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.
Teddy Bear demonstrated Lloyd's solid, dependable work ethic, methodical approach to adopting new technology and inherent drive to achieve excellence, a cost and quality effective combination that led to many more orders. Five sailing yachts and two powered cruisers between 10.7m (35ft) and 12.8m (42ft) followed in quick succession and an unbroken run of custom vessels extended until 1992.
The global downturn in the late 1980's tightened discretionary spending and construction of new vessels between 10 and 30 metres slowed in New Zealand between 1989 and 1995. Lloyd took the opportunity to explore the trailer boat industry by first establishing Kit Boats, then Tournament Boats in partnership with Craig Loomes. Designed by Craig Loomes, the Tournament 7 and Tournament 8 remain highly respected sport fishing craft, however, the joint venture was discontinued because of insufficient volume to sustain the extreme limits ethos and complex detailing that went into these craft.
Craig Loomes went on to design and build the innovative 25m wave piercer, Ultimate Lady, and Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders was co-opted to craft a portion of the interior cabinet work. Ultimate Lady was awarded a coveted International Super yacht Society Award in 1998 (see www.cld.co.nz).
Other work streams included contract moulding yacht hulls (13m), building plugs and moulds for a market leading production boat manufacturer, major refits on two significant Auckland yachts (15.2m & 19.2m) and supplying interior cabinets to an offshore corporation exporting fast catamaran motor yachts from New Zealand.
The refit and contract work enabled the company to maintain its core staff, skill base and 1,000 sq metre factory throughout the quiet period, and the nature of the work reinforced the company culture of producing high-quality boats at cost-effective rates. With a nucleus of highly skilled staff and tight quality controls in place, the company was well positioned to capitalise on the economic upswing which saw the Brett Bakewell-White designed 12.5m IMS cruiser/racer, Time-to-Burn, launched in 1995.
Over the next ten years twelve Bill Upfold designed mid-pilothouse motor yachts between 13.5m and 18m followed Time-To-Burn, interspersed by two high-end boutique boats exported offshore. They were the Bill Trip designed 11.5m hardtop express cruiser Crazy Horse and the Nelson/Marek designed 10.9m day-sailer Karen. Both blended post-cured composite hulls with timber veneers and bright-work to achieve a classic look while retaining absolute performance. Karen performed like an America's Cup yacht upwind and Crazy Horse offered a sophisticated and elegant lifestyle, a showcase finish and a top speed of 49 knots! Towards the end of this period a Bakewell-White Transpac 52, Braveheart, was built in carbon composite with Nomex core, and was to be the first of several high-tech composite race yachts constructed to date.
In 2005 Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders moved to a new, 3000 square metre, purpose built facility in response to a need for more floor space, and more importantly increased stud height, to build the larger boats they were now being contracted to build.
Projects during this time included two Elite 65 foot sportfishers, Lady Alison and Huntress, launched in 2006 and 2008 respectively. Another two mid pilothouse launches in Coastal Cowboy and Conquest were also launched in this time, along with two yachts, Wired, a 52 foot Bakewell-White canting keel race yacht, and Ace, a Davidson 45 cruising yacht.
More recently LSB built the first GP33 carbon race yacht to be launched worldwide. This lightweight, high performance yacht was shipped to her Japanese client and has dominated local racing, consistently out performing much larger yachts.
Around this time LSB were also starting to gain a reputation for producing top quality Yacht Tenders, with the 6 metre Fishing and Limousine Tenders for the new Kokomo, launched at the beginning of 2010, being so well received they led almost immediately to a contract for an 8 metre Limousine Tender and another two 6 metre boats, one a Sports Tender and the other a Limousine.
LSB look forward to another productive year in 2011, with completion of a Botin Carkeek designed 55 foot High Performance Cruising Yacht due around the middle of the year, along with the latest batch of Yacht Tenders.