Please select your home edition
Maritimo 2023 S-Series LEADERBOARD

New age - New feel - newsletter


New age - New feel

McConaghy 2022 - MC63p & MC75 LEADERBOARD


Life on board the new Sovereign Starter - photo © Sovereign Ships

Dear Recipient Name

There was a line in song quite a while back that went, "You know the garden's full of furniture, the house is full of plants!" Would have been easy to run with that as an opening, but this was not the first thought I had when I saw Sovereign Ships' information pack. Although obvious, the real thoughts going through my head revolved around where's all this going, and just whom is it aimed at?

Now apart from strength, Hercules was also known for adventuring. This would come into play when I spoke with founder and concept designer, Ben Woodason. The reason is that he was a USAF C-130 pilot, and that lovable and venerable aircraft is best known by its other name, Hercules.

Ben Woodason - photo © Sovereign Ships
Ben Woodason - photo © Sovereign Ships

Yes. The adventuring, and living in a different way as the world gets busier, pricier and more crammed, was very much the focal point of my thinking. No, as it turns out, this is also the very reason for the concept being created in the first place.

So whenever there's something avant-garde or different, there's always plenty of scepticism floating around. Accordingly, when are you building and which one are you building first?

Sovereign Starter will get you going with your waterborne life - photo © Sovereign Ships
Sovereign Starter will get you going with your waterborne life - photo © Sovereign Ships

Woodason stated, "I've decided to start with the simplest and most traditional looking vessel in our line-up, so the first build will be the Sovereign Starter. I've got the blueprints squared away for that. I'm working with DLBA Naval Architects, to get it up to code, to certify it as a CE Class A vessel, and I partnered with Breaux Boats in Louisiana to do the actual first prototype.

"Breaux Brothers is ready to build as soon as the start of next year, and it will take four to six months to complete, so hopefully by the middle of 2023 we'll be afloat. We have just started the fundraising side now, and we are working to get seed money from silent partners. We are definitely in the priming the pump phase, but it's going and it's happening. We're going to get there!"

The Starter is, well, starting soon - photo © Sovereign Ships
The Starter is, well, starting soon - photo © Sovereign Ships

In terms of interest from prospective buyers, the website was released in March of 2022, and they used Instagram as their primary channel, which has been successful, for they have 1000 followers. Once the money is squared away they will get back to marketing the product once more.

So coming back to the project at hand, how does a pilot end up with such an affinity for the sea? "After I left the Air Force, I was kind of thinking of what to do next and, you know, I noticed a trend in decreasing personal freedom going on across the world. So I was thinking of a way to reverse that trend. And the best idea that I could come up with was enable a lifestyle that would let you live on the ocean full time. You could go out to international waters and then move around to whatever country you wanted to go to."

Sovereign Saucer - taking full advantage of the Founder's love for sci-fi and space - photo © Sovereign Ships
Sovereign Saucer - taking full advantage of the Founder's love for sci-fi and space - photo © Sovereign Ships

"That's where the whole idea came from. Additionally, I'd grown up loving the idea of space, and watched lots of space shows. So I was thinking that if I were going do something, I would want to make it fun. As space is not really available right now, I thought I'd just try to make a spacecraft that would float instead."

Maritimo 2021 - Brand Models MPU Aquaventures2022-MPU

Being green

Of course, as we said at the beginning, 'the house is full of furniture', so was that born out of longevity at sea, or a reflection upon Ben's culinary standing?

Get ready to cook up a storm aboard the Sovereign Sphere - photo © Sovereign Ships
Get ready to cook up a storm aboard the Sovereign Sphere - photo © Sovereign Ships

"It was the part of the whole off-grid system. If you want to maximise freedom, you also have to maximise independence. I first started off with hydroponic gardens because they get a higher yield per volume. However, as I spent more and more time working on and designing the systems, I just felt like the hydroponic systems were too industrial, and I wanted something more comfortable and a better environment to be around. "

"So I switched over to a dirt-based garden using the square foot gardening method, which is still a very high yield. The yield provides enough to sustain two people for every 64 square feet. The starter will have about double that. So it'll, it'll be able to sustain four people, but that would be cramped. I think a couple is just about right."

Inside/Outside with the Sovereign Saucer - photo © Sovereign Ships
Inside/Outside with the Sovereign Saucer - photo © Sovereign Ships

There is a raised garden bed that surrounds the entire ship, and then storage underneath them. "You need a lot of storage if you plan to go on any big trips like that. So we killed two birds with one stone."

You know it is about now that you would think the vessel might be made of reclaimed fibres or something, but its actually aluminium, which is fully recyclable of course, and easier than first having to build a plug, then mould, then the craft itself. As they get further down the road they will reassess just what is the best production method, but it is certainly a good starting point.

Sovereign Stunner at anchor - photo © Sovereign Ships
Sovereign Stunner at anchor - photo © Sovereign Ships

Of course there's all that window space to account for, and expensive glass is also very heavy and not the best mix with waves, either. Polycarbonate will be used as it is also easier to form with that singular radius going all the way around, and you can drill holes in it for mounting.

Obviously solar and wind are the main generators of power on board, but are there enough panels on the Starter to cope with the draw? "We have 6.6kW on board, and that will give us enough to run at a steady 2.7 knots day and night. So yes it is one of the slower vessels, but that's why I wanted to make it more like a tank, so it can take a hit."

Sovereign Summit en locale - photo © Sovereign Ships
Sovereign Summit en locale - photo © Sovereign Ships

To be clear, the Starter's top speed is 6.4 knots, and it has a range of 34nm. The 2.7 knots is the continuous use speed - i.e. day and night after a sunny day. Now you won't be running away from any storms at that speed, but I dare say that a lot of it is about the destination with a vessel like this, as opposed to the journey that's part of it. Windage and tide are also major considerations, so you may be doing a lot of running with it, as opposed to away from them.

I do think the destination and the living on board is going to be much more of the whole equation, and 6.6 kilowatts will give you a lot of house battery time when you're anchored. Remember too, that you have everything you'll need on board, and that means you're kind of already at your destination...

Sovereign Solitaire is cat based for additional speed - photo © Sovereign Ships
Sovereign Solitaire is cat based for additional speed - photo © Sovereign Ships

Future catamaran models will be faster paced due to wave piercing hulls, and kite sails will also assist with progress, but remember you are really trying to be away from it all, so just how quickly do you want to go?

Marine Auctions 2019 600x500 Sea Sure 2020 - SHOCK-WBV - MPU

Of Guinea Pigs, travel, and progression...

Ben is going to be the skipper of the first hull, and plans to take it out for at least a few months, heading around the Gulf, down the coast of Florida, and then up the other side to the boat shows. Naturally, Hurricane Ian serves as a reminder of just how prudent you have to be with your plans, and secure your craft early.

Aboard the Sovereign Sphinx - photo © Sovereign Ships
Aboard the Sovereign Sphinx - photo © Sovereign Ships

In terms of the expansive Sovereign Ships product range, the idea was to show how you could mould your intended lifestyle to a particular hull form. The Sphinx has the smallest interior, but the whole thing is about a new demographic hitting the seas, who do not want to conform to ways of yesteryear. Work from home has certainly assisted with a lot of that plan, as too those who yearn to get out into nature.

Naturally, a younger demographic also means a reasonable price point, so the models range for USD 350k to USD 650k, and Woodason is clear that it has to be comparable to a house, so that if you want to take off, then price will not be a barrier to commencing your new life.

Sovereign Sphere - photo © Sovereign Ships
Sovereign Sphere - photo © Sovereign Ships

Rainwater collection, composting the kitchen, and black tank for when you're dockside are all included. Grab your favourite seeds, your bags, electronics and you're good to go. The interesting thing to ponder is just how do you conceptualise the market for these craft? Woodason responds, "If you think of it as colonising the ocean, I'd say the potential market is the size of the country."

Well it does all depend on your outlook. So if you're talking about a younger demographic, they're traditionally not the kind of people that you'll find at boat shows. Obviously things like Instagram are very much suited to alternative lifestyles, which is really the category that you're talking about here. Many of this sector may not have had any exposure to boats. So reaching them is definitely not the easiest thing to do.

Sovereign Stunner offers more room - photo © Sovereign Ships
Sovereign Stunner offers more room - photo © Sovereign Ships

Woodason commented, "Certainly we will have our work cut out for us. However, I think these ships are well suited for that kind of an alternative marketing strategy because they're so photogenic, and they also go along with the green living and electrification of transport that's already popular. So we're kind of riding the coattails of those things as well."

For people possibly looking to do longer range stuff, then, certainly additional speed will help. Just to ensure that passages can be achieved inside normal timeframes, so to speak. As with all tech, things will keep getting better and better with time, and that's bound to help the cause as well.

Sovereign Solitaire Office - to be part of the work from anywhere regime - photo © Sovereign Ships
Sovereign Solitaire Office - to be part of the work from anywhere regime - photo © Sovereign Ships

"I had the idea in 2015, and I've been putting out a design every so often, and doing a lot of research, but I didn't start working on it full time until February of 2021," commented Woodason. In nine months time, there might well be the fruits of those labours, and the beginning of Waterworld may just have happened...

Sovereign Saucer Cabin shows how you can live at sea - photo © Sovereign Ships
Sovereign Saucer Cabin shows how you can live at sea - photo © Sovereign Ships

OK. Today you will find that the website has an abundance of material from right across the globe, and if you cannot find something, just try the search button right up the top of the landing page, above our logo. If you cannot find what you want or wish to want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Finally. Please look after yourselves,

John Curnow
Global Editor, Powerboat.World

McConaghy 2022 - MC63p & MC75 MPU Coast Guard Foundation MPU 3

James Ward interview - the Marine Resources Salary Survey 2022
Mark Jardine, Managing Editor of, and, talks to the CEO and Founder of Marine Resources about the 2022 Salary Survey at the Southampton International Boat Show.

HD Hyundai's Avikus to host demonstrations of Autonomous Navigation Solutions at FLIBS 2022
Avikus announced its plans to participate in the 2022 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), the world's largest in-water boat show, to be held October 26 - 30, 2022 in the yachting capital of the world.

Sea Ray® debuts the newest member of the SLX™ 260 Family – The SLX™ 260 Surf
Sea Ray's next generation of sport boats is continuing to steal the spotlight with the introduction of the brand-new SLX 260 Surf.

How to recover your boat after a hurricane
With the remnants of Hurricane Ian heading off into the Atlantic, boat owners in Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina are starting recovery efforts.

US premiere of 80 Sunreef Power at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2022
Sunreef Yachts is soon to present the 80 Sunreef Power ELEN'S DREAM at the 2022 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

Marine Resources latest jobs: This week's hot jobs are waiting for you
With so many changes and updates in the industry, how do you stay on top of it all? Check out this week's newsletter bursting with marine industry news and the latest hot jobs available .

Construction of Alia Sea Club 53m full custom yacht on schedule for delivery fall 2023
Construction of the Alia Sea Club 53m full custom yacht is progressing smoothly and on schedule at the shipyard in Antalya, Turkey.

CL Yachts is ready to wow FLIBS 2022 with a double debut
The countdown for the 2022 edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show has officially started and CL Yachts is thrilled to display its much-anticipated new models, CLX96 and CLB65.

Ask the Experts video: A deep dive into the Outer Reef classic series
Twenty-five years ago, as a retail customer in search of a long-range cruiser manufacturer to build his dream yacht, Jeff Druek, now President and CEO of Outer Reef Yachts, was told by a competitor he couldn't have the yacht built the way he wanted.

Evo R4XT expand your horizons
Evo R4XT is the perfect example of how, starting from a shipyard's historic model and modifying it, one can create a walkaround that is unique in the world, even capable of offering its guests a new interpretation of how to experience the sea.

Technohull GTX world debut: taking cruising into a new dimension
This new sporty 10 metre plus model brings the very best to this popular category, fusing the unmistakable Technohull silhouette and refined looks with an utterly sophisticated hull design poised to perform beyond limits and a generous deck space.

Maritimo 2022Mar - S75 FOOTER

Sea Sure 2020 - SHOCK-WBV - FOOTER

This email was sent to the.recipients@email.address by YY Online Services Ltd.
Towngate House, 2-8 Parkstone Road, Poole, BH15 2PW
Registered in England No. 7895890

Our records show that you signed up to receive news from us on 1 January 2000

Please do not reply to this message as this address cannot receive replies.

You can unsubscribe at any time or email us here if you encounter any difficulties
Maritimo 2023 M600 FOOTER