Adrian Gillitt - project management
I developed a passion for the ocean from a very young age. During my early years I was fortunate to have lived in the Canary Islands for 12 years, surrounded by water based activities from sailing, skiing to windsurfing. This appetite led me back to Southampton, where I chose to study an engineering masters in Ship Science at the University of Southampton, specialising in yachts and small craft. During my 2nd year studying at Southampton I secured a summer placement with the racing yacht builder Green Marine.
After graduation I continued to work at Green Marine, working my way through the ranks, from junior design engineer working on racing yachts such as the Volvo 70 Pirates of the Caribbean and the TP52s Patches and Cristabella. In 2007 I had the chance to apply my knowledge to project management. My first project turned out to be a successful one: RAN II, the Judel/Vrolijk Mini Maxi 72. Working with the Owner's design and build team, we focused on saving weight across every area of the yacht from the hull to the customised lightweight carbon brackets for the winch grinder gearboxes, this was my first experience of saving weight on the systems side of a yacht, RAN II went on to be the most successful mini maxi racing yacht ever:- Fastnet winner twice, Sydney-Hobart class winner, Mini Maxi champion 3 times.
After RAN II I worked on the larger superyachts being constructed in the Southampton factory, initially on 39m Cinderella IV and then onto the 42m Sarissa. On Sarissa I spent 5 months working at Vitters Shipyard in Holland, helping them integrate their mechanical systems into a carbon structure efficiently, and with minimal parasitic weight. I went on to work alongside the Tripp Design office, optimising the custom deck hardware and simplifying the sail handling systems.
After working on Sarissa I returned to the Lymington factory in the new role of Engineering Manager. My first task was to setup a new engineering department at Green Marine from scratch. The goal was to develop an in-house team of designers and engineers that could take the naval architecture information from the designer and translate it into fully engineered work packages and drawings for our production teams. During my tenure as Engineering Manager I was responsible for the engineering of the TP52s RAN IV and Container, superyacht tender/landing craft, the Briand 108 Inoui, Open Season, seven Volvo Ocean 65 one-designs and the Nigel Irens 78 foot cat Allegra.
In 2013 Green Marine won the contract to build a new ultra-lightweight fully fitted Wally Cento, and I was given the challenge to manage the project from start to finish. In this most weight sensitive of yachts, every kilo saved was added directly to the bulb weight and translated into righting moment. The target seemed challenging from the start, Wally yachts themselves set the bar with Magic Carpet 3, but by constant attention to detail over the entire 2 year build period we succeeded in reducing Galateia's structural and fit-out weight by hundreds of kilos compared to the target.
When I joined Green Marine 12 years ago, the focus was on building super-light composite structures for racing yachts. The success of Galateia was as much due to the fit-out as the structure, and it was this aspect of Total Build Management that has given me the appetite to join with my colleagues in founding Fibre Mechanics in November 2016.