Travelling and passagemaking on a luxury catamaran

Sunreef Yachts: How it all got started?

Dear Friends,

Thank you for following Sunreef blog. We know you are aware of our projects and cruising adventures of Sunreef owners but do you know how it all got started in the first place? Read the Sunreef story below and share your thoughts with us.

The Story of the Sunreef Yachts Brand – a Brilliant Mix of Passion and Vision

Behind the success and dynamic development of the prestigious Sunreef Yachts brand stands  its founder and president, Francis Lapp. Born in 1958, in French Alsace, Francis is a true titan of work: he  distinguished himself early in his  career, quickly moving into management positions and starting his own business soon afterwards. His first major undertaking was to manufacture  switchgear cubicles for  major companies such as Coca Cola and Siemens.  Production began in France, but the business soon moved to Poland. Francis first visited the country on the invitation of the Warsaw Automobile Club,  where he took part in a rally and won third place in general classification. Passionate about rallying, especially in his beloved Africa, Francis continued along his journey  to discover Poland’s  immense development potential throughout the 1990s.

Sunreef's Founder and President, Francis Lapp

Just two weeks after the rally, the  entrepreneur returned to Warsaw, this time to live there and start a business. In 1992 he opened HTEP POLSKA Ltd,  for the production of switchgear cubicles and soon expanded services to include the design and installation of electrical, sanitary and air conditioning systems in large industrial facilities. Francis’ new friends influenced  him to sail a small racing catamaran on a lake near Warsaw. He enjoyed it so much that he decided to buy one for himself: a cruising catamaran with cabins to pursue his travelling dreams.

At the Paris Boat Show, Francis bought his first catamaran and had it shipped to Madagascar.  Next, he opened Sunreef Travel (now converted in Sunreef Yachts Charter), a travel agency specialising in yacht rentals on the Indian Ocean. The company grew quickly as clients  demanded more comfortable and larger catamarans. While trying to source such boats, Francis discovered that there were no  suitable yachts available on the market. This  inspired him to get involved in building large,  custom, luxury multihulls. His flourishing company, HTEP POLSKA,  provided financial resources that allowed  Francis to invest in his new business and start his lifelong  adventure with yachting. He opened a shipyard in Gdansk, a city with ancient traditions in naval construction and with an experienced workforce. Charmed by the city’s rich history and splendour, he dropped his anchor on the Polish Baltic coast.

In 2002, construction halls were  leased in the famous Gdansk shipyard, with construction work commencing soon afterwards. The first, highly innovative, luxury catamaran, Sunreef 74, was launched in 2003, and became the shipyard’s  ticket to all major yacht shows in Cannes, Monaco, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Genoa. Sunreef 74  debuted as the world’s first  oceangoing catamaran with a flybridge equipped with a centralized helm station adding a deck level that  considerably expanded living space.

First ever Sunreef yacht - Sunreef 74

Today more than 60 yachts, both sailing and power, are cruising worldwide and spreading the unique Sunreef touch  around the globe. The company is now the world leader in the design and construction of large, customized luxury catamarans. Even though annual production  steadily increases, Francis  remains   focused on build quality rather than quantity. Innovation,  at the very core of Sunreef’s vision,  motivates the construction of two new models  each year. 2010 was a very special year for the company with the launch of two superyachts  exceeding 100 feet LOA: IPHARRA and CHE. These stunning yachts have certainly made  an indelible mark on the superyacht world, and  prove that catamarans are a fantastic alternative to super and mega yachts.

Sunreef 58 - New in 2011

In 2011, Sunreef Yachts introduced a new cruising catamaran model, the Sunreef 58, and has two new projects under construction that will be completed in 2012: the 60 Sunreef Power and Sunreef 82 Double Deck. The key to the company’s spectacular success is  due to a combination of several factors: activity in a niche market sector,  locating the design office and production facility under one roof, availability  for client meetings at all times, high quality custom finishes , and  innovate solutions  for each client. Sunreef also has a wide range of support services that are highly appreciated by  owners: yacht charter, yacht management, and after sales service with technical support.

Sunreef 82 DD - one of new models for 2012

Having spent almost half his life in Poland, Francis is now fluent in Polish and  has been able to create a strong and motivated team to carry out his innovative vision with unstoppable passion. The Sunreef shipyard is his big dream, and every, single yacht launch is a powerful moment for him. He likes to stress that he is proud of his adopted country and proud to sign his creations  MADE IN POLAND.





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