In 2001Vosper Thornycroft started their luxury yacht building by becoming involved in the sailing super yacht worth USD55 Million called Mirabella V. The project was developed for Joe Vittoria who is the former Avis Car boss. The completion of the Mirabella happened in 2004, it was the largest sailing vessel with the total length of 75 meters and a single-mast height of almost 87 meters. There were other large super yachts made by the company aside from Mirabella V as well. Only in 2002 has the business been known as VT Group.
The Vosper Thornycroft is presently known as the VT Group PLC, it is known to be a British defense and services company. It was formed through the merging of two companies involved in shipbuilding; they are the Vosper Limited located in Portsmouth and the JI Thornycroft from Woolston, Southampton in the year of 1966. The Vosper Limited is involved in small boat building and the JI Thornycroft is involved in the building of destroyers as well as other similar sized crafts. The Labour Government had approved the Vosper Thornycroft to be nationalized and became a division of the British Shipbuilders during the mid-70s. However, the company became a commercial entity again in 1985 after a management buyout transpired.
The Vosper & Company which was termed as Vospers, was a known British-based shipbuilding company that was established by Herbert Edward Vosper in the year 1871. The company concentrated in repairing ships and doing refitting works. The company survived the World War I times by mainly focusing on the ship repairing business for the business survival. Moreover, in the 1930s the concentration of the business was shifted on the high speed naval craft, power boats and yachts where they also became famous. They were listed as a public company called as Vosper Limited, whereby they opened another yard in the area of Portsmouth; they built the Sir Malcolm Campbell’s in 1939, which was a water speed record breaking known as the Bluebird K4 with 141.74mph.
Vosper became renown for the sixty to seventy foot Motor Torpedo Boats or MTB and the Motor Gun Boats or (MGB) for the World War II Royal Navy. The boats’ original length was 68 feet and was from the MTB 102 prototype-based, and still exists up until now as a piece in the museum. The designs integrated in the crafts made for the Royal Air Force served as a model for the next generation of ships. However, the accumulated expertise led them to concentrate in making high-speed attack watercraft.
John I. Thornycroft & Company Limited also called as Thornycroft was a firm that was found by Isaac Thornycroft during the 19th century. The young 16-year old John was able to build his first steam launched in 1859 only with the help of his sister. Nevertheless, after John Thornycroft came back from his apprenticeship from Glasgow in 1864, he started building more steam launches.
In 1866, he started shipbuilding at the yard of Church Wharf in Chiswick. The first instance, he built a torpedo boat called the Rap in 1873 for Norway and then the HMS Lightning in 1877 for the Royal Navy.
The John I. Thornycroft & Company Limited relocated to Woolston in Hampshire where a shipyard there was acquired from Mordey, Carney & Company that closed down in August 1909. The HMS Tartar, a Tribal class destroyer was the very first ship built for the Royal Navy by Thornycroft. In 1966, the merging with Vosper & Co. was made and is presently known as the VT Group.
The company became successful even during the poverty years because of the need for building warships, as well as the main sales efforts done in diversification and export efforts outside the business of shipbuilding into training, engineering and support services.