CLASSIC WORKS was founded in January 2003 by Butch Dalrymple-Smith and Alex Laird. The team was completed when Erik Wirta joined in 2008. Meet The Team…
Butch and Alex had been working together previously in the La Ciotat shipyard on the private restorations of the classic yachts, Royono and Orion. The shipyard was relatively quiet then, because all large shipbuilding had stopped in 1986. However, the great potential of the site for yacht refit and restoration work was evident.
As the duo’s yacht projects came to completion, Butch and Alex decided to establish CLASSIC WORKS on its existing site to ensure their skilled workforce would not be dispersed. With certain key craftsmen from the Royono and Orion projects, they completed their first CLASSIC WORKS restoration with a full hull, deckhouse, deck and systems rebuild on the 22m Laurent Giles Ketch Star Sapphire.
Project works soon followed on several iconic classic yachts (Eileen, Marigold, Partridge, Moonbeam IV, The Lady Anne, Oiseau de Feu, Solway Maid, Eilidh, Eileen, Irene VIII and Thendara) and the adaptability of their site was put to good use with the building of a new 48m spruce mast for the Fife-designed cutter Cambria.
It soon became apparent that the yard was so well placed (and demand so substantial) that to limit the works to older sailing yachts did not do justice to the site. Therefore, CLASSIC WORKS soon branched out into motor yachts, more recent sailing yachts and vessels built with hull materials other than wood such as steel, aluminium and composite.
By 2013, CLASSIC WORKS had worked on over 140 yachts from 10, to 80m in length.
Subsequently, by 2014, as the company developed further, works were also being carried out on multihulls, modern composite racing yachts and large motor yachts although classic yachts still play an important part in the CLASSIC WORKS program each year.
To this day, the purpose-built roof over the workshop can slide open to allow four yachts of up to 23m to be worked on simultaneously under cover. Outside work space has no length limit and yachts can be worked on in the water, ashore under a protective cover or outside under the Provencal sunshine.