Star Fish, the 50-metre steel and aluminium superyacht, has been extensively damaged in a fire at the McMullen & Wing yard in Auckland. Fire-fighters were called to shipyard’s largest construction hall, where they found the yacht ablaze in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Star Fish was nearly two-and-a-half years into her three-year build programme, with structural fabrication finished, mechanical and electrical systems well advanced, and her interior fit-out mid-way through installation.

The yard says: “Damage to Star Fish is very extensive. The yard’s largest construction hall has also sustained fire damage to the roof and walls. Determining the full extent of the damage and what that represents to the project will be the focus of the next several weeks. A full investigation will be undertaken to determine the cause of the fire, which at this stage is unknown.”

McMullen & Wing’s workshops, office space and other four construction halls were spared by the fire and remain fully operational. Star Fish is the successor to the award-winning 45-metre Big Fish, built for the same owner. She is McMullen & Wing’s largest project to date. As a completed vessel, Star Fish would have a value in excess of NZ$50 million.

“This is a devastating blow to everyone – our staff, the owner of the yacht and his team, the huge range of suppliers to the project. Everyone has invested so much energy and love into this project over a long period of time. Custom yacht building takes a long time and it’s when you reach these finishing stages and you see the whole yacht coming together that we are reminded of the full beauty of these yachts. The energy and excitement of the whole team as this enormous work of art and craftsmanship takes form is very special. To see it all go up in flames at such a late stage is absolutely heart-breaking to us all. Whilst we’re all very thankful that no-one was hurt in the fire, it leaves many of us in a daze,” says McMullen & Wing managing director David Porter.