The picturesque Palm Beach on Sydney’s Northern Peninsular, is a magical place to grow up for lovers of a nautical lifestyle. The slender strip of land is boarded by water on both sides and has been a fertile environment for the development of world class surfers, boat-builders, sail makers and sailors.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s Mark Richards gazed out the window, sketching boats and dreaming about a future on the water. It must have been one of the only schools that offered sailing as a summer sport and motor boating as a winter sport. Students leave school with a diverse range of boating skills including, navigation, boat handling, design, repairs, and for many, a lifelong passion for all things nautical.
After leaving school in 1982 and completing a shipwright apprenticeship, Mark Richards pursued a 10 year professional yachting career including 2 American Cup challenges, World Match Racing victories and countless dinghy regattas.
In 1995, Mark hung up his professional sailing gloves to start out on his next big challenge. With money he had saved he started his boat building business in Palm Beach on the shores of magnificent Pittwater. He had one simple philosophy…“provide the customer with a product that’s as close to perfection as humanly possible”. For four years Palm Beach built specialist sailing yachts and enjoyed a loyal following and critical applause.
In 1999, Mark and his team of expert tradesmen went in a new direction and launched the PB 38 the first of many Palm Beach Motor Yachts and established a new factory one hour north of Sydney at Berkeley Vale. The world renowned 50ft followed in 2002 then, a smaller 32ft. The 38ft and 32ft were discontinued to allow Mark and his team to focus on satisfying a growing demand for larger boats. In 2010 the PB 50 earned the prestigious award of Best New Power Boat at the Newport International Boat Show in the USA and a number of sales followed.
In 2009 the first of several inspiring PB 65s were built for owners in Australia and the USA.
In 2011 a 55ft smaller sister to the 65ft was launched, again to international and domestic acclaim. For the first time in history, the same company won the Best New Power Boat award at Newport International Boat Show two years in a row, this time with the newly launched and very first PB 55.
In 2012 the much anticipated PB 45 was launched with expectations of a new PB 52 latter in the year.
Mark has not sailed professionally since launching PBMY but unusually, he has become better known as an amateur yachtsman for his role as skipper of the all-conquering 100ft super maxi, Wild Oats 11. By 2011 it had won 5 Sydney to Hobart races, an Admiral’s Cup and dominated most regattas it had competed in during its 10 years on the water. Mark’s yachting experience has had a significant impact on the design of his boats ensuring they are as sea worthy as they are beautiful and luxurious.
“Palm Beach Motor Yachts are among the most beautiful powered craft on the water today.” Ocean magazine Issue 39 (2011).