NYS (Southern) Ltd sinks with £2m of debt

The Southerly 42RST builder went down for £1,972,520 – photo: southerly.com The Southerly 42RST builder went down for £1,972,520 – photo: southerly.com

NORTHSHORE: Suppliers to the failed NYS (Southern) Ltd – formerly Northshore Yachts - left a meeting of creditors held at Gatwick Airport yesterday, shrugging their shoulders, writes Barry Pickthall.

They had just learned liquidator Chris Stephens from FRP Advisory had little more than the furniture at Northshore’s prestigious waterside boatyard at Itchenor, Chichester to set against £1,972,520 of debts.

The Company’s statement of accounts show 21 creditors in the marine trade are owed five figure sums. The worst hit is Seldén Masts losing £71,000, with Wycombe Panels Ltd owed £66,560, Irons Brothers - which manufactures Southerly’s unique swing keels - is owed £59,000, Lewmar is owed £33,600 and IPC Media £29,500.

The taxpayer is also faced with £685,853 in redundancy payments for the 130 former employees.

Northshore Yachts was formed in 1971 and purchased by Lester Abbott from founder Bryan Moffatt for a reputed £4.5m in 2003. Mr Abbott invested heavily in expanding the Southerly range, building two new factory buildings – the latest of which was opened by Princess Anne in 2010 – and in state-of-the-art machinery to streamline the production process.

None of this, however, is within reach of the liquidator. The land and buildings are owned by the group parent company Sunchalk Ltd, which charged NYS £20,000 a month rent. Sunchalk is not a creditor.

Mr Stevens also disclosed the moulds and intellectual property to the yacht designs are outside his control, as are the deposits paid by customers for three yachts currently in production.

The only cheer at the meeting came from three customers who were told their money is safe and were assured their yachts will be completed at no extra charge.

A new trading company has been formed from the ashes of NYS and will continue to produce the Southerly range of swing keel yachts, including the new Dubois designed Southerly 535 due to be premiered at this year’s PSP Southampton Boat Show.

Lester Abbott resigned from NYS (Southern) on 21 November 2011, leaving MD John Warne, production director Miles Webb and director Claire Horsman to take the flack.

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