19 Apr Press: Two Leaders in the Yachting Industry Have Combined Forces… Again.
David MacFarlane and Jim Ewing, decades-long stalwarts of the yachting industry, have partnered to form Reliant Yachts, a new boat building venture which promises to deliver the type of beautiful power and sailing yachts they have long been associated with.
David MacFarlane has spent a lifetime in yachting. Exposed to classic yachts at an early age by his father, who was captain of George Roosevelt’s Sherman Hoyt-designed 61′ schooner Mistress, MacFarlane went on to a successful ocean racing career highlighted by transatlantic races to Denmark and England, the Admiral Cup Series, Fastnet Race, the America’s Cup campaign with the Constellation syndicate, and over a dozen Newport to Bermuda races.
After serving as an officer in the Navy, MacFarlane went on to hold prominent management roles at Bangor Punta (Cal, Ranger) followed by Tillotson Pearson (Freedom, Alden, and founded Rampage Yachts). When Alden went into production at TP, MacFarlane first managed production and later became president of the Alden Division. In the early 1990s David, along with a group of investors, purchased Alden Yachts from Tillotson where MacFarlane became CEO and managing partner. In his years with Alden, he oversaw the production of sailing yachts from the classic Alden 44 to the epoxy built 54s and 72. He also introduced the successful power boat line to Alden, which ranged from 40 to 60 feet.
Jim Ewing has been involved in many aspects of the yachting industry over the past two decades. He has owned and operated a successful advertising and marketing firm, served as president and general manager of Trumpy Yachts, is a successful yacht illustrator (his classic yacht illustrations have appeared on a regular monthly basis in Soundings magazine for three years and counting) and served as executive vice president at Alden Yachts, where he first worked with David MacFarlane.
It was at Alden Yachts where MacFarlane and Ewing began their boat building collaboration and honed not only their design sensibilities, but their working relationship. Ewing states, “David was absolutely a mentor to me, and from the beginning we shared a sensibility for design based on scale, proportion, and the ‘fineness’ of execution. I also learned how hard you must work to perfect your craft. For all that David demanded from those around him, no one worked harder than he did, and that commitment pushed everyone else, including myself.”
Of their new venture, MacFarlane states, “The yacht building world we are in today is a much different place than it was 30 years ago. It is a global industry, and you have to compete on that basis. What hasn’t changed is the boating public’s passion for a beautiful boat. We know we can deliver that, and also provide value and competitive pricing.”
To that end, MacFarlane and Ewing have partnered with Su Marine in Istanbul as their exclusive builder. Su Marine dates back more than 40 years. Ahmet Kesgin, chief builder and one of Su’s partners, carries on a family tradition of yacht building that began with his father. The Kesgin brothers have built some of Turkey’s most elegant boats as well as the country’s first composite boat. The company is headed by Tim Grunberg, who received his engineering degree at Rensselaer in upstate New York.
MacFarlane says, “From the beginning we have been very impressed with the level of skill and execution we have seen from Su. In fact, Jim and I have often commented how much the environment reminds us of our facility at Alden. It is immaculate, and at 90,000 square feet, capable of holding multiple 100’+ yachts.”
The chief naval architect is Tanju Kalaycioglu, who received his degree from Newcastle University, England. Ewing says, “I met Tanju in Miami a few years ago when I was with Trumpy. I was immediately impressed by his knowledge and affinity for classic yachts, and his designs and skill set exemplify that. He is a perfect fit for us.”
Reliant Yachts’ first model, the RY40 Commuter, will be available for viewing this summer in Newport as well as at the Newport International Boat Show September 17-20. For more information, contact Jim Ewing at email@example.com, David MacFarlane at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit them on the web at www.reliantyachts.com.