British style turns heads on the French Riviera


Simon Hawksley poses with his classic Etoile 18, which was the first boat VIP visitors saw as they entered the show.

Whilst Epoxycraft was visiting the Cannes Boat Show this year we saw Hawksley Classic’s beautiful motorboat in pride of place by the main VIP and press entrance and we just had to bring you these shots.

The Etoile 18 is powered by a 260hp Mercruiser V8 petrol engine working via an Alpha One droutdive. This package tops out at just over 40 knots.

In 2016, Simon set up his custom boat building company in the UK’s West Country (apt, as they use WEST SYSTEM® products) with his partner Laure, who is also a skilled woodworker and they have just embarked on their second boatbuilding project. This stunning Etoile 18 is a testament to what this creative pair can achieve and she positively shone in the Mediterranean sun.

Laure is also a skilled workworker and studied furniture design under the guidance of cabinet maker Will Reed to help create some stylish interiors.

In a workshop in Devon, the Etoile’s hull was built upside down, reinforced with seven key frames made from Douglas fir, and six fore and aft stringers. The skin was created using three layers of 6mm marine plywood in the curved sections, and two layers of 9mm ply on the flatter areas. The structure was then overlaid with two layers of bi-axial glass cloth using PRO SET® LAM epoxy. This outer epoxy shell has helped to create a remarkably strong hull that can withstand the boat’s top speed of 40 knots.

The deck is made of two layers – the first is a 6mm sub-deck that supports straight-laid planks of spruce. The margins and trims are made from sapele, a theme that runs throughout the design.

Fixtures and fittings are of polished 306 stainless steel, making this boat a real head-turner. She will happily grace the deck of any superyacht, or sit happily outside a palazzo in the Italian lakes.

Both Simon and Laure appeared to be having a great show, with plenty of interest from a largely well-heeled crowd and they have plans to slightly modify the build techniques on the second model to make an even more stunning motorboat. We’ll keep you posted!

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