miscellaneous equipment, construction drawings and moulds to finish the house and command bridge. While we would prefer to finish this vessel as a West Bay, all serious offers will be considered including having the vessel completed outside of our organization.
SuperYacht Times - The State of Yachting 2019
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