A Conversation With James Betts Enterprises

Our firm is currently collaborating with the innovative James Betts Enterprises, Inc. on the beautiful Spirit-of-Tradition yacht, Cirrus

We introduced you to JBE last month and since then, we’ve talked with them further about the process they go through when taking a boat from dream to reality. 

Tell us what happens when a designer brings a client to you?  

We approach every new potential project with a critical eye and an open mind. This allows us to understand the client’s dream, see the designer’s vision, and determine the logistics and feasibility of turning an idea into a tangible product. Our job is to deliver, so we prefer to have the client come to our shop to see our build process, develop a clear plan, and establish open lines of communication in the very beginning. 

What do you believe makes for an effective collaboration between the owner, designer and builder? 

We believe an effective collaboration between the owner, designer, and builder thrives on open communication and the passion to create. This relationship requires the stamina to work through the many challenges of the design/build journey. 

The designer is tasked with making decisions that impact the owner’s budget and the builder’s financial survival. The builder’s job is to deliver the owner’s dream. The most successful builds have clear lines of communication and flexibility from all parties.

Let’s talk about Cirrus – as a builder of racing yachts, what appealed to you about working within the Spirit of Tradition framework? 

We are a builder of dreams. As a custom boat shop, we thrive on the challenge of building something that has never been built before. This has enabled us to build everything from racing yachts, work boats, cruising boats, titanium catamarans, even electric cars. 

Recently, we were given the opportunity to showcase our craftsmanship in the Spirit of Tradition framework with the four Robert Perry Carbon Fiber Cutters. The ode to tradition and clean lines of the Cirrus project appealed to us and we are excited to showcase our shop’s craftsmanship and ability to blend traditional design with modern carbon composite construction.

Are there any particular challenges in building Cirrus?

The main challenge of taking on a project of this magnitude and craftsmanship is ramping up and training our staff.  

What is your favorite part of the design? 

Our favorite part of the Cirrus design is the marriage of a very beautiful aesthetic and the quantum advantage of a carbon composite construction.

You’re known for making the custom build process accessible to a wider range of potential owners.  How did that become part of the JBE paradigm?  

JBE made the custom build process accessible to a wider range of potential owners due to necessity. We believe in the mentality of leaving no stone unturned. Every day is a learning experience and in order to be relevant in today’s ever-changing environment you have to take full advantage of every opportunity. Missing out on improvement is not an option.

 What’s changed in boat building?

The greatest challenge in my 30+ year career has been transitioning from pencil and paper to computers. We began by hand lofting a designer’s table of offsets on the shop floor to now receiving 3D modeled surfaces and showroom quality interior renderings. 

Even though project budget always has and will continue to be the main driver of how much we can leverage technology, we have adapted current trends into our overall processes. This allows us to extend project accuracy farther through the workflow. 

Our staff are able to reference CAD files all the way from design to CNC machining to assembly on the shop floor. 

What do you think the future looks like in terms of building custom boats?  

Custom boat building will always be a skilled labor niche marketplace.

We think the reservoir of unique individuals that want to see their dreams become reality is growing. In a world of diminishing fossil fuel, propelling a vessel like Cirrus, with one of nature’s free resources, will never go out of style.

We agree! Thank you JBE for giving us greater insight into the build process. It has been a pleasure working with your team and we look forward to celebrating the launch of Cirrus with all of you!

If you would like to realize your dream of owning a Spirit-of-Tradition yacht, or you would just like to learn more about what’s possible in custom designed boats, call our office today. We’d be happy to talk with you.