Twenty five year dream boat launch

IT HAS been a 25 year dream but this month a 189ft restored ocean-going luxury yacht is to be launched in Ipswich. Harmony II, a fifty-year-old passenger ferry that once sailed the waters of the Adriatic, is to take to the water again at Cliff Quay on July 22.

IT HAS been a 25 year dream but this month a 189ft restored ocean-going luxury yacht is to be launched in Ipswich.

Harmony II, a fifty-year-old passenger ferry that once sailed the waters of the Adriatic, is to take to the water again at Cliff Quay on July 22.

The dream was formed a quarter of a century ago when businessmen brothers Alan and Martin Pedley visited Monaco and were spellbound by the array of yachts.

So they decided one day, they would come back with one of their own - and this month their wish can finally be granted.


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It took ten years to find the right boat and three years to restore it, but today it boasts 16 cabins, a conference room, dining room and sundeck.

The brothers are using the boat, officially classified as a Mega Yacht, as a floating showroom for their bespoke furniture making business.

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Alan Pedley, managing director of Pedley Furniture International Ltd, said the boat will tour the world including the Mediterranean and Caribbean seas.

He said: "It has been a labour of love. Twenty-five years ago we became spell bound by the fantastic array of yachts in Monaco while on holiday in France. "For the last ten years we have travelled the world looking for the right boat until we found this one in Liverpool."

A former two-class passenger ferry, Harmony II will have three uses as a showroom, conference centre and as a 16-cabin charter vessel.

Mr Pedley, 42, of Little Easton in Essex, added: "I am excited but also nervous. I do not want anything to go wrong. She may well be the last ship of this scale to be launched from Ipswich."

The three-year restoration has included the re-welding of 10,000 rivets. Inside the 650-ton Harmony II will boast 16 cabins decorated in different styles, 23 different timbers, conference facilities for 150 people, a large dining room, and a sunbathing deck.

Mr Pedley said: "She will be fitted out inside after the launch. I think there is something magical about going on board a yacht."

Company chairman Martin Pedley said: "Our biggest hurdle in closing a business deal has always been getting our international clients to the factory in Saffron Walden.

"But once they have visited they are 98 per cent likely to place an order. Harmony II will enable us to make it much easier for potential clients to have the 'Pedley experience' much closer to their home base."

An invited group of up to 150 people is expected to watch the launch, which will be aimed to coincide with high tide.

Do you remember Ipswich-based ship building? Did you work in the industry? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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