It has now been confirmed that Discovery Shipyard has gone into voluntary liquidation. The COVID-19 pandemic is being blamed for the closure of the yard

Discovery Shipyard has gone into voluntary liquidation.

The COVID-19 pandemic, declining orders and supply chain issues are being blamed for the closure of the Southampton boatyard.

All 77 staff have been made redundant.

Managing director John Burnie, financial director David Winduss and director George Gill have all resigned.

Werner Schnaebele, who owns Binti Marine Holdings, the holding company of the reformed Discovery Shipyard, remains the only active director of the shipyard.

Continues below…

Neil Gostelow and Steve Absolom from Interpath Advisory were appointed joint liquidators of Discovery Shipyard on 14 January 2022.

In a statement, Interpath Advisory said despite new orders coming in during 2021, Discovery was ‘restricted in its ability to manufacture to schedule by a combination of the ending of certain government support schemes and the well-documented global supply chain issues which caused delays in the availability of building materials, coupled with wider constraints on working capital.’

‘Given the Company’s financial position, the directors commenced liquidation proceedings to place the Company into Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation.’

Gostelow said Discovery Shipyard ‘had a proud reputation for building quality blue water cruising yachts, but unfortunately suffered significant trading issues in the wake of the pandemic. Our immediate priority is to realise the company’s remaining assets.’

12 January 2022

The managing director and financial director of Discovery Shipyard have both resigned.

John Burnie and David Winduss stepped down from their roles on 6 January 2022, according to records held with Companies House.

Their resignations came less than a month after it was claimed on the company’s LinkedIn Account that the boatyard’s owner, Werner Schnaebele was immediately withdrawing all support for Discovery and would not be providing further investment of funds.

It is unclear what this means for customers who have boats in build as Discovery has made no further statements.

Schnaebele owns Binti Marine Holdings, the holding company of the reformed Discovery Shipyard in Southampton.

He was one of 401 people who invested £2.2 million in the firm after a fundraising campaign via Crowdcube.

He became the sole owner of the shipyard in December 2019.

Schnaebele was appointed company director in February 2020, and along with George Gill, remains an active director.

In January 2021, it was announced that Schnaebele had invested a further £2 million in Discovery to be used exclusively on capital expenditures as well as project development including the newly designed Bluewater 50 Catamaran Mk 3, a redesigned Southerly 42 with lifting keel and improvements to the yard’s existing tooling. 

At the time, the then managing director John Burnie said: ‘This is a very encouraging start to 2021 for the Discovery Shipyard – with strong interest and increased enquiry level in all our models, the employees and clients of the Discovery Shipyard can look forward to the coming year with considerable confidence.’

Last year, Discovery announced a surge in its order books, including five new models sold off plan. 

Yachting Monthly has asked Discovery Shipyard and Werner Schnaebele for comment, but had received no acknowledgement or response by the time we published this article.

Enjoyed reading this article?

A subscription to Yachting Monthly magazine costs around 40% less than the cover price.

Print and digital editions are available through Magazines Direct – where you can also find the latest deals.

YM is packed with information to help you get the most from your time on the water.

      • Take your seamanship to the next level with tips, advice and skills from our experts
      • Impartial in-depth reviews of the latest yachts and equipment
      • Cruising guides to help you reach those dream destinations

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.