Véhicule Magazine: Alpha-Centauri

Alpha-Centauri by Leon Chew

Although powerboating is nothing new to southern England, Alpha-Centauri’s marine designs are. This one-man operation is the brainchild of Chris Phillips. He saw fatal flaws in the boating industry and decided it was time to take control. To right those wrongs, all he needed was his shed, his vision and his unending determination. In the small Southern England town of Fordingbridge, he conjures up, engineers and builds the loudest, sleekest and rowdiest marine runabouts to ever roam the Atlantic.

How did you get into the boat business?

"I have worked as an industrial designer in the marine and automotive industries for many years, so building boats was a natural progression. Building boats finally allows me to bring my own, more outlandish designs to reality."

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Why?

"I had spent years looking at designs by traditional naval architects and honestly grew to despise the way that CAD gets treated like a piece of paper rather than as the incredibly powerful tool it is. There is now fantastic software easily available to any designer dealing with things like computational fluid dynamics and finite element analysis. These tools allow you to easily create efficient, beautiful shapes. They’re commonly used within the automotive industry but almost entirely ignored in the marine industry."

What does your family think about this endeavor?

"I expect my family thinks it’s inevitable. I grew up watching my dad restoring classic boats, and I have been building boats in my spare time since I was young. I am very fortunate to have a beautiful and supportive wife who also does all of the marketing and branding for Alpha Centauri."

Don't take this the wrong way, but southern England isn't really the first place that comes to mind when I think of powerboating.

"We actually have some great coastline, and occasionally even some sun. It’s no Miami though!"

Why England?

"That's where my shed is, and I build boats in my shed."

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