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MGM Boats is launching the new Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300 at the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on Friday 6th March at 7 pm.

The Sun Fast 3300 made an impressive debut in the Fastnet race last year and the new French marque is proving to be an exciting and multipurpose performance race boat.

In the line-up for the Olympic Boat Selection for 2024 - it is also an IRC performer, fully crewed or in a shorthanded set-up.

As Afloat previously reported, now in full production, it has confirmed orders for fleets in the Solent, France and in the States – this is the first Sun Fast 3300 in Ireland.

Sunfast 3300 MGMThe first Sunfast 3300 is prepared for her March launch at the MGM Boatyard

Jeanneau, fully behind the team at MGM Boats, is sending over members of the Sun Fast Design Team and will make a presentation on the Sun Fast 3300 at 1900 in the Royal Irish Yacht Club. They will also be available to answer any questions.

Joining the Sun Fast 3300 on display will be its larger stablemate the Sun Fast 3600. 

Both boats will be on display on Friday the 6th from 1400 until 1900 and on Saturday the 7th from 1000 until 1300 on the Royal Irish pontoon.

As spaces are limited if you wish to attend this event or to arrange a viewing please email [email protected]

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With the Silver Jubilee of their leading Dun Laoghaire boat agency, brokerage, dealership and boatyard only two years away, Gerry and Martin Salmon of MGM Boats find themselves in the position of being seen as senior role models in a challenging business. It’s a business in which staying on track for even ten years is an achievement, while being very active with hundreds of international customers who have become friends during twenty-three years of successful trading provides an exemplary vision of enterprise and dedication.

Underlying it all is undimmed enthusiasm. Managing Director Gerry Salmon went straight from school into the boat business, and he was soon thinking in terms of branching out on his own in partnership with his brother Martin with the emphasis on powerboats. By 1997 they were operating from Malahide Marina and securing useful agencies, and when they added the versatile Aquador 26 to their range they were on to a winner, and they knew it. Doing a boat report for Afloat Magazine (as it was then though our website had opened in 1993), it was easy to share their infectious enthusiasm, and they went on to sell more than 200 Aquador 26s, 30% of them outside Ireland. 

Aquador twentysix2The versatile Aquador 26 was a major success story in MGM Boats early years 

gerry salmon3Managing Director Gerry Salmon (left) and Martin Salmon is Marketing Director

But despite being Northsiders themselves, they knew that although they could operate successfully in the national and international market, the key to success in the lucrative Greater Dublin area was a base in Dun Laoghaire, where the new marina – with the potential to be the largest in Ireland – had opened on St Patrick’s Day 2001.

While the marina management were keen to see a proper yard being installed with modern facilities and particularly a Travelhoist, it was a difficult process securing a viable site, as the massive construction of Dun Laoghaire’s mighty granite harbour means that any new facilities have somehow to be inserted into a very fixed structure.

boatyard aerial wide5MGM’s Dun Laoghaire base well illustrates the difficulties inherent in tying to provide modern facilities in a harbour whose design was basically finalised in the 1820s. Yet despite the challenges on space, the firm thrives through providing good local services with successful international operations. Photo Barrow Coakley/Simon Coate

But eventually, in 2003 a site was carved out immediately north of the Old Coastguard Station, west of the Irish Lights HQ and located to the eastward of the Coal Harbour and the monumental ramp road which gives access to Traders Wharf. By ingenious use of this constrained space, MGM Boats now had the potential to develop full-service facilities for their rapidly-growing range of customers in the heart of Ireland’s most affluent area, while at the seam time expanding their extensive national and international business in boat agencies, dealerships and distribution.

As they settled in and the boatyard business developed in tandem with the busy boats sales side, wheelway stagings were built into the harbour in order to carry a Travelhoist. Most Travelhoists work within shelter in their own designated mini-dock, but this somewhat exposed setup was the best that could be arranged in the Dun Laoghaire circumstances, as too was the use of “luxury Portacabins” for offices. Yet despite the slightly temporary feeling of this new and properly commercial yacht yard which in time was to win international awards, the business was developing in satisfactory style, helped by taking on Ross O’Leary in 2002 to strengthen their involvement in the sailing market, where they had taken on the power and sail Jeanneau agencies.

ross oleary6Ross O’Leary joined MGM Boats in 2002 and is in charge of sailing boats and warranties
ross in laser7A keen sailor – despite being completely involved with boats in the day job, Ross O’Leary relaxes afloat with demanding sport in his Laser. Photo O’Brien

However, by this time the name of MGM Boats had become so widely recognised that they kept it on, even though it resulted from a printer’s error in their early days of being just Martin and Gerry. They’d opted for MG Marine, but the printer made it MGM Marine, and in due course MGM Boats was the name that stuck, though their now extended staff have their own version of what it means – John O’Kane of their Carrickfergus office tells his customers and friends it stands for “Me & Gerry & Martin”.

The fact that they’ve had a Carrickfergus office serving the north for years is just part of the expansion process which radiated outwards from the new Dun Laoghaire hub. They’ve also a busy office in Kinsale – run by Alan Barton – and a Malta branch based in Marina St Julians in Portomaso, the eastern branch of Valetta harbour, while their focus of operations in the south of England is at Hamble Point Marina beside the Solent, and additionally they maintain a presence in Vilamoura in Portugal’s Algarve and in Mallorca.

jeanneau power cannes8Jeanneau Power working for MGM Boats at the Cannes Boat Show. Photo: Martin Salmon

Their current agencies and dealerships are crowned by Prestige, the French-based creators of luxury performance powerboats which - at their upper size levels - are veering into superyacht territory. Down the size scale, Jeanneau Power is there to take up its market share, while MGM also offer Bayliner and continue to maintain their long and successful relationship with Aquador. 

zodiac medline five forty9 The Zodiac Medline 540 is one of the newest additions to an important range which MGM Boats have recently added to their portfolio.

Recently they’ve signed up to the Irish distributorship for Zodiac Ribs and Inflatables, an area of special potential as Ireland’s coastline is particularly suited to Rib use, and the leading manufacturers are in the forefront of the development and use of eco-friendly electrical power.

On the sailing side handled by Ross O’Leary, the association with Lagoon catamarans is seeing the fulfillment of exotic dreams, with the Lagoon 450S Realta Bheag sailed by Dubliners Mary and George Coombes recently reaching New Zealand 18 months into a very active “retirement cruise” which has already logged an enormous variety of ports and islands visited.

realta bheag pacific10Mary & George Coombes’ Lagoon 450 S catamaran Realta Bheag fulfilling the Pacific Islands dream for two customers of MGM Boats. Photo: George Coombes
The renowned Jeanneau Sail range has long been one of MGM Boats’ great strengths, and while the marque is traditionally best known for its sturdy yet stylish performance cruisers with some specially successful deck saloon versions, the racing side has been up-grading in recent years with the potent and always-developing Sunfast range. In this lineup, the newest boat - the Sunfast 3300 - made the headlines as recently as January 23rd when an Olympics-2024-anticipating two-handed man-and-woman sailing sprint from Fort Lauderdale down the Florida coast to Key West was won by Ken Read and Suzy Leech racing a crisp new Sunfast 3300, needless to say setting North Sails President Ken Read’s personal suit of competitive cloth.

ken read suzy leech11The future is here right now – Ken Read and Suzy Leech successfully racing the new Jeanneau Sunfast 330 in the recent two-handed Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race

This not only showed that the team behind Jeanneau Sunfast are right on the button in the latest international focal points, but as well it was reminder that the prospect of a Two-handed Female/Male crew competing the 2024 Olympics is attracting the interest of global offshore racing aristocracy, as just this week Irish-Australian ace Adrienne Cahalan announced she was teaming up with Nick Moloney (must be an Irish link there too) for a 2024 Olympic campaign.

Here's a VID of Ken Read and Suzy Leech sailing the Sunfast 330

This latest success by an offshore racing boat with which MGM Boats has direct links was very timely, as the course in the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race took the fleet past Miami, and that extraordinary Florida city is the centre of MGM Boats marketing this weekend, as Gerry and Martin Salmon are on the impressive stand of Prestige in the Miami Yacht Show for the duration.

Being Miami, there are two separate shows at once - the Miami Yacht Show for the biggies, and the Miami Boat Show for smaller craft in a different location, though they are linked by water taxis and buses. Needless to say, Prestige and MGM Boats are in the Miami Yacht Show, and with so many Irish links to Florida added to the fact that MGM is now such an international organisation that some of its more distant customers are scarcely aware of the Irish roots, the two Irish brothers are on high alert for an eclectic stream of visitors to the stand.

miami martin gerry12Ready to roll….Martin and Gerry Salmon on the Prestige Stand at the current Miami Yacht Show as the doors opened on Thursday. The show runs until Sunday evening, and the Salmon brothers plan to be back at their desks in Dun Laoghaire by noon on Monday.

For although the company’s offices provide fixed points of contact, MGM Boats focus of effort can be something of a moveable feast, as they’re energetic users of the international Boat Show circuit - so much so that they reckon to average one major boats show per month in every year. Thus in December it was Paris, then in January it was the marathon which is Dusseldorf, and this weekend it’s Miami, which started on Thursday and runs until Sunday.

"in December it was Paris, then in January it was the marathon which is Dusseldorf, and this weekend it’s Miami"

Before the year is out they’ll have been on site for the duration in shows as far south as Cannes and as far north as Finland, with many other venues in between and an extra push being made for the Southampton exhibition in September. For most folk, that’s a punishing schedule which would count as fulltime work in itself, but the MGM team relish it, and Gerry and Martin expect to be back at their desks in Dun Laoghaire by noon on Monday if flights are on schedule.

They’re grafters – there’s no other way to put it – yet they love their work, and an inspirational conversation with Gerry this week before he jetted off to Florida provided hugely informative insights into the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Boat Shows and the International Marine Industry. It’s a world which the Salmon brothers and Ross O’Leary and their Dun Laoghaire-based used-boat broker Josh Walsh feel at home, and with their 23-years-and-counting experience of this high-powered atmosphere, lasting friendships have been built while they’ve become connoisseurs of the properly-done sales deal which leaves both sides happy, a dynamic human interaction about which Gerry Salmon can become positively lyrical.

sunseeker distributors of the year13The MGM team receive the Sunseeker Yachts Distributors of the Year 2009 from their friend the late Robert Braithwaite early in 2010

In their time they’ve become friends with some of the great figures of the boat business, notably the late Robert Braithwaite who was the inspiration and guiding force for many years in Sunseeker International, with whom MGM Boats were Distributors of the Year in 2007 and 2009, and Bronze Medallists in 2011.

Their friendship was such that Robert Braithwaite (who died much mourned just a year ago aged 76) organized the staging of several Sunseeker International Dealer Conferences in one of the choicer venues which Ireland has to offer. And though the direct links between the two companies concluded when Sunseeker had to have a major re-organisation in the years after the recession of 2010, MGM Boats were able to step up their involvement with the 1989-founded Prestige range, doing so to such good effect that they became Prestige Distributors of the Year in 2017.

"promotion of their own identity is every bit as important as emphasising their long-established links with highly-regarded brands"

MGM Boats came through the 2008-2012 recession-battered but unbowed. They were determined to hang in there by cutting right back and preserving core activities, and Gerry’s abiding memory of that time is how, while they continued the tradition of getting together for a staff meal at the end of the week, the “meal” was a slice of pizza and a glass of Merlot wine.

“I can’t look at a pizza or a bottle of Merlot now without that image coming back to me,” he says these days, but they did hang in while others fell like pins in a bowling alley, and MGM Boats emerged from the dark days with a clearer image of themselves, with the clearer realisation that promotion of their own identity is every bit as important as emphasising their long-established links with highly-regarded brands. 

mgm in southampton14MGM Boats ready to promote their own identity as an international brand as the Southampton Boat Show prepares to open. Photo: Martin Salmon

Thus when the opportunity presents itself, such as at the Boat Shows in Southampton and Dusseldorf, they’ll have their own contact point with handy immediate access to the top boats which they represent. Unless it’s in your blood and a total enthusiasm, it would be very hard work indeed, yet they seem to thrive on it, enjoying the different mood of each show.

Dusseldorf is on such a scale in both time and show area that visitors will happily spend days there, whereas Miami with its four-day format underlines the American approach – “They’ll know exactly what they want to see” says Gerry, “and they can be in and out with a very thorough deal done in a time that might leave some Europeans breathless.”

dusseldorf boat show15The “Show of Shows” – Dusseldorf allows Prestige the space and style to spread their wings
2019 was a good year for MGM Boats, with the total number of substantial craft moved – both new and second-hand – pushing towards the hundred mark, the biggest single deal being the sale of a new Prestige 680S which the Irish owner is basing in the south of France.

Meanwhile, in Dun Laoghaire the boatyard is seemingly always busy. But with the slow progress in researching and creating a thorough and worthwhile overall plan for developing the Dun Laoghaire waterfront, to most observers it seems that MGM Boats are still having to make do with the constrained facilities which they have been carving out of an unlikely corner site from 2003 onwards.

aerial boatyard closeup16Cramped headquarters of a renowned international firm. The restrictions imposed by Dun Laoghaire Harbour’s ancient design mean that MGM Boats operate successfully despite working with a restricted site to the north of the old Coastguard Station and its gardens, jammed between the Irish Lights HQ to the east and the ramp road to Trader’s Wharf to the west, with access only across an open road to reach the Travelhoist stagings in their exposed location in relatively open water. Photo: Barrow Coakley/Simon Coate

Yet despite the challenges which the site presents, other professionals well appreciate what the MGM Boats team are achieving, and the loyalty of their Dun Laoghaire customers – for repeat business is one of the keys to their success – speaks volumes in providing an overall picture of such quality that in 2016 they were category short-listed for the International Shipyard of the Year contest.

"It makes you realise what a valuable contribution MGM Boats could make to the Dun Laoghaire waterfront of the future"

It makes you realise what a valuable contribution MGM Boats could make to the Dun Laoghaire waterfront of the future if the various consultants now producing feasibility studies could find the time to have a proper conversation with at least the three top men in the MGM team. Between them, they've got an unrivalled pool of knowledge and experience of dealing with the needs of boats and boat owners in this unique artificial harbour, an experience allied to their unrivalled acquaintance with international-standard facilities elsewhere.

MGM Boats have a global presence, with friends and customers in every continent. But in Dun Laoghaire, they’re among the most significant participants in the neighbourhood life of the harbour today, and in the future. Their contribution now - and in the years to come - is beyond calculation, and it deserves the widest possible recognition.

prestige 680s17MGM Boats largest single sale in successful trading in 2019 was a Prestige 680S which will be based in the south of France by an Irish owner.

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Irish dealers MGM Boats were on hand this morning when the new Prestige X70 was launched at boot Dusseldorf today, the first in the new crossover range from Prestige Yachts.

The X70 has been developed with space, light and luxury in mind, and materials have been hand-selected to ensure exceptional fit and finish. Prestige Yachts and Garroni Design have been innovative in their use of space, enhancing circulation and optimising room on the main deck by moving the side decks to the flybridge.

"The X70 is the most innovative yacht of her category and her generation, enabling people to experience an entirely new way to live on the water", MGM's Gerry Salmon said at the launch today.

Greatly increasing the size of the cockpit has resulted in the redistribution and bringing together of interior and exterior living spaces, ensuring entertainment areas flow throughout the vessel.

The single-story nature of the X70 offers an infinite choice of main deck and cockpit layouts, and the interior is furnished with high-quality fabrics and designer furniture from prestigious brands including RODA and Duvivier.

There is also a Beach Club fully integrated into the aft platform providing further entertainment space and proximity to the water.

Prestige DusseldorfThe Prestige stand at Boot Dusseldorf

The X70 is the first boat to be produced in the new X-Line range from Prestige. This groundbreaking new 70-foot mini superyacht will start sea trials in early summer and then have its world debut at Cannes the following month.

This flagship yacht of the X-Line range is designed to take you where you want to go. The Volvo IPS technology provides smooth, fuel-efficient cruising with exceptional manoeuvrability.

In due course, the X70 will be joined by smaller and larger models complementing the state-of-the-art the Prestige X-Line range.

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Yacht brokers MGM Boats have the first Sun Fast 3300 order arriving into Ireland next month and it will be competing in the upcoming Round Ireland Yacht Race from Wicklow this June. The boat will be essentially set up for offshore racing but will be competing in inshore racing also while based out of Kinsale Yacht Club.

The new Sun Fast 3300 is a serious racing yacht with its light powerful hull, twin rudders and straight keel which can handle any sea conditions while maintaining its speed and stability. It is built using an infusion moulding process, therefore, giving the boat exceptional rigidity, with a considerable weight reduction. The boat is perfectly adapted for single-handed, double-handed or fully crewed racing and has proven to be a tough competitor, whether racing inshore or offshore.

Sun Fast 3300The new Sun Fast 3300 on the dock

The Sun Fast 3300 has the option of going for a symmetrical spinnaker and an asymmetrical spinnaker which will suit the inshore racers. If you find yourself short of crew you can opt for water ballast tanks which can hold 200kg which isn’t too much of penalty on IRC.

All these aspects will entice potential Double-handed Olympic offshore competitors to look seriously at this boat although nothing has been announced as to which boat will be chosen so far.

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Top Irish boat dealer MGM Boats has added the Zodiac Inflatable and Rigid Inflatable Boat marque to the range of boats offered at its Dun Laoghaire Harbour showrooms.

In announcing the new distributorship, Dublin Bay-based MGM Boats has launched a promotion on the new Open 5.5 metre RIB, a popular size model in Ireland.

The new 5.5 has a Deep V fibreglass hull and a self-bailing deck. Full spec here. 

More details from MGM Boats here.

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Irish agents MGM Boats are celebrating Jeanneau's Sun Odyssey 410 win in the “British Yachting Awards” in the category of “Cruiser of the Year” 2019 this week.

The Sun Odyssey 410 received the honours last Monday during the Awards celebration at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London.

The prestigious award from Sailing Today and Yachts and Yachting magazines honours achievements from cruising to regattas.

For the second year in succession, internet users had the privilege of voting for and electing their favourite boats in a range of categories.

SO 410 sailingThe Sun Odyssey 410

The award, says Gerry Salmon of MGM Boats, 'highlights the significant collaborative work between Marc Lombard and Jean-Marc Piaton, [the architect and designer respectively of the Sun Odyssey 410]. We are thrilled to receive this international recognition'.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the Sun Odyssey 410 that MGM Boats showcased at Boot Dusseldorf last January is now afloat and berthed at Dun Laoghaire Marina.

The Irish debutante is the most current design from French manufacturer Jeanneau and sold out its 2019 production run.

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Jeanneau's Merry Fisher 605 Marlin represented in Ireland by MGM Boats in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin has been named Best of Boats 2019 in the “Best for Fishing ” Category in the International Best of Boats Awards.

This prize is awarded by a jury composed of 19 European journalists from cruising magazines.

The Merry Fisher 605 Marlin was presented to the public last September at the Grand Pavois in La Rochelle, France.

The high-performance hull, the layout, and the ergonomic design for fishing make this an extremely easy to handle and safe boat. First and foremost, its design has been carefully studied for fun, sporty outings.

The large, flush aft swim platforms, the starboard side recessed side deck and excellent visibility with large windows all contribute to an exceptional level of security on board. Her tilting engine adds to the functionality of this fishing model.

The open, flush wheelhouse enables excellent access to the cockpit. In case of heavy weather, it can be fully closed.

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Following its launch last year, Dublin boat dealer MGM Boats will be displaying the new Prestige 420 F motorboat that will be making its first appearance at boot Dusseldorf 2020 in January.

The spacious, high-performance flybridge cruiser reflects the core values of the brand and offers light, open living areas and two cabins with separate entrances; a unique achievement on a 42-footer.

On show at boot on the Prestige stand will be: 

  • Prestige 680 S
  • Prestige 630 S
  • Prestige 590 S - Best Boat Awards 2019 – Finalist
  • Prestige 520 F

More on Boot Dusseldorf here

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The Sun Odyssey 410 that MGM Boats showcased at Boot Dusseldorf last January is now afloat and berthed at Dun Laoghaire Marina.

The Irish debutante is the most current design from French manufacturer Jeanneau and sold out its 2019 production run.

The 410 is available in two or three-cabin versions, with the possibility for further interior customizations. The model in Dun Laoghaire is the three-cabin, one heads version.

Additional available features include a retractable bow thruster, cathedral standing rigging, an L-shaped keel, and an integrated bowsprit.

The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410 is available from €304,000 inc VAT. More on this here

Sun Odyssey 410 9529The 410 is available in two or three-cabin versions

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Dublin's MGM Boats are on the international boat show trail this month and having concluded a successful Cannes Show in the South of France last weekend, the Irish yacht broker set up in Southampton this week where the Cote d'Azur weather has followed them. 

The Dun Laoghaire Harbour firm are on stand E096 at Southampton where they have 130 brokerage listings displayed. The firm also have representatives on the Jeanneau and Prestige stands too.

MGM Boats

At the halfway point of the show, the firm's Ross O'Leary says the Jeanneau NC 37 and Leader 36 are attracting 'lots of interest' among an impressive line out of yachts available to view on the pontoons.

As previously reportedMGM Boats are promising great deals on early orders for the new Sun Fast 3300 which is entering production this autumn in time for the 2020 sailing season.

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