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Meet the team
After her studies in Business, Debbie began her career with BMW in Ireland, where she was quickly recognised as a key team player and was promoted year on year. Being young and ambitious, Debbie then decided to emigrate to the US, where once again her talents became apparent in both the construction and hospitality sectors. Debbie looks fondly on her time in New York, in particular being an integral part of a team procuring scaffolding contracts throughout New York, with her personal favourite contract being for the famous Rockerfeller Christmas tree in New York!
Debbie then returned to Ireland, and immediately joined the then new X-Yachts team, with its bases in Dublin and Southampton. Her timing was perfect, as we were about to exhibit at the very first London Boat Show at the new Excel Centre in January 2004. To date, Debbie has now since organised and run some 30 boat shows in the UK.
After joining us at X-Yachts in 2004, Debbie true to form, once again began to flourish in her new role and very quickly got to grips with the nature of the business, from sales and service, to customer relations, she also fully immersed herself in the business management and accounting functions. Recently in 2021, it was a very natural step for Debbie to take on the role of Managing Director for both X-Yachts in the UK and Ireland. In essence it was just formalising a role she has carried out for many years!
Despite her busy and demanding role, Debbie is very much a peoples person… “I love nothing more than meeting customers, new and existing, whether at Boat Shows, our offices, or at our bi-annual X-Yachts Solent Cup Regatta. It’s fabulous to catch up with everyone and we really have the best customers, many who want to share their passion for X-Yachts, and go as far to make themselves available to assist us at various boat shows, so isn’t this just a unique business to be part of, we help facilitate peoples sailing dreams, and they then help us…..amazing”.
Stuart grew up in a village just west of Glasgow, and spent the majority of his summers and weekends sailing on family yachts on the West Coast of Scotland. This was originally an 1887 G.L. Watson designed gaff rigged cutter “Beroe”, with no winches or technology which would have been a challenge for his father! Following on from that, he sailed on a Carter 33 “Victric”, the new family yacht, which allowed him to participate in much of the local racing, in which they were very successful with family and friends crewing.
Having completed his schooling, he went on to study "Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering" at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, graduating in 2000. He then decided to obtain a Yacht Master Offshore Qualification in the warmer climes of Australia. Once qualified, and having liked a warmer climate than Scotland, the South Coast of England was the next logical base - “The Home of Yachting”. He joined a local charter company, managing some 30 different yachts of various sizes and brands for three years. It was during this time that he joined the race crew aboard an X-Yacht X-332 called “Peanut”. While participating at the X-Yachts Gold Cup in Hamble during the summer of 2003, he got to know some of the team at X-Yachts, this then resulted in him officially joining the team in 2005.
As a qualified Yacht Master, he spent the first two years doing X-Yacht sea deliveries for the company, between Denmark, UK and Ireland, then was part of the service team for a further 2 years. Since 2009, his focus has been on facilitating new and pre-owned sales.
We say facilitating, because “selling” a yacht is not a practical role, unlike life’s necessities, a yachts is not a “necessity”, it’s a dream that a buyer wants to fulfill, and his role is to understand the requirements of that persons dream, and explore if an X-Yacht can feature in that dream. Importantly, it’s also about “why” we do things the way we do in X-Yachts design and manufacturing. “With my background in design engineering, this allows me to understand and believe in the why of X-Yachts. Therefore, I am very fortunate to be able to supply a product I absolutely believe in. No Salesmanship is required, only understanding a buyers requirement, and then imparting my understanding and belief to allow that buyer make an informed decision so they get the right tool to make their dream a reality”.
Head of Service GB & IRE
Julien grew up in North Britany where he was never very far from the water either day cruising with his family around the islands near Dinard, racing nationally on the Bénéteau First Class 8 or volunteering with Les Glénans sailing school in Ile de Bréhat as technical support for the summer.
Julien moved to England in 2006 with X-Yachts GB as a work experience to start with, but stayed on since then, where he gained his experience by training for a summer at the X-Yachts factory in Denmark, servicing most X-Yachts over the years but also by taking part in many regattas with our X-Yachts owners (Fastnet Race / Middle sea race / King’s cup / Cowes week / Round the island race etc).
Julien now heads up the servicing team where we look after around 35 X-Yachts over the winter to make sure your X-Yacht is always looking her best with the attention to details necessary which make an X so special.
X-Yachts Ambassador - Scotland & N. Ireland.
I started sailing in the late 1950’s on my father’s boat. Also sailed in various dinghies through the 60’s & 70’s. I’ve owned various keelboats - starting with an Eygthene 24 in 1975 followed by a Nicholson 30, Contessa 35, 3/4 toners …. DB2 & a one off through the late 70’s, 80’s & 90’s. I did a lot of sailing on Swans in the late 80’s & 90’s (Swan Europeans, Swan Worlds, RORC races on the south coast .etc).
I have raced mainly on the west coast of Scotland but also in the rest of the U.K. & Ireland + Channel Islands, France, Med & Caribbean. Cruising mainly on the west coast of Scotland but also Ireland, Baltic, France, Med & Caribbean with several deliveries to those areas (North Sea, Bay of Biscay, Transatlantic)
I have then gone on to own seven X-Yachts - X-332, X-43, Xc 45, Xp 38, Xc 45, X4⁰ and now an X4³.
Sailed for over 50 years - both racing & cruising … mainly on the west coast of Scotland but also in rest of U.K., Ireland, Channel Islands, France, Med & Caribbean + several deliveries (Transatlantic, North Sea, Bay of Biscay). Owned several different boats since 1975 including 6 different X-Yachts.
Please reach out to me if you are based in Scotland and would like to speak about X from an owners perspective.
X-Yachts Ambassador - Ireland East Coast.
X-Yachts Ambassador - Wales
Sailing has been a major part of my life from an early age starting aged 10 when I sailed a Cadet in the N West and Wales.
Racing dinghies followed Fireflies,Fireballs Solos and Snipes all were campaigned with varying degrees of success but generally in the North West and increasingly Abersoch from the South Caernarfonshire Yacht Club.
We moved on to keel boats and sailed Squibs for several years as our two sons grew up and started sailing Oppies and later Mirrors that took up much of our sailing time as they were in the various RYA squads and we traveled extensively with their boats to events and coaching.
This was a challenge but we ended up with two capable sons and several of their mates and we had a crew for a bigger boat so bought our first X-Yacht. Xpletive was an X-332 and we campaigned her hard from 2004 with frequent visits to Cork Week and Dublin. A fabulous boat and we learnt much about sailing in those early years as the X-332 was a very competitive racer and gave us some great times and even the odd trophy.
The X-35 was announced and a one design fleet appealed so we visited Haderslev with the boys and they both convinced me that this was the boat for us.. We raced Xpletive 2 for a few seasons but as the boys moved on left University etc we decided a cruising boat was next as my wife and I always had a plan to sail around the Med at some stage. The Xc 42 was launched and a deal was done at the boat show for hull number 16 that duly arrived and was sailed in the UK until I retired and then shipped to Spain where the X-Yachts crew helped us prepare her for launching.
The Xc 42 was perfect as the two of us could comfortably manage her and the cruising options we added were perfect as we sailed around the Balearics for nearly 5 summers. There was then a gap in our X-Yacht ownership as we sold Xpletive 3 very easily to a couple aided by Stuart and team and we still hear from as they continue to explore the Med in the Xc 42. We had a short period owning a large Grand Soleil 50 but moved her on in 2019 and started to search for a boat that could offer us racing and cruising in the UK as our Med days were over but we still had the desire to enter local regattas and a comfortable cruising boat for a trip over to Ireland.
We started searching for an X-34 or X-37 and after a couple of years a X-34, a boat well known to us in Abersoch, came on the market and we snapped her up. Currently we are updating some of the sails and rigging to allow us to compete again with the local hotshots and hopefully we will be worrying them around the cans.
Nearly 20 years of X-Yacht ownership and 4 very different boats has shown me that they are all superbly built and generally very safe and fun to sail. Additionally a couple of forays into other boats has proven to me that the early advice given to me in 2004 to buy an X-Yacht was very sound.
We live in Manchester but are based in Abersoch N Wales all summer and Xpletive is kept on the moorings in front of the Yacht Club.
I am on the water many days through the season either racing ourselves or organising other keel boat or dinghy events and Xpletive is the committee boat ..
Always happy to talk boats and particularly X-Yachts so please get in touch if your in the area and want to learn more..
X-Yachts Ambassador - England
My lifelong love of sailing began aged 9yrs helping my father to build a mirror dinghy which we sailed all over Europe. My introduction to offshore came shortly afterwards, sailing yachts in the Baltic with the British Army at the British Kiel Yacht Club (BKYC). I was soon bitten by the bug and found myself racing offshore with the RORC as well as family cruising. By the time I was 18 I was a member of RORC and Yachtmaster.
As a family, we owned a series of yachts including a Sigma 36 and then a Sigma 38 OOD which we cruised and raced, fully crewed, in the RORC series including three Fastnets and multiple Cowes weeks.
Over time I realised that managing a large crew was very time consuming, this piqued my interest in two-handled sailing. This led to the purchase of a J120 and subsequently a J133 predominantly for two-handed racing and some cruising. The ownership of these yachts culminated in the AZAB two-handed yacht race to the Azores (and back) and winning the Royal Southampton two-handed series.
In 2008, I skippered an Oyster 655 across the Atlantic as part of the ARC. It was a particularly light year, and we learnt a lot about how to motor-sail optimising apparent wind angles and wind speeds whilst minimising the use of diesel to ensure we made our flights home for Christmas!
More recently we greatly enjoyed owning a Hallberg Rassy, relishing their reassuring build quality and surefooted stability, however, we found them of limited sailing appeal. This effectively led us to a point where we were seeking a family yacht that had the Hallberg build quality and the J-boat performance. Consequently, we were drawn to X Yachts, the X4.3 standing out as being the optimum in terms of size and manageability as well as performance.
We “kissed a lot of frogs along the way” but finally discovered X Yachts and were thrilled to find ASSARAIN VI, our “forever boat” in Jan 2023 and have been delighted by the support offered by the X-Yachts team in Hamble. We are looking forward to many years of extensive cruising both in Northern and Southern European waters. To include a trip to Haderslev to say hi to the team there.
I have always said that sailing is the glue that sticks me together and am always keen to share this enthusiasm and knowledge. Please feel free to get in touch for a behind the scenes chat!
2 Huntsman Road
Hamble Point Marina
VAT Number: GB 804 981 614
9:00 am - 5:30 pm
We are always amenable to viewings out with these hours and at the weekend, however this must be arranged in advance.